Your Health

Farmers’ Markets Are For People

It might sound strange to be making the statement that farmers’ markets are for people, but it needs to be said. I realize that there’s this idea that only yuppies and foodies can afford to go to the farmer’s market. And there are some people who think only elitists shop there. I’m definitely not one of those. I love buying food from people who grow it the way I would, if I could. I love buying food that is hand-crafted. Why? Because I’d rather patronize a local farmer or artisan–and reward them for taking on the role of producing real food.

Real Food For All

As Abbey Vannoy writes on Real Time Farms:

pike place market

Photo: wac/Wikipedia. Pike Place Market in Seattle, Washington.

Blame it on Portlandia skits, Stuff White People Like, or the increased coincidence of farmers markets in gentrified neighborhoods.  Whatever the cause, the reemergence of the farmers market is accompanied by stereotypes difficult to shake – yuppies, foodies, soccer moms, hipsters and yoga girls.

Part of the reason, as she notes in her article, is that people think farmers’ market food is more expensive. And while things like eggs, cheese and meats can cost more than conventional and factory -farmed versions studies have shown that farmers’ market produce can actually be cheaper! In some cases up to 40% cheaper than the grocery store.

And many farmers’ markets are working with their local state food assistance programs to make it even more affordable to buy food from local farmers.

With support from local partners, vendors can double up SNAP benefits for customers, encouraging increased participation in the program and consumption of our 5 a day.  Across the country, partnership between farmers’ markets and SNAP is on the rise, thanks in part to a USDA push as well as local agencies and foundations [...]

Read the full article here.

Most of the people who shop at a farmer’s market want that kind of food to be accessible and affordable for everyone. We’re happy that people who get assistance can get their food there. I, for one, would love to see more farmers’ markets in economically depressed or food desert areas. We actually want people to eat real food, if they choose to, and to be healthier and happier as a result.

About Laura

Laura is passionate about food from real farmers and artisans. She lives with her husband in Grand Rapids on the river. Sometimes it flows over, but mostly she is greeted by the ducks, geese and her neighbor's chickens. They like to hop up on her windowsill and eat the spiders. Yay! She is the co-founder of Two Sister Organics, a natural and organic skin care company, and Eating Local & Organic.

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