STANFORD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EARTH SCIENCES - EARTH SYSTEMS PROGRAM

Sustainable Choices

Shop at Farmers Markets

Simplicity:
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Carbon Impact:
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Money Savings:
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Health Helper:
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Overview
At the farmers market, you can meet the people who grew your food. They can answer questions about how the corn was grown, or whether there were any pesticides used on the cucumbers. Typically, they will even let you taste the produce before you buy it.

While this may sound like a rarity in today’s supermarket culture, farmers markets are becoming more and more popular every year. The produce comes from your local “foodshed”, the atmosphere is fun and uplifting, and the food tastes amazing. By shopping at your local farmers market, you are reducing the number of miles that your food traveled to get to you, giving more of your food dollars directly to farmers, and protecting local agriculture and the green spaces that it provides for our communities.

Tips & Tricks
Find a farmers market near you. Search your area at www.localharvest.org, or www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/map.htm.

Compare prices at your supermarket and farmers market. You may find that you can get a better deal at the farmers market. If some items are especially pricy at the farmers market, you can save those for your supermarket grocery list.

Bring reusable bags to the farmers market. You can save resources by bring reusable canvas or cloth bags to carry your bounty, as well as plastic produce bags to hold individual vegetables you buy. This helps the Earth and it also helps the farmer by reducing their expenses.

Have fun at the market! Make your weekly farmers market trip a social outing for your entire family. Often there is music playing, booths where you can buy a meal, and even games for children.

Web & Print Resources
Find a farmers market near you:
www.localharvest.org
www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/map.htm
www.foodroutes.org/localfood/

Book:
Eat Here: Reclaiming Homegrown Pleasure in a Global Supermarket, by Brian Halweil.

Fun Facts

In 2006, there were 4,385 farmers markets in the U.S. Source

19,000 farmers report selling their produce only at farmers markets. Source

58% of markets participate in WIC coupon, food stamps, local and/or state nutrition programs. Source

In the U.S., less than 20 cents of every food dollar goes to the farmer. Source At a farmers market, 100% of ever dollar goes to the farmers!