The growing “shop local” movement that is sweeping through cities across America has had households everywhere slowly transitioning the contents of their fridge from mass supermarket products to locally grown food and fresh produce. However, for many, this new concept of purchasing groceries from local businesses has raised many questions and concerns about price, quality, and benefits.
Cost of Buying Local
The biggest stigma that has arisen around shopping locally is that locally produced food is more expensive than what you can buy in national chain grocery stores. Often times, that is wholly not true. While local produce won’t always compete with the low prices that Walmart offers, it will be less expensive than high-end organic stores such as Whole Foods.
A fact many consumers forget is that local businesses exist and function within the same competitive market that national grocery stores do. This means that they are competing to draw in the same consumers and therefore are competing on prices. In other words, all the businesses in your area that sell fresh fruits and vegetables are trying to select strategic price points that still make them a profit while enticing you to purchase from their business over others. Depending on the market and the community, your local farmers market could be the cheapest place to buy fruits and vegetables.
As a bonus, the majority of local farmers produce organic food. This means you no longer have to choose between a normally priced container of blueberries and a more expensive package of organic blueberries at a supermarket. Organic produce purchased from local business will usually be an average price and not grossly inflated. When you find a local business that sells organic produce, you not only find moderately priced food but also stock your kitchen with all organic produce from the same place.
Quality of Produce
When you shop local and purchase your produce from local farmers markets, you can be sure that you are receiving fresh fruits and vegetables. With local farms, there is not much transportation needed to get the produce from the farm to the market or stand. This is how you know that the baskets and boxes of yummy food sitting in front of you are fresh and ready to eat.
With the farmer being local, you know exactly where the produce is being grown and in most cases, you can physically go see the farm. Local businesses thrive on the transparency of their products, so you’ll have access to all the information on how it was grown. For example, you’ll know if the produce you’re purchasing is organic, has no preservatives, and is GMO-free. This way you can be completely sure that you’re purchasing healthy food that fits your preferences and lifestyle.
Benefits of Buying Local
As partially outlined earlier, a clear benefit of buying local is the ability to buy all organic and preservative free produce from one location close to you and at a competitive price. You truly can’t beat the accessibility and affordability of a local farmers market.
Another benefit of buying local is knowing where the produce comes from, how it is grown, and its level of freshness. While this benefit was more or less just stated above, it’s so important that it’s worth repeating. No supermarket or other grocery stores will offer you this level of transparency that local businesses will.
Lastly, when you shop local, you put money back into your community. By purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables from local farmers’ markets, you are helping to support actual members of your community. Your hard-earned money is going to people who may live right down the street from you. The more that goes back into your community means the more that community flourishes and produces.
When it comes to fresh fruits and vegetables, the shop local trend is definitely one you should buy into. There’s no better way to support your community, your wallet, and the fresh contents of your kitchen all at once.