Wiki Wednesday: Farmer’s Markets

2757558897_f3b24e994c.jpgSouth Bronx Greenmarket. Photo: Susan Donovan

Streetsblogger rex
commented earlier today that we may be headed for what he termed a
"Grapes of Wrath kind of economy" — one in which businesses prosper by
paring down inventories to bare essentials while doing what they can to
make themselves more accessible to the car-free masses.

Another key element to such an economy could be locally-grown
food, available at farmers’ markets — the subject of this week’s
featured StreetsWiki article. In this entry, Streetsblog regular Susan Donovan writes:

By reducing the distance that food travels, fewer fossil fuels are used
and fewer greenhouse gases are released. On average, an American meal
travels 1,500 miles to reach the dinner table. Farmers’ markets also
avoid some of the costly packaging found in some stores. Many farmers’
markets are accessible by foot or bicycle, providing another way to
reduce your carbon footprint.

  • I was at the Watts Christmas Parade and what I heard from the people there was this, “Don’t waste your money there (speaking of the Farmer’s Market going on next to the parade) the food is too expensive.”

    So I don’t know about the Farmer’s Market solutions, I heard over and over again from those who don’t have money that Farmer’s Markets were too expensive.

    Keep this is mind, many of the poor are on EBT aka food stamps and while Farmer’s Markets take food stamps so does the 99 cent store. If you have a family of four the MAX allotment is about 548 per month, but most people get about $89 dollars per family member so think how much fresh food costs. Think about getting access to money once a month are you going to buy fresh food or are you going to go to th 99cent store and stock up on crap that doesn’t rot. Also lots of people with no money don’t have large fridges, many of them don’t even have stoves they have a microwave, so you got little kiddies that you need to feed everyday or yourself.

    I was a community health organizer and my job was to get poor women of color to eat more healtful, go to farmers markets shun the fastfood, when I first began working I was really confused at why they ate so poorly. I was confused until I quickly leaned that cheap crap food is way doable for the non affluent and what they need is money not education on eating health.

    Locally grown food sadly for the average person, especially one in the midst of La Crisis is not going to be the answer.


  • The prices really depend on what farmer’s market you go to. There are 2 in Pasadena. An expensive yuppie market on Saturday, and a cheap brown people’s market on Tuesday. The difference in price is often a factor of 2 or 3. But even the cheap markets are still much more expensive than the small local ethnic grocery stores that buy cosmetically imperfect produce from the wholesale farmer’s market downtown. I shopped at the farmer’s markets for a few months, and then had occasion to visit my little local grocery (Lake Produce, in Pasadena ), and just couldn’t go back to the Farmer’s Markets afterward. It’s literally one quarter the price of going to Ralph’s or Vons for produce – nevermind comparing it to the Farmer’s market or Whole Foods. Additionally, most of the produce there is local, because, well, because we live in LA, and there’s a ton of produce grown in the San Joaquin Valley, and out in the desert.

    Regarding the carbon footprint of food, the vast majority of the carbon that’s put out by conventionally grown food is NOT put out by its transportation to your plate. Only about 10% of it comes from transportation, and much of that is not moving it from its place of production to where you eat it. That’s not to say there isn’t a huge amount of CO2 being emitted by conventional agriculture – but most of it is in the production of pesticides, fertilizers, and the fuel required to run the agricultural machinery. See this paper:

    If you don’t have access and want to read it, let me know. I hate the academic firewalls.

  • Not the original AT

    A quick google search provided this listing of most farmers markets in LA County.



NY Senator: Let’s Fight Obesity by Developing Around Farmer’s Markets

Her approval rating on the rise amid a difficult election battle, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) joined the president’s campaign against childhood obesity this week by proposing $1 billion in loans and grants to build healthier neighborhood grocery stores and farmers’ markets. The view from one type of "food desert." (Photo: Springfield Institute) Gillibrand’s legislation, co-sponsored […]

Transportation and food Access idea 3: Regional Food Hubs

I’ve written about how transit could be improved  and sidewalk vending legalized to increase access to healthy food. Before food can get from stores and food trucks and carts to shoppers, it first has to be transported from farms, through distribution chains, to retail sources. This third installment in a short series on transportation and food […]

Transportation and Food Access Idea 1: Transit and Good Food

(Mark Vallianatos is Policy Director of UEPI and an Adjunct Professor at Occidental College, where he currently teaches the Environmental Stewards class. Mark is co-author of The Next Los Angeles: the Struggle for a Livable City and a number of publications on food access, transportation, and goods movement.) Several years ago, our institute collaborated with […]