Saturday, April 2, 2011

Where to Buy Locally Sourced Foods

In the USA, finding high quality, locally sourced food is no easy task. Consumers often have to rely on word of mouth as small providers lack the resources to promote their products.

Complicating the issue are a host of trade factors, such as supply and demand cycles. Most locally sourced foods become available seasonally and often involve a period of high supply which can lead to gluts in the market and dropping prices.

For consumers, this can mean excellent opportunities to buy high quality foods in bulk. Taking advantage of these periods involves being ready when a window of opportunity opens and knowing how to transport, process and store food.

At the community level, this often means a high level of networking, information sharing, collective purchasing and old fashioned cooperative efforts.

Small, locally owned farms and orchards are sometimes good sources for high quality fruits and vegetables. Other businesses may offer niche products such as organic produce, honey, cheeses, wines, grass fed beef, free range poultry or other foods.

In many states, local fisheries exist. These are most abundant along the coasts although some freshwater fisheries exist. In addition to wild caught seafood, some areas have local harvests of farm raised fish or shellfish.

Festivals are sometimes held which coincide with local harvests. Most events offer a wide range of products as well as gifts and other items which relate to the main source of celebration.

Farmer's markets, flea markets and swap meets are sometimes good sources of local foods. Getting to knowing vendors can be especially rewarding as many vendors are also the primary producer. Often small farm owners or food specialists are eager to explain their products and offer advice on when to find the best prices and highest quality goods.

No comments:

Post a Comment