Eating locally is not a new idea; before the rise of the supermarket in the early twentieth century, it was most likely the only option. But local produce has become somewhat of a trend in recent years. Farmers’ markets seem to be popping up everywhere, as do area restaurants publicizing their locally-made products.
This is a good thing. The Threefold Advocate is in full support of the Siloam Springs Farmers Market, in addition to businesses such as 28 Springs, which strive to buy ingredients from local vendors.
Call us old-fashioned, but we find comfort in knowing where our food comes from. Do away with the bothersome stickers found on produce at Wal-Mart that give no other information than a general country of origination. Brazil is a massive nation– that orange could have come from anywhere within its 3,287,597 square miles.
When thousands of miles are eliminated from a product’s journey, money spent on gas and other means of transportation can be eliminated as well.
It’s also a heart-warming experience to meet the farmers who grow your food; whose money, time, sweat, tears and passion is invested into the soil just as much as any seed is.
Moreover, there’s the opportunity to ask questions. As curious and intentional learners, this is a fulfilling prospect that needs to be taken advantage of.
Ask the farmers if they use any pesticides or growth hormones in their practices. What is the best way to prepare this squash? Or simply, what is this? A wealth of knowledge lies at the tips of their sun-tanned, calloused fingertips.
Buying at local markets may limit your choice to what is in season, but that need not be a negative side effect. You are guaranteed a fresh, colorful, ripe, at-its-prime purchase. A product of love, not just labor.
It is worth the possible few extra cents to buy local and support not only the economy, but also the faces of those you see around town on any given weekday. That’s classic Americana.