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I first moved to Rome almost two years ago, and I have been amazed by the beauty of this city ever since. One thing which truly surprised me was the incredible amount of farmer’s markets. There are more than five just in the neighbourhood where I live, and those are only the ones which I know of! Let me give you five valid reasons why you should shop at farmers’ markets.
- You will know the origin of the products you buy
Consumers are increasingly worried about the origin of the products they buy. Unfortunately, supermarket labels can be tricky and unclear. Labels may tell you that your olives come from the European Union, but they hardly ever tell you whether they are Italian, Greek or Spanish. If you shopped at a farmers’ market, you would be able to ask your greengrocer where each and every fruit and vegetable comes from, and you’ll be more likely to buy local produce with a lower carbon footprint.
- You’ll be able to drastically reduce your plastic consumption
Whilst it is true that most supermarkets have started selling re-usable shopping bags, they still unconditionally require their costumers to put fruits and vegetables in plastic bags. The more varied your basket, the more plastic you’ll consume. At a farmers’ market, by contrast, you can not only take a re-usable shopping bag with you, you can also avoid plastic packaging! You can bring your own tote bags, you can take your glass jars with you or you can use the greengrocer’s paper bags. Anyhow, you will reduce your plastic consumption considerably!
- You’ll develop a friendly relationship
When I started shopping at the farmer’s market nearby my flat, I didn’t know any of the greengrocers, so I bought fruits and veggies from different ones every time. Eventually, I returned to the one I liked the most. I decided to shop at their stall because their prices were fair, their produce was great, they didn’t ask me if I came from the North simply because I did not use any plastic and they were the only ones to sell my favourite kind of pumpkin. After a while, you will develop with ‘your’ greengrocers a friendly relationship built on trust: they may even give you free carrots and lemons once in a while!
- You’ll eat seasonal foods
In a supermarket, you may be able to find strawberries in December, and you’ll probably be able to buy courgettes all year round, but fruits and vegetables do follow the four seasons! If you start shopping at a farmers’ market, you’ll be astonished by the beauty of seasonal foods: strawberries won’t be available in December, but they’ll taste wonderfully fresh in the spring. On Top of that, you will also find a greater variety of produce and will be able to taste the local fruits and veggies.
- You’ll support the local economy
Last but not least, by shopping at a farmers’ market you will help small businesses and local producers, which tend to adopt more environmentally friendly practices, tend to be less dependent on pesticides, and whose products will most certainly fresher, healthier and tastier than any other!