4

Farmers' Markets Versus Grocery Stores: Which Is More Expensive?

^
Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of South Florida and help keep the future of New Times free.

Potatoes, puhtahtoes, tomatoes, tomahtoes. What's the difference, right? For most of us, what we buy is heavily influenced by price. Most people assume that farmers' markets in the U.S., while lovely to look at, are not as affordable to regularly shop at as local chains. But is our assumption totally wrong?

Barry Eastbrook, whose blog, politicsoftheplate, recently won the top individual food blog prize by the James Beard Foundation, took a look at studies about the cost of produce at farmers' markets. He found that hardly anyone has actually studied the issue, and the few reports out have some surprising finds.

He points to a study of produce in Vermont towns that showed that conventionally grown produce at farmers' markets can cost less than grocery store produce. And, that organic produce from farmers' markets was almost always cheaper than organic produce from supermarkets. (The study found that organic produce was actually 40 percent cheaper than that found in supermarkets!)

True, the study was looking only at farmers' markets and supermarkets in a particular part of Vermont and looked onlyat one summer's offerings of the following dozen items: blueberries, cantaloupe, potatoes, sweet corn, cucumbers, eggs, bell peppers, lettuce, peas, squash, string beans, and tomatoes. However, Eastbrook argues that the findings are in line with the few other reports out there -- that produce from farmers' markets is actually cheaper than the general public thinks.

What do you say? Are farmers' markets here cheaper? Where do you get the best deals? Report back! If you're looking to test your theory today, remember that the organic market at Green Wave Cafe is open Mondays from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Plantation.


Follow Clean Plate Charlie on Facebook and on Twitter: @CleanPlateBPB.


Keep New Times Broward-Palm Beach Free... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering South Florida with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.

 

Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in South Florida.