Raise your hand if you’re sometimes underwhelmed by the produce at your local grocery store? I know I am! While there is certainly something to be said for convenience (we all lead busy lives) the modern day grocery store feels, at times, big on impersonality and low on quality. We’ve tried to make a really conscious effort to stick to the outside lanes (i.e. buy real food from the perimeter of the store) but it feels more important now than ever to take our healthy eating and healthy mindset to the next level by shopping more from farmer’s markets and less from big box stores.
We’re really lucky to have a wonderful weekly farmer’s market only a few miles from our home in central Phoenix. The Uptown Farmer’s Market is a food-based market featuring lots of local produce, food, and handmade goods. It feels special to shop this way, it feels small and manageable but BIG on personality. Come rain or shine (with mostly a LOT of shine in the triple digit Phoenix heat) the featured vendors are more than happy to talk with you and to tell you about their selections. While grabbing a quick coffee from a stand this past weekend I chatted with the barista for a long time, we talked about our kids and he encouraged me to try a new-to-me non-dairy milk option for my latte (oat milk, which I really enjoyed!). Would I have sweated so much running into Safeway or Fry’s, probably not. But, would I have had this great conversation and tried a new food, definitely not. That feels like a win to me.
The advantages to shopping your local market are endless:
- You’ll produce less waste by avoiding pre-packaged items and by shopping with your own reusable bags
- You’ll learn exactly where your food came from (chances are it’s just miles away from your home)
- You’ll support small business owners
- When you subscribe to your local market’s newsletter you’ll feel up-to-date on what’s happening in your community
- You’ll be blown away by the taste of locally sourced produce
Here’s a quick roundup of some of the vendors I purchased from this week. And here’s to happy shopping and happy choices!