Monday, September 28, 2009

Four Jeffersonian Reasons to Support Farmers' Markets

Eating a meal composed of ingredients purchased entirely at farmers' markets is one of the most Jeffersonian acts a person can take part in. Here are five reasons why.

1. Every dollar spent outside the corporate-dominated economy is a good thing. If Jefferson were alive today, he would see the influence corporations have over our lives as a greater threat to our freedom than the federal government, especially due to the manner in which it robs us of our self-sufficiency. By getting our food from farmers' markets, we can cut out the corporate middlemen who have done so much to usurp our economy and use their power to degrade the state of American freedom. It's a way of voting with our dollars for a Jeffersonian republic and against a corporate-controlled society.

2. Locally-grown food is healthier, fresher, and better. The produce at a corporate grocery store comes from fields sprayed with chemicals and grown in soil that has been contaminated with artificial fertilizers. It has been picked weeks before, frozen, and transported over a thousand miles before arriving on the shelf. By contrast, the produce at a farmers' market was likely grown organically, with no chemicals or artificial fertilizers, and was very likely picked within 24 hours of arriving at the farmers' market.

Compare the taste of a tomato from a corporate grocery store with the taste of a tomato purchased at a farmers' market, and the latter will win hands down, every time. Try it.

3. Farmers' markets strengthen the community. Corporate grocery stores are pretty bland places and there's little reason to any more time in them than absolutely necessary. Farmers' markets, however, are magical places. People seem more friendly and comfortable, perhaps because they sense their freedom from outside control as they exchange cash for produce or meat directly with farmers and ranchers.

4. Farmers' market helped support farmers. The decline of the independent farmer under the crushing weight of corporate-run factory farms is a trend that must be reversed. By allowing farmers to sell their produce directly to consumers, farmers' markets provide a mean for farmers to avoid the enormous operating costs that would otherwise be imposed on them by agribusiness corporations. As more and more farmers' markets are opening each year, it provides proof that the death of the independent American farmer has been greatly exaggerated.

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