Shopping of any nature can seem like a daunting task on a normal day, and even more difficult during the COVID-19 crisis. Usually farmers’ markets are seen as a social event along with a food access point however this year things are a little different. Everyone is concerned with hygiene and sanitization in the pursuit of staying healthy and virus free, and farmers’ markets are no different. Here are nine reasons to shop at farmers’ markets during the COVID-19 pandemic and why they are among the safest and best places to grocery shop.
- Farmers’ market aisles are the widest of any market, indoors or out! This makes social distancing procedures easier to follow. Many markets are even mapping out the route customers should take through the market to keep traffic all heading in one direction. Vendors are spaced out so that it is easier for customers to shop at the same time with different vendors.
- You are buying from the farms and often times even the farmers who harvested the produce. This means that far fewer hands have handled the food overall reducing the risk of transmission by surface contamination.
- Shopping outdoors means you are in the healthiest air you can breathe! Indoor air systems recirculate their air and with it the virus.
- When this all done, you will want your local farmers growing things you like to eat . When shopping outside your local network of producers (usually products from grocery stores or the internet) many other people are included in the process which increases the risk of transmission of any illness or contaminant.
- It’s more fun, and more relaxed! When the social distancing restrictions are lifted you can meet so many amazing people and local producers at the market. Keeping the markets going means when this all passes you can enjoy all the things markets have to offer.
- The farmers’ market can be thought of as your pantry. They have fresh food every week, so you can stock up slowly, and count on us to have food every market day . You don’t have to worry about inventory shortages like the grocery store.
- The food is fresher . The food is often harvested within a few days if not the same day as the market, whereas at the grocery store the food has traveled long distances.
- You are helping to keep many of your neighbors in business and supporting your local economy. When you buy locally you are putting money directly into the pocket of the local food producer where they can use it to support their families.
- Supermarkets have many staff members that handle everything from unpacking, stocking, ringing, bagging, and more. When you shop at the farmers’ market usually there isn’t more than 1-2 people per stall and usually they are the ones who packed the product and even harvested it!
To find markets scheduled near you click here.