Farmers markets can provide a great many benefits to a community as well as to the environment. Some of the most important are:
Reduces carbon emissions from transportation, since food is produced locally.
Reduces packaging needs.
Eliminates the need for a third party (grocery store), so more profit goes directly to the farmer and consumers can have direct access to their producers (in case they have any questions, concerns or complaints).
Provides consumers with much fresher produce than would be available in a store
Encourages and supports local economies
I agree with everything above, but I do want to elaborate on how important it is to have food produced locally. In the case of natural disasters where food deliveries cannot be made any longer to a town, super market shelves empty out in 3 days. If/when oil shortages occur and we do not have an alternative energy fuel that can be used to transport food, there could be food shortages. If a community is growing its food locally fuel is not an issue.
Additionally, I find farmers’ markets to be a more enjoyable way to purchase food. There’s more of a community feel, and I often see people I know at the two farmers’ markets I visit. There’s also locally made soups, sandwiches, and other delicacies available, so the problem of getting hungry while shopping can be resolved (and the local economy can further benefit) ! Sometimes, there’s live entertainment at these farmer’s markets too, and I’ve even witnessed demonstrations. It’s a way to get more connected with the local community and culture where you live.
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