Posts tagged ‘grocery store’

Farmers Market or Grocery Store?

Although the lure of shopping at a farmers market includes fresh and tasty produce, a happy open-air market vibe and the plentiful free samples, isn’t it too expensive to shop at farmers markets regularly?

I tried to answer this by looking at some formal studies. The Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture conducted consumer market research in June, July, and August 2009 at farmers markets in Iowa. The researchers found no significant price difference between farmers markets and the supermarkets.  In addition, they noted that price advantages at the farmers markets often occurred when there was a seasonal abundance of a particular fruit or vegetable.  A more recent study was conducted at Vermont farmers markets and grocery stores. This study evaluated conventional and organic produce and reached conclusions for each type. For conventional foods, the farmers market prices were competitive with grocery stores in many cases, while for organic foods, the farmers market prices were typically less than at the grocery store.   While small local farms don’t have the advantage or large-scale agricultural practices, buying directly from a farmer doesn’t include any profits to a middleman, so the similarity in prices tends to make sense.

So what criteria do you use when you shop for food? Is price the only factor you consider, or do you think about value and quality? So let’s check out our local farmers market and make our own comparisons?


Paper or Plastic?

This is not an easy one.  Although I encourage the recognition that what’s inside the bag probably has a much larger impact on the environment compared to the bag, the issue of too many bags is real in our society.  The answer to paper or plastic depends on what you are looking at.  Carbon emissions, landfill, waste to oceans, personal health. But certainly, plastic stays around a long time.  I’d ultimately encourage reusable bags, preferably made of recycled plastic or organic cotton. Here is something good for the supermarket and all the fresh veggies and fruits we get.  Check these cool bags – could even be made using old clothes if you know how to sew!  A good new film on the subject of plastic bags is ‘Bag It’, it’s quite a film!


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