This past weekend was a rainy one in Kansas City. Our KCFM Friends of the Market were out at Brookside Farmers’ Market and Rosedale Farmers’ Market this week anyways, and one of them overheard a vendor thank a market customer for coming out in spite of the rain. The customer responded with a shrug, explaining “I still need groceries”.
Supermarkets have drastically altered our food supply chain, providing us with food from around the world. The novelty is lovely, and we’ve quickly become spoiled by having year ’round access to tomatoes and spinach. With such easy access to international produce, why should we shop at our local farmers’ markets instead? Our Official KCFM Friends of the Market have come up with a list of 5 reasons we choose shopping at farmers’ markets as a way of life.
- We care about our economy. In Kansas City, most of our farmers’ markets are producers markets, so even the coffee, baked goods, clothing, and beauty products are made by the person selling them. This means that you’re cutting out the middleman, shortening the supply chain and, most importantly, directly supporting a local entrepreneur. Supporting local entrepreneurs is one of the most effective choices we can make to help re-invigorate our locale economies. Here’s another list of reasons that shopping local matters.
- We care about our food. When we know our fruit, vegetable and dairy farmers, our rancher, our bakery and even our coffee roaster, we know our food. We know that the animals we eat were raised and slaughtered humanely. We know that the fruits and vegetables we eat were grown without herbicides and pesticides. We know our coffee roaster sources beans from ethical importers. When we shop at our local farmers’ market, we can select the best possible food for our families.
- We care about our world. By shopping directly from producers, we can take responsibility for the impact of our decisions. We choose produce from growers who don’t use pesticides or herbicides because we don’t want to be responsible for poisoning the earth. We choose meat from ranchers who treat their animals well because we don’t want to support factory farming. We choose coffee roasters who source fair trade and organic beans because we don’t want farmers to suffer for our luxury beverage. We choose local growers because locally-grown food has a smaller carbon footprint that the produce shipped in from hundreds of miles away. When we shop at our local farmers’ market, we are taking responsibility for our impact on the world around us.
- We care about our culture. Farmers’ markets provide a community gathering space, a place where the neighborhood can meet for conversations about the one thing we all have in common – food. Farmers’ market vendors often have local specialties, and provide education about everything from growing methods to legislative actions that impact growers. Farmers’ markets are a great place to meet our neighbors and find out what’s important to the neighborhood this week.
- We care about each other. Farmers’ markets are more than just a grocery store. They are a way for our neighbors to turn a hobby into an income. They are a way to keep each other healthy. They are a way to meet new friends and a place to meet with old friends. Farmers’ markets are part of the heartbeat of our community, and we want to see them thrive!
Keep living local, fellow Friends of the Market!