Support Your Body, Community, & Planet: Shop Local
Grab your baskets and reusable bags and support your local farmers! It is better for you, your community, and your planet!
Farmers markets seem to be the mascot of summertime. Walking down rows of bright stands bursting with rainbows of fresh seasonal vegetables and fruits, being inspired by eclectic handmade crafts, getting to know the smiles and the dirt-kissed hands behind the produce, chit-chatting with friends and fellow farmers market wanderers… this is how grocery shopping should be. It is social, it is active, it is colorful, and it is way better for our bodies and the environment.
When we eat fruits and veggies harvested from far away, we are actually robbing our bodies and minds of incredible nutrients. Every plant has a respiration rate-- the rate that the plant releases nutrients after being picked. If we bite into an apple picked in Washington, but we live all the way in New York, we are only consuming the amount of nutrients left in the apple after all of the time it took to get to us.
Not only is distance from farm to table crucial in determining the amount of nutrients we find on our plate, but it is also responsible for tons of fossil fuels being used for transportation and refrigeration, and therefore, responsible for an incredible amount of greenhouse gas emissions leaking into our beautiful environment and wreaking havoc on our delicate atmosphere.
The transportation of food is not the only culprit in the devastation of our environment. Large, monocrop farming is also linked to soil erosion, deforestation, and toxic runoff due to the pesticides and herbicides sprayed. CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) are a topic all on their own, but suffice it to say that they do not take the health or well-being of nature, humans or animals into consideration. On top of that, the meat industry is responsible for over 51% of our overall greenhouse gas emissions. This is partly due to the fact that animals are often raised unnaturally and in high concentration.
Farmers markets are great ways to truly know what you are eating, where your food is coming from (and how fresh and nutrient-rich it is), and who you are funding.
When we shop at farmers markets, or locally in general, we are not just shopping, we are supporting. We are supporting a dream, a family, a vision, and a way of life. By supporting local, we are supporting a community.
One of my favorite parts about shopping at a farmers market is getting a glimpse into the family behind the food. As the lovely Russian woman hands me her jar of beet red kvass, she is balancing her one-year old toe-headed son on her hip. As I drool over yet another glistening jar of local raw honey, I ask the seller how her son is doing (we went to school together from sixth to twelfth grade) and admire the artwork on the label that another friends’ mom created. As I pick out my lush leafy greens and bright orange carrots for the week, the farmer’s freckle-faced daughters tally up the total and give me back my change.
Whether I know them or not, I begin to recognize their faces and witnesses tidbits of their families and lives. With every dollar passed from my hand to theirs, I know that I will be nourishing my body with local, fresh, organic food and simultaneously supporting the people who I brush hands with in the exchange.
If that isn’t good for the soul, I don’t know what is!
Blog by Nicole Rosen