We dread trips to the supermarket as much as the next guy. People pissed off at life aiming their carts at your ankles, aisles stocked with mostly junk, and check out lines with their too-short conveyor belts all send a chill down our spines. But here’s a little secret: farmers markets are nothing like this. The atmosphere is light and leisurely, with zero dinky-wheeled carts in sight. Plus, forking over your cash to a farmer—as opposed to giving it to Kellogg’s, Tyson, and Coca Cola—means infusing your local economy with capital. Why else do we love farmers markets? Grab your canvas tote and we’ll tell ya.
Cooking demonstrations at Costco be damned! Farmers markets across the country are free sample-meccas. Farmers are eager to catch your attention with their products and trying them (for free) is almost your duty. Sure you’ll be compelled to buy a few things once you’ve hoarded a squirrel-stash of free nuts, fruit, and artisan snacks into your cheeks but that’s the small price you pay for mooching samples all day.
With rows of hard peaches and a wall full of tasteless blueberries in winter, walking into a grocery store gives you no clues about what’s actually in season. At the market, nothing hits the stands unless it’s currently growing in the ground. Easier than googling what’s ripe right now, knowledgeable farmers will give you insight into what’s in season and the crops back at the farm that’ll be perfect next week. As a big bonus, buying in season slashes your carbon footprint by eliminating the need to transport goods from other continents in order to satisfy your yearlong craving for strawberries.
Now that you’ve put your summer fling to bed (figuratively, of course) it’s time to widen your dating pool outside of your online dating inbox. The farmer’s market is packed with healthy people looking to eat good food and trust us, those are two good qualities to look for in potential dates. Plus, striking up conversation is easy…especially with young farmers who have that dirty sexy thing on lock.
Less Hands on the Goods
Supermarket food travels for more miles than you can run in your life. It’s covered in pesticides, wax, and 10 too many fingerprints. At the market, the nice guy that’s selling that basket of apples is likely the only person who’s ever touched them. Now if you want to reserve them by the classic “I lick it, I own it” method while you shop for other things, that’s up to you…but also gross.
Dude, Good Food
Every conventional grocery shopping trip is always the same: you try to veer into the produce section first but the glaring light of those middle aisles—with their Hot Cheetos and Fluffer Nutter Butters—is hard to avoid. Luckily, at the farmers market, the worst distraction you’ll find is the mom-and-pop taco truck parked nearby. Otherwise, you can’t help but find good, cared-for food grown by people and not industrial mega-factories.