Why I hate the farmer’s market

This morning we visited our local farmer’s market, and then quickly remembered why we don’t do that.

I think I’m one of those people who likes the idea of farmer’s markets more than the reality of them. I love the idea of buying local. I love the idea of supporting organic farmers. And I especially love the idea of buying fresh, seasonal produce for less than what it costs in the store. But as it turns out, none of these things are remotely true at our farmer’s market.

To begin, all the fresh produce costs more than it does in the grocery store, and almost none of it is organic. Sure, the selection is remarkably better, but that hardly matters when a head of romaine lettuce costs $3. That’s absurd. Fuck that farmer.

“Certified California Grown” is what all the signs said, as if that means anything at all. California has pesticides and herbicides, too. Just saying. And where else would it be grown? Mexico? Maybe then it’d at least be cheaper.

While I absolutely understand the totally immoral working conditions of industrial farmers (see this EdX course), the reality is that the current food system is subsidized by that fucked up and unethical system because it has to be. Otherwise, without other major systemic agro-industrial changes, people literally couldn’t afford to eat.

The true cost of food is astronomical, which is probably why it costs $3 for that head of lettuce. I’m not saying I have the solution, and I’m not saying that the hidden human cost of produce is worth it. I’m just saying I’m not paying $3 for 100 calories worth of greens. At that rate, a 2,000 calorie day would cost $60.

Weak argument? Sure. Obviously, I’m not eating only lettuce. But I do eat mostly lettuce, so I think it still stands.

But wait! The point is to support the local farmer! Then why are all these “farmers” from towns hundreds of miles away? “Fresh from our farm in Fresno, CA!” That’s 163 fucking miles away. Maybe don’t brag about how much gas you wasted to sell me non-organic tomatoes for $2 per pound when the store a block away sells the same thing for half price.

Maybe the farming business is tough, even for those non-organic “Certified California Grown” farmers, and I get that. Most business is tough. But from the perspective of your base consumer, this just isn’t sustainable. $1.50 for a bunch of cilantro? That was a typo, right? $10 for a flat of strawberries? Who do you think I am? A tech millionaire? Oh, wait.

Damn Bay Area.

This shouldn’t make me so mad, but I’m on my period and my nonstop PCS headache is killing me, so things like this get to me. And I let them.

Because fuck the farmer’s market!

Anyway. As you can see, it was a bust. I remember we checked out the same farmer’s market last year and came to the same depressing conclusion: our farmer’s market isn’t worth it. I’m not about to pay $2 for a bunch of kale when it’s not organic, not produced locally, and can only be bought with cash. What is this nonsense? Amazon Fresh delivers organic kale for $1.89. Catch up.

And I know it shouldn’t be all about the price, but it kind of is all about the price when I’m paying $2,000 per month to rent an apartment in a smoggy industrial zone, surrounded by freeways, billboards advertising senior living centers, and too many unaccounted for screaming children.

Should I stop ranting?

No. Because then we went to the flea market.

I’m trying to scope out a good place to offload all my remaining yoga mats. But that was also a bust. The demographics just didn’t support a skinny white girl selling high-end yoga mats. All the signs were in Spanish. Or what looked like Chinese characters. It didn’t feel right. And it was way too fucking loud.

Deep breath.

I just feel irritable. I have 360 beautiful yoga mats in my living room, no kale in my refrigerator, and this morning my disgusting animal of a cat dragged her poop onto my yoga mat.

But at least I’m alive! That’s what I keep telling myself.


Wife, yogi, and cat mama living in the SF Bay Area.

3 thoughts on “Why I hate the farmer’s market

  1. So… move to Fresno!! Our (daily) farmers markets and many roadside stands offer locally grown organic produce for the same or lower price than the grocery store. $2,000 a month could rent you a 3-bedroom house with a yard and a garage. And there are plenty of local businesses where you could offload your yoga mats. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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