ENG230 Dr. Chernekoff
April 1, 2017
The Comparison Between Buying Local vs. Buying Large
I must admit that I am an environment-loving, tree-hugging, produce-eating fanatic. Growing up, I have always had a fascination on eating healthy – all things fresh, all the time. Being raised in the suburbs of Philadelphia, I like to think that I am very food-rounded. When at home, I can ponder over the fortunate choice of buying large (Giant or Sam’s Club per say) compared to buying local (my mom and I have a personal favorite – Maple Acres Farm). Considering that food is a subject of social greetings, happy conversations, and fond moments, it is so essential for everyone to experience the large differences between the places they satisfy their food needs from – buying their items local or large.
The debate on whether it is better to buy from large grocery stores (like Giant) than to browse around local farmers markets, and vice versa, can turn to be a pretty heated debate. To dive right into the matter, the fresh and familiar smell of fresh tomatoes and peaches that fill the car as you pull up onto the gravel driveway of a farmers market can simply not be beat. Whether the market be a friendly place filled with stands of their own locally grown food, or different venders selling their best creations, everything is the freshest it can be. From juicy strawberries, to tender summer squashes, to homemade peanut butters that range in all different textures and types – everything has the good feeling that it was crafted with love and patience. The farmers selling the produce are the same people that gave it life and watched it grow. These people are proud of the food they create, and in turn, give their customers a feeling of pride in what they are eating. Compared to the hormone-pumped gigantic green peppers, and the way too extra large eggs found on the shelves of large grocery stores, eating local gains the feeling of eating home.
Despite the greatness of buying food from farmers markets soly, these small businesses do lack convenience and have high pricings. Since each food item sold at a market is grown in their fields, the changing seasons limit the amount of products able to be sold tremendously, and the produces that are sold are priced high. However, the peaches sitting on the shelf that may catch your eye during the dead of winter are not as sweet as they seem. In order to satisfy the hunger needs of all people, these large grocery stores get items shipped from across the world. By the time those peaches reach your fruit bowl, they have already traveled hundreds of miles – each mile taking away their freshness. Those vegetables and fruits may contain so many hidden chemicals, it is debatable whether some should not even be considered healthy anymore. As for pricing, you pay for what you get. Just because it is convenient, does not mean it is good for you.
How do we solve this problem, and put an end to the argument between buying large and buying local, you ask? Well, pick and choose. Markets thrive in specific months and seasons of the year, so look out for those time periods and take advantage of the delicious products being sold. As for the off season, then pick and choose items from the grocery store. Remember, food is an important health and social benefit; therefore it should be taken seriously