Iowa Farmers Markets
In the ancient days of yore, all things being equal, people lived up to an average of 80 years. Nowadays just getting across the age of 60 is counted as an achievement. The reason for this is due to various debilitating diseases like heart attacks, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes etc. It has been widely suggested that the reason for our exposure to these diseases is the food that we eat. Most people don’t eat fresh food anymore. Most of our foods have usually gone through one sort of preservation or the other thereby exposing them to different chemicals which are dangerous to out health in the long run.
The suggested solution to this issue has been the institution of farmers markets in cities. A farmers market is a place where farmers sell their fresh produce which has been freshly harvested. This is fresh food that hasn’t been exposed to chemicals for preservation etc. One of such farmers markets, the Iowa farmers market would be discussed. Also, some advantages and disadvantages of farmers market would be discussed.
THE IOWA FARMERS MARKET
The Iowa City farmers market first opened in August 1972 with about 13 vendors. Today, about 43 years after, it has expanded to a larger market with about 140 vendors and over 2000 customers. The farmers market runs from May through October. It opens thrice in the week: on Saturdays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. The 2015 market would be hosted at Chauncy Swan Ramp, 400 block Washington Street, Iowa City on Saturday from 7.30am to noon and Wednesdays from 5-7pm. The Tuesday market is hosted from 3 to 7pm at Mercer Park, 1317 Dover Street, Iowa City.
The market is regulated by the Iowa City Farmers Market Rules and Regulations. The regulation covers things like stand construction, equipment requirement, hygiene, food safety, storage and so on.
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES OF FARMERS MARKETS
An advantage of farmers market is that it supports family farmers. In this age of globalization, most foods are produced by large agribusinesses. Thus, leaving the small time family farmer out of the scheme of things. However, with Iowa farmers markets, food is bought directly from the family farmer, thus rewarding them.
Another advantage is that it protects the environment. Food that is massed produced leaves us with a lot of bye-product waste. The water, land and air are harmed through the mass use of chemicals like preservatives, ripening gasses, fertilizer etc. Foods sold at the farmers market hardly go through all these. Thus buying from farmers market helps encourage farming that is environmentally friendly.
Farmers markets also have their own disadvantages. One of such disadvantages is that food bought at the farmers market is usually more expensive than food bought at the grocery store. This is due to the fact that the farmers would like to gain lot of profit from fewer goods compared to large producers. Also, producing food without the use of pesticide and other chemicals is a bit more expensive.
Another disadvantage is that there is less variety of food to be seen at the farmers market compared to food in grocery stores. This is due to the fact that locally produced food is seasonal according to the geography. While foods in grocery stores are food bought from different climes.