Welcome to Market Monday. Today I want to focus on how we need to support small businesses (including farmer’s markets!) during all this craziness. Thankfully, even the media has been talking about supporting small businesses. Many small businesses run very tight margins and are reliant on sales every week to keep afloat. This is not ideal, but it is the reality, and situations like quarantines can end a family’s small business and way of supporting themselves.
Why Farmer’s Market?
We did have farmers market this past week, and it was actually quite busy. We appreciated the support! Some people may think we were crazy for having market, but let’s look at it from a different perspective. The grocery stores are open, and we are basically an open air grocery store. We have encouraged people to come and buy and not hang out or socialize. The lines are short, so you’re not standing in line for a long time surrounded by lots of sick people in an enclosed grocery store. The seller hands you your food items so no one else has touched it. The air is fresh and circulating, so the germ exposure is greatly reduced. You have access to much higher quality food than you can get from the grocery store. The amount of nutrients available is much higher. Turns out that your farmer’s markets may well be the best way to get food right now, but do be sure to get there early as many vendors sold out quickly.
Why does food at the farmer’s market have less contamination than commercial foods? Take lettuce for example: commercial lettuce is picked in the field and packed in boxes by migrant workers in California or Arizona. Several food illness outbreaks have started because the sanitation in these fields is less than desirable. These then get shipped and handled by many different people, and then sit in a warehouse until it finally gets shipped to a grocery store. At that point they still need to be put out onto a display. Local lettuce, on the other hand, is picked and packed by one person and set up at market by one person (frequently the same person).
Don’t Give Up!
If we get to the point where you can no longer buy in person from your local business, then please continue to buy online from them or see if they offer gift certificates. Ultimately, in these events, we need to support those around us. That not only means your direct neighbors but those in the larger community. So even in crisis, don’t forget to support small business, and thank you for doing so. It means the world to us and our families!
Make it a tasty day,