Deals Episodes

Grocery Store vs. Farmers' Market

Grocery Store vs. Farmers' Market

You may be wondering is it better to buy from your local farmer or from the grocery store? We're going to sort it all out for you!

Some people say their fruits and vegetables taste much better when they buy from a local farmer, but you know it's not just the taste that keeps them coming back for more.

At Atkinson Farm there are hundreds of acres of corn, eggplant, cauliflower, berries and tomatoes.

"It's the flavor. There's nothing like a home grown tomato, we just love to eat them with bread and have a tomato sandwich," says shopper Sue Trap.

Did you know -- most produce you see in the grocery travels an average of 13-hundred miles before it ever gets to the store. To keep it from going bad farmers end up harvesting the fruits and veggies before they are ripe.

"It's like tomatoes we have here on the farm -- we pick them red on the bush," Says Mike Atkinson, of Atkinson's Farm, "every tomato that's shipped in they pick them green and they gas them and do different things and they can actually keep that tomato that's picked green for a month."

By harvesting early, those fruits and vegetables not only loose freshness, but also many nutrients since they weren't able to ripen naturally on the vine.

Mike says less than 24 hours after his fruits and veggies are picked you'll see them in his market -- which is the case at most local farms -- and that may actually give you a little longer to enjoy your food before it spoils.

So now, let's talk about the green in our pocket! Can you save money by buying local?

"I've been buying from these people for quite a long time so it's cheaper," says shopper Lottie Thacker.

Mike agrees, "We try to stay competitive with all the grocery stores for the little market we have here. You know they are the middle man and we've simply cut out the middle man by selling local and fresh.

But Mike admits, mother nature has made it tough for farmers across the country -- which unfortunately will drive up the prices at both the farm and the grocery store.

"It's the gas prices and the drought that's really been bad on us. The drought's really been bad. We have 12 fulltime employees that work 60 hours a week and it's taken two employees every day, every week just to keep everything watered and alive," says Mike.

Price comparisons we found:
Tomatoes at the farmers market were $1.79 a pound compared to $2.28 a pound at the grocery. Blackberries are $3.50 a pound at the farmers market and $2 to $3 for a six ounce container in the grocery. Cauliflower and corn is about a dollar cheaper at the farm.

You can find a local farmer's market near you by searching your zip code on www.localharvest.org.

For more information about Atkinson Farm visit www.atkinsonfarm.com.

The Live Well Network
Knock It Off!
Mirror/Mirror
Live Big with Ali Vincent
My Family Recipe Rocks!
Food Rush
We Owe What?
Let's Dish
Deals
Mexico: One Plate at a Time
Home with Lisa Quinn
Hiring America
Children's Programming
Military Makeover
The Balancing Act
Motion
Pickler and Ben