Thursday, July 24, 2008

More Missourians Shopping at Farmers' Markets

The state Agriculture department said more Missourians are going to the local farmers' market for produce instead of the nearest mega store.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said our food travels an average of 1,500 miles from the farm to the grocery store.

State Department of Agriculture Marketing Specialist, Lane McConnell said food sold at Farmers' Markets travels a maximum of only a hundred and 50 miles.

"People are realizing now where their food is coming from," she said. "A lot of the produce that we get in grocery stores in certain areas isn't from Missouri. It isn't even from the United States, it's shipped in. And people are realizing the freshness and the value of buying local produce."

McConnell said prices at farmer's markets often rival those in grocery stores.

"What consumers have to remember that when they're shopping at a farmer's market even if the price is a little bit higher they're paying for that freshness and they're supporting their local economy and their local communities," she said.

McConnell said another reason to shop local is that eighty cents of every dollar spent at a Farmers' Market stays in the community.

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