Do you know where your food is from? It could be from thousands of miles away, shipped into your local supermarket. There are benefits to buying locally such as from a farmers market. In addition to the obvious perk of tasting fresher, buying local helps support your community and its farmers. It is also better for the environment because it requires less energy to transport food locally than across the country. Farmers markets also provide a more solid community between the farmer and the consumer, as it allows face-to-face meetings so that people know precisely where there food is coming from and who has grown it.
Activity 1 Food Travels
Look in your kitchen. Find ten different types of foods - cereal, orange juice, apples, bananas, crackers, cheese, lettuce, chicken, ice cream, etc. Look at the labels to see where the foods are produced and/or distributed. Where are the foods from? Are any of your reserves homegrown or bought locally? Document at least 5 different foods from your kitchen. Make a distance chart of how many miles each food item has traveled. Calculate the percentage of food you have that is produced locally.
Support your local farmers by buying local!
Activity 2 Farmers Market Fun
Find out where there is a local farmers market around where you live! Ask questions about the foods to those who frequent the market and the farmers themselves. Take pictures or illustrate your adventure, and write down what you experienced.
Know your food! Know your farmer!
Activity 3 Research Farmers Markets Around the World
Once you have discovered and visited your local farmers market, research farmers markets around the world. Where do other cultures get their food? How far do people travel to find local food markets? What do their markets look like? Are there permanent markets in some cities? Are some farmer markets year round? Print a map of the world and collect pictures of other marketplaces locating where such markets exist.
Go global with farmers' markets!
Foods from farmers markets are fresh and taste better.
Farmers markets allows you to see where and from whom your food is from.
It is better for the environment to import foods from around the world.
Foods are not seasonal
Food transport or importing food is often the highest carbon footprint of living.
- Farmers Markets and Local Food Marketing
- USDA Farmers Markets
- USDA Farmers Market Growth 1994 - 2009
- Sustainable Food in your Area
- Chicago Farmers Markets
- Reading Terminal Market
- Beijing Farmers Market Video
- Project H Farmstands
- Community Supported Local Agriculture
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