One of the best places to pick up fresh, local produce is the Farmers’ Market. However, sometimes your schedule may not allow you to stop by during the few hours a week it’s open. If that’s the case, you may want to stop by a local food market that offers some of the same great produce but stays open during regular business hours. But don’t just drive to the closest grocery store. Instead visit a store that specializes in local produce and products.
One of the many reasons that farmers’ markets do so well is because a lot of people enjoy purchasing fruits and vegetables that have been grown locally. It’s also cheaper than organic produce found at most chain grocery stores, and it makes a consumer feel good for supporting the local farming industry.
When you shop at a local grocery market that offers local produce, you’re accessing all the same great benefits that come along with shopping at the local farmers’ market. These stores just allow you to purchase these items outside of the hours set aside for the market.
It’s important for many shoppers to select produce and products that have been grown and produced here in the Okanagan. Big chain grocery stores typically source their produce from different countries to keep their shelves stocked with cheaper in-demand produce year round. By supporting a smaller, local food store instead, you’re not only supporting the store, you’re also supporting the local farmers that supply the store with their products.
Just like the farmers’ market, the items provided at a local grocery store are better for the environment. Because the produce has been sourced locally, it doesn’t need to be trucked across the country to arrive on the shelves. This reduces toxic carbon emissions.
Another big benefit for the environment is the lack of waste and use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers that come with local produce. Most of the local farms are less likely to utilize these products in mass quantities, reducing their impact on the environment.
One of the highlights of stopping by the farmers’ market is taking a look at all the in-season produce. Seeing these items at their prime can inspire meal choices and healthy eating. The same can be true when browsing through the produce aisles of a local food market. Because they feature only the freshest produce from local farmers, they ensure their selections are seasonal.
For a few more shopping tips, check out our previous post: How to Select the Freshest Fruits and Vegetables.
If you’re looking for local produce options, come and visit the team at Mike’s Produce. We’re proud to offer some of the best produce grown in the Okanagan. And we’re open six days a week.