Making a case for buying locally.In beginning my research on whether buying locally is better for everyone vs. market pricing and shipping food around the world for production, I found a website that makes a very good case for buying locally from farmers markets. This website is created by the Farmers Market Coalition. They believe very strongly in buying local produce from local farmers and only buying products that are grown, harvested, processed, and sold locally. They make very good points to their case:
Produce is guaranteed to be fresh and healthy - It is taught in many nutrition and health classes that produce loses nutritional value the more time that goes by from the moment of harvest. At farmers markets the farmers don't travel very far to sell their products, they are local farmers selling at their local farmers markets. With farmers traveling no more than 50 miles in most cases, and in many cases no more than 10 miles to sell their crops we can be sure that the crops are as fresh as possible. This is better than in other cases where it can take produce anywhere from a week to two weeks to become available in a supermarket from the time they are picked.
Prices are fair to you and the farmer - There have been studies done in various areas and through various organizations and communities that show the cost of fruits and vegetables is comparable if not cheaper at a farmers market vs. in a supermarket. Not only are the costs fair or cheaper for you at a farmers market but at the same time the farmers walk away with a fair and greater share of the retail price than they would if they sold their produce wholesale to a store or supermarket. Buying from a farmers market is more beneficial financially in many cases for everyone.
The following link is a very helpful and informational chart on the benefits of buying locally from farmers markets. I enjoyed it and hope you will too!