Consuming locally grown food like the produce you’ll find at the Jericho Farmers’ Market, held each week at Mills Riverside Park, has many benefits.
Every Thursday from 3 – 6:30 pm you’ll find a wide variety of locally produced items that include more than just fruits and vegetables. There are typically an ever-changing selection of locally created arts and craft items, bath and body products, cooked food and even live entertainment! Here are a number of great reasons to visit and support locally grown food vendors and the other talented folks you’ll meet at your local farmers’ market:
Farmers’ markets and roadside stands are good for the local economy.
For every dollar spent at the grocery store, only nine cents gets back to the farmer. For every dollar spent locally, 80 – 100% of the money goes to the farmer or artisan.
Eating food grown locally helps to preserve farmland.
Each day, more than 3,000 acres of farmland are lost due to sprawl. Since the 1950’s, 90% of Vermont’s farmland has been lost. Buying locally helps to support your local farmer when government fails to do so: 70% of federal farm subsidies go to just 10% of the largest producers leaving small growers without government help.
Buying locally raised food helps save energy.
The food industry uses 20% of the petroleum consumed annually – about the same as cars. But, only 20% of what the industry consumes is used to raise food! The rest is used for packaging, refrigerating and transporting the food to market. These costs are dramatically reduced when you purchase locally grown food.
Locally grown foods is typically more diverse.
Almost 90% of foods grown commercially in the early 1900’s are now extinct! Local growers have the freedom and the passion to grow heirloom varieties of fruits and vegetables, often because they are more flavorful. The produce usually tastes better because it is also fresher. Because the food is fresher, it is also more nutritious.
Buying locally has health benefits.
Large farms tend to rely on pesticides and herbicides more than local growers. Buying locally usually reduces the chemicals found in your food, in the air, in the soil and in the groundwater. 70% of produce found in the grocery is derived from genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GMO foods are less common in locally raised foods. Because the food is picked closer to the time of purchase, the need for waxes and preservatives is reduced or eliminated.
Buying locally supports our local economy and our local farmers, helps to preserve farmland, benefits the environment, promotes diversity, tastes great and provides health benefits. Whenever you can, buy and eat locally – everyone will benefit!