why buy local?
There are so many reasons to buy local! Here are a few of my favorites!
1. The produce tastes better because of our cool climate! Our cool nights make the vegetables sweeter and more delicious than anything grown in hotter climates.
2. The produce tastes better because it’s fresher! With vegetables grown just a few miles away, harvests can be much more recent than for produce shipped from Outside.
3. Your produce will stay fresh much longer after you buy it, because it is so fresh to begin with!
4. The transportation costs of buying local food are much lower than buying produce that has been shipped from the Lower 48. You’re conserving all kinds of energy by buying local food!
5. You’re supporting local farmers and ensuring that farming and local food production will remain viable in Alaska.
One of the best things about shopping at the farmers’ market is that it minimizes the time I spend in the grocery store, which can be fraught with anxiety. Reading the information on a carton of crackers, I’m confronted with a list of ingredients that look more like chemicals than actual food. And even if I’m looking for real, unprocessed food, I’m likely to be overwhelmed by the sheer number of choices. Let’s take eggs as an example: in the store, I find conventionally-raised eggs, brown eggs, white eggs, free range eggs, omega-3 eggs, vegetarian-fed eggs, cage-free eggs, organic eggs, egg-free substitutes, and egg-beaters. What kind of eggs will I choose, balancing each egg’s implicated nutritional and ethical value against its price? The choice could take hours! In contrast, when I go to the farmers’ market, I can not only buy eggs, but I can meet the farmer who raised the chickens who laid the eggs. I can feel confident in the knowledge that the eggs are fresh, I can inquire how the chickens have been treated, and I know that I am supporting a local farmer. And while I’m at the market, I can pick up all the vegetables, fish, and bread I need for the week—and I’ll probably run into a few friends, in the bargain! That’s way more fun than heading to the grocery store.
Here are links to some web sites that we think you’ll find fun and informative!
a snapshot view of local gardening resources in Southcentral Alaska and Fairbanks