Why Vegetables Taste Better From A Farmers Market Than A Grocery Store

Many of us share a favorite summer and fall outing: perusing the local farmers market. It's easy to look forward to the booths of fresh, colorful produce, friendly local farmers, fellow small-business shoppers, and the adorable dogs that tag along with them, of course. While it may take some meal planning on your part, getting your weekly produce from the farmers market isn't only an excellent way to support the farmers in your local community, it also adds fresher, tastier ingredients to your meals (via CUESA).

If you feel like the produce you get at the farmers market tastes better but costs more than what you find at the grocery store, you're not wrong. Along with the abundant selection of regional and seasonal selections, the fruits and veggies you find at your local farmers markets are usually riper than what you get at chain stores. So, not only do they look prettier, but they taste better. The reason why comes down to one thing: shipping.

Farmers don't harvest fruit before it's ready

It's true, fresher is really better. According to CUESA, the fruits and veggies you find at your local farmers market are the freshest and most flavorful you can find. This is because the produce is allowed the time it needs to ripen fully before being picked and sold. Not only does this mean that it will be full of flavor, but it will also be packed with more vitamins and nutrients (via Johns Hopkins Medicine).

On the other hand, How Stuff Works explains that fruits and vegetables from chain grocery stores are picked before they're ripe. The produce at these stores is often shipped far distances, and by picking produce before it's fully ripe, suppliers ensure that it won't spoil before reaching the store. Less ripe fruit is also much denser than soft, ripe fruit; so it won't get bruised or damaged as easily in the process. On top of that, many grocery stores package and sell produce in a way that is convenient for the store and not best for the produce.