Supporting Local Farms

Leila Harper, Beyond the Gates Editor

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We all know the type of people who are portrayed as persistently encouraging others to become vegan, those who only shop at expensive food markets and dine at hipster cafes. These are the type of people we see on television’s The Vegan Hipster™ and mocked in parodies. However, the less daunting option to help the planet is to support local farms.

The obvious reason that is promoted when deciding whether or not to support local farms is, more often than not, because it’s good for the environment. Buying produce locally reduces the fossil fuel emissions that shipping costs, not to mention the reduction of required packaging, and thus, pollution. Local farms tend to be smaller and therefore treat their animals more humanely than factory farms, providing open living areas and the absence of harmful chemicals in their diets. This is not only good for the animals, but also for the ones who are eating their products.

On a more selfish note, supporting local farms gives people a chance to taste the truly fresh flavors of the food, produce that has not suffered through stuffy cargo holds or windowless groceries, just the fresh, open air. The in-season fruits and vegetables will no doubt create a sweet sensation of life.

Additionally, supporting local farms supports local farmers. Being engaged in a part of the community is such a wholesome event, as is buying fresh food from the local market. It’s remarkable how easily such a little thing could get a bad rep because of the media—not to say that no one is like that in real life, and also not to say that every vegan or eco-friendly person is like that.

Shopping from local farms is such an easy way to help the environment, be involved in your community, and get better and fresher produce for your money. Local Farmers’ Markets, like the ones in Fairfield and Vacaville, open in May and much of the produce available at these events comes from the local community. Visiting the event in Fairfield is easier than many people realize, with Thursday’s market happening outside of the courthouse from 3:30 – 6 pm weekly.


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