FARMERS MARKETS: MYTHS AND FACTS
There are many misconceptions and myths about farmers markets and local goods. Is it really more expensive to buy produce at a market instead of a grocery store? Aren’t organic fruits in the produce section the same as those at market stands? Once you learn more about the misconceptions of farmers markets, you may find you’d like to try shopping at one.
Local farmers markets are great for families, farmers and communities, so why not try something fun and fresh? If you get the chance, check out a market in your neighborhood this season!
Myth: Farmers markets are too expensive
Fact: Grocery stores charge differently depending on the way a food was grown. In the grocery store, organic produce costs more than non-organic, leading people to think that farmers markets are more expensive because they often sell organic produce. However, a recent survey showed that 60% of people found better prices at farmers markets than at their grocery store. While some produce might be a little more expensive at the farmers market, you can expect that it was grown and sourced locally, and has likely been picked within that week.
Myth: Organic produce from grocery stores is the same as produce from farmers markets
Fact: Farmers markets provide in-season produce that has been harvested more recently (usually within 24 hours) than produce in grocery stores, so it is often closer to the height of its flavor and nutritional value. Farmers market produce doesn’t rely on the use of chemicals to speed growth, reduce pest problems, or extend the shelf life of produce. Instead, they capitalize on the drastically reduced transport time between harvest and sale. This also allows time for the fruit or vegetable to ripen naturally, which increases the nutritional value of the produce. So even if a tomato at a farmers market is a little more expensive, it can be healthier than produce bought in a grocery store, even if it’s organic.
Myth: Buying food from a local farmer can’t make the community a better place…. Can it?
Fact: Buying produce from farmers markets can help save farmland in and around your community, which ensures a nutritious future for the next generation. Putting money into a local farmer’s business makes a big difference because it keeps money in the community. Plus, farmers often have great recommendations on creative ways to use their produce, especially in-season fruits and veggies! Where else can you get recipe recommendations while buying your veggies?
Shopping at your local farmers market is a win for you, your family, your farmers and your community. Now that you’ve ditched these myths about markets, it’s time to find one near you. What are you waiting for? Grab a friend and go stock up on some delicious, fresh, and local produce this weekend. If you or someone you know uses SNAP benefits, make sure they know about Double Up Food Bucks, too! Click here to find a market near you, and stay tuned to our blog for delicious recipes and tips for your fresh finds.