The great thing about farmers markets or buying direct from farmers is that there is no “middle man” who distributes the food and takes a cut of the profit. Farmers are notoriously low paid, so when you buy direct from the farmer, he actually receives the money.
Farm workers in third world countries, where much of our supermarket fruit comes from, have some of the lowest paid jobs that exist. The money we pay at the grocery store goes primarily to transportation and restocking costs, with only a tiny fraction actually going to the people who do the hard work of growing the food.
These facts underlie the reasons for buying food locally. Farmers can be supported and appreciated, and money is not wasted on transportation. If you think about it, it really is a waste of resources on many levels to buy fresh food from halfway across the world—when it can grow in our own backyards.
Farmers are often willing to sell locally but there is a lot of bureaucracy preventing them from being as profitable and marketable as possible. If consumers seek them out and encourage them to keep offering their products on a private or small-business basis, many good results will be encouraged. Choose today to make an effort to purchase in this manner—from people who want to supply you with good food.
As Joel Salatin often asks, “Do you know your farmer?”