The price of local produce

Every Wednesday the farmer’s market sets up shop between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. in front of Stauffer Library, giving students unique access to locally grown produce. During the summer season, the market sets up every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday. The set out to break down the prices and origins of some in-season products found at the farmer’s market and compare them to options at Metro.

Farmer's market

- Blueberries: $3/pint, from Picton, Ont.

- Cherries: $4/pint, from Niagara, Ont.

- Raspberries: $5/500g, from Napanee, Ont.

- Lettuce: $3.50/head, from Battersea, Ont.

- Tomatoes: $3/lb, from Napanee, Ont.

- Potatoes: $3.50/lb, from Napanee, Ont.

- Garlic cloves: $2.75/clove, from Odessa, Ont.

- Onions: $0.75/onion, from Napanee, Ont.

- Loaf of whole-wheat bread: $4.75, from Wolfe Island, Ont.

- Nikita's raspberry jam (with vanilla): $6.95, from Kingston, Ont.

Metro

- Blueberries: $4.99/pint, from USA

- Cherries: $3.31/lb, from USA

- Raspberries: $2.99/100g, from USA

- Lettuce: $1.49/head, from Ont.

- Tomatoes: $3.99/lb, from Mexico

- Potatoes: $3.99/2lbs, from USA

- Garlic cloves: $0.99/5 cloves, from Ont.

- Onions: $1.49/lb, from Canada

- Loaf of whole-wheat bread (Dempster's): $3.39, from Ont.

- Raspberry jam (Kraft): $5.49, from Ont.

Each shopping experience had its advantages. Overall, Metro’s prices were cheaper. However, they import products from other countries instead of offering locally grown options. Having personally taste-tested the food above I can say the farmer’s market produce proved fresher and more flavourful. There is also the added bonus of talking to vendors who personally grew or baked the products themselves. Plus, foods less travelled have significantly less of a carbon footprint.

Weigh these factors next time you’re grocery shopping:

Shopping at the farmer’s market:

• Very fresh produce

• Interactive, community-oriented shopping experience

• Supports local farmers

• High quality and flavour

• Organic

• Creative, personalized options (e.g. raspberry vanilla jam, vegan bread from Wolfe Island)

Shopping at Metro:

• Cheaper prices

• Very convenient location and hours

• Can purchase out of season, imported produce (including bananas, pineapple)

• One-stop shopping for the rest of the items on your grocery list

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