Here’s a test for you. Buy one tomato from a farmer’s market and one from a supermarket. Now taste them both, one right after the other and note your thoughts on each. Record your own results but farmer’s market produce typically tastes nicer. This is due to the fact that when it’s picked, it’s at its ripest and is intensely fresh when it reaches you.
If you start cooking with produce from a farmer’s market, you’ll be stunned by how much more texture and flavour you find in your cooking. And you’ll impress your family and friends in the process, which is never a bad thing.
A large number of supermarkets receive products that have travelled hundreds, if not thousands, of miles. This consumes a large amount of fossil fuels for shopping via rail cars and refrigerated trucks. Produce from a farmer’s market has only a short journey before it reaches you, which cuts down on fossil fuels by some distance. A farmer’s market is also often held out in the open and so doesn’t need any heating or electricity.
The right choice for the environment
As well as conserving fossil fuels, smaller family farms produce less environmental waste such as chemical fertilisers, pesticide use, and carbon monoxide. There’s also less chance that they use enormous sorting and processing machines that are harmful to the environment.
Industrial farming, not unlike so many other things today, has become something of a norm. Huge amounts of produce in grown in enormous factory farms, from where it’s shipped to all over the globe. Industrial farms are run by huge corporation, to the detriment of local farms. For efficiency’s sake, industrial farming prefers monocultures, which is the process of a lone field growing a single type or fruit or vegetable. Monocultures withdraw essential nutrients from the soil, which leaves it unpalatable and barren. Similarly, they’re more prone to pests and disease. Both organic and conventional industrial farming, in general, is hard on the land, removes nutrients from the soil, uses industrial pesticides and/or chemical fertilisers, and employs practices that are harmful to the planet, as well as being unsustainable over the longer-term.
Supports local farms
There has undoubtedly been a decline in the number of local family farms, due to the costs associated with running a farm, along with the increasing level of competition from farms run by conglomerates that produce enormous amounts of inexpensive produce. However, buying fruit and vegetables from farmer’s markets helps these farms by providing them with the funds necessary to continue operating and giving customers an alternative option to mass-produced food.
There’s a wide array of fruit and vegetable options at a farmer’s market. Industrial farms have a tendency to grow just a few different kinds of vegetable. On the flip side, small local farms tend to err towards variety with the kinds of fruit and vegetables you’ll never see in your local supermarket’s produce section.