5 Misconceptions About Farmers Markets
1) Farmer’s Markets are expensive
Some people think that because it is organic, local and ran on a smaller scale means it is more expensive to cover the costs of production and that extra cost is passed on to the consumer. FALSE! Because products at the market are local it means the cost of transporting these goods diminishes. Rather than coming from across the country or even across the world, nearly all of the products you can buy at the Market are coming from less than 50 miles away, which also means goods are fresher. Market items are commonly picked, baked or prepared fresh and do not have to sit in a refrigerated trailer for more than 24 hours before the market.
2) You can shop local products at grocery stores
This is becoming more of a reality; you do not have to go far to find local products from your area. Woohoo! You may see a number of large grocery stores increasing their supply of locally sourced fruits and vegetables along with a display of local peanut butters, grains and more, making it more accessible for the consumer to eat more sustainably; however, when you come out to the Market, EVERYTHING you shop, eat and enjoy is local. ALL of the produce you shop is sustainably produced and your dollars are going directly to the producer rather than a big box store middle-man.
3) The stuff you need is not available when you want it
It would be great to have fresh peaches and figs all year round, but eating seasonally means avoiding “artificial ripening” with gases or eating a bland version of a fruit or vegetable that’s been picked before ripening to be shipped thousands of miles. Eating seasonally results in the most delicious and nutrient-dense produce. As consumers, we need to work on shifting the way we shop and start thinking locally and seasonally. Farmers and producers work according to how Mother Nature feels. Sometimes, there are crops that are not in season, and are therefore not being sold at the market.
4) My impact of shopping at the Market is small – it doesn’t really matter
Farmer’s Markets are more than just a fun place to shop, they really do help the community! Farmers markets create greater access to healthy foods, support green spaces in our community, support the local economy directly, and create jobs. Central Phoenix is considered a “food desert” meaning it is tough to get access to affordable, good quality food in this area. With a farmer’s market right in the heart of Downtown Phoenix, we help alleviate that problem by bringing fresh, affordable food to those who need it the most. In addition, money spent at the Market supports local businesses and entrepreneurs, and encourages growth. Your individual impact is HUGE!
5) Farmer’s Markets are just for foodies
Farmers Markets are for EVERYONE. No matter who you are, where you live, or what your budget is, the market welcomes everyone in the community. The Market is made up of farmers, producers, artisans, volunteers, educators, chefs, staff and shoppers. Market goers are made up of health-conscious, community-minded individuals and neighbors who want to meet friends for Saturday brunch. Market shoppers are people who are tired of the grocery shopping routine and want a change of pace. At the market you can find something for every taste and get to know members of your community you may have never met before. We’d love to see you there!