Eating Local

By Kasia Broussalian

In this photo, a woman picks through a pile of ramps at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York City. The term, “locavore“, or a person who eats primarily locally grown foods, has entered many people’s lexicon, and represents a realistic way that individuals can minimize their carbon footprint and become environmentalists in their own right.  The Union Square market has become one of the most popular in Manhattan, if not the country (followed closely by the one in Des Moines), and supports many local growers. This particular farm, Berried Treasures, trucks its produce to Union Square every Wednesday and Friday from Cooks Falls, New York for the past 25 years.

The Union Square Greenmarket, which opened with only a few farmers in 1976, has now grown to over 140 farmers, fishermen, and bakers who sell their goods every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. Many, if not most, commute from areas surrounding the city, making the Greenmarket hyper-local. Living nearby in the East Village, I usually wander through the Greenmarket a few times a week, and, depending on the season, get most of my fruits and vegetables there. Though some critics are lately questioning the true benefits (as far as carbon emissions are concerned) of eating local foods, I still believe that choosing to buy an apple grown upstate over a piece of exotic fruit from Chile makes some environmental difference. Tell us your about local farmers’ market and what you buy there.