Do you know where your food comes from? It could be from thousands of miles away, shipped into your local supermarket. The invention of the refrigerator and refrigerated trucks, train cars, ships and planes, led to a separation of local farmers and fields from immediate communities in many parts of the world. Big box grocery stores and metro markets became places of convenience for stocking up on supplies removed from their producers. Farmers markets provide a solid community space for people to meet and interact face-to-face. 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.