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How eating and buying locally makes you happier

What's not to love about a sunny day at the farmers market?

By Kat Peters, Market Manager

In her book, This is Where You Belong, author Melody Warnick describes the importance of place attachment, or feeling rooted or connected to your home. This feeling of home, according to researchers, makes people more social, more likely to volunteer, and correlates with more friendships.

She goes on to say that people who like where they live are less anxious, less likely to have heart attacks or strokes, and less likely to complain about ailments. In Japan, Warnick relates, elderly Japanese women who knew their neighbors were more likely to be alive in five years that those who didn’t. This is Where You Belong is the result of Warnick’s search for love of her new hometown.

You probably know the feeling. You know when it’s good to be home, and how you know your town like the back of your hand. You know how it feels to come to farmers market and find people you know.

In fact, Warnick recommends that if you want to love your place more, you should shop at the farmers market. Chapter Eight in her book is all about it: “Eat Local Food.”

One of Warnick’s main points is that when we love our town, we do what’s good for it. She gives several reasons that shopping at a farmers market is good for us, as well as for our town.

First, shopping at a farmers market is more pleasant, and slower – it’s not buying large amounts of items at Costco, where you have to fight crowds and manhandle carts, but rather buying what you need for the next few days and enjoying the experience as you do it.

Who stops to take selfies at Costco?

Secondly, Warnick points out that shopping at a farmers market keeps local money local. In southern Virginia, she read, if everyone agreed to spend 15% of their weekly food budget on locally grown items, it would generate $90 million in new income for local farms, money which would stay in the local economy.

Your local farmer or food maker will keep your grocery spending local - something that benefits all of us.

Thirdly, farmers markets make us more social – we go there with someone, we talk to people when we’re there. These strengthened relationships allow us to exchange information about our joys and sorrows, and help each other in ways that go beyond grocery shopping.

Did you know that people that shop at farmers markets also tend to be more involved in their communities, as well as feel capable to making an impact in their towns? How about you, do you feel happier after a visit to the market?

So, make sure you visit a winter market this season, and make plans to attend the Coffee Creek Farmers Market starting in April. You’ll be happier and healthier when you do, and so will our community.

Picking up some groceries at the market is for all ages!

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