Saturday, April 19, 2014

Farmers Market Marks The Big 43

Amherst Farmers Market Spring Street parking lot

The weekly Amherst Farmers Market opened for business Saturday, a sure sign spring has arrived.

As for Amherst institutions the weekly Sunday afternoon anti-war vigil in town center dates back a bit further, to 1966, but since they took a hiatus from 1973-1979 the Amherst Farmers Market 43 continuous years in operation sets them apart.

The Farmers Market seemed less crowded this afternoon than usual, but it may take a while for consumers to get used to them being back in operation after a l-o-n-g winter.

Also, some aficionados for locally grown food may have adopted All Things Local as their go to place since it opened last November.  And since it's a bricks and mortar operation, bad weather is never a concern.


Anonymous said...

Don't make me laugh. There's no comparison. All Things Local is an expensive joke with bad service. The Farmer's Market's got nothing to worry about.

Larry Kelley said...

Well that settles it.

If you can't trust an opinionated Anon, who can you trust?

Anonymous said...

Never quite figured out how All Things Local means with in 100 miles of Amherst. I don't think of New Haven as local.

Yokal said...

Local is relative.

If you have ever bought something from California or China....New Haven becomes local.

Good things this business still gets to decide what its calls local...and they told you their definition no less. If they charge a lot, so be it, if the market can bear it, they will survive.

The farmer's market and this store would not be needed if most did not go to big chains that rarely sell local goods for their products. The people demand non-local goods, thus local goods become exclusive and for the elite/rich. The people decided this by shopping at Stop and Shop.

Walter Graff said...

That's funny. Multiple Stop and Shop trucks go down River Rd in Whately to the farms there to pick up local merchandise daily.

The organic-food industry is thrilled by the attitude of areas like Amherst, but let’s be clear - Organic food does not necessarily mean better. It’s a term that’s been co-opted and manipulated into a billion-dollar industry by some of the biggest food companies in America.

Recently a nonprofit group of independent scientists noted that consumers have spent hundreds of billion dollars purchasing premium-priced organic food products based on false or misleading perceptions about comparative product food-safety, nutrition and health attributes.

The organic industry thrives on mostly false propaganda. Most of the perceived safety concerns tied to pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and GMOs are unfounded but don't tell that to NPR that likes to talk these dangerous terms and the potential for disease and death. Time and again these safety concerns about conventional foods have been debunked.

Take the most common worry — pesticides. According to the calculator from a project of the nonprofit Alliance for Food and Farming (, a person could consume 1,508 servings of strawberries in one day without any effect even if the strawberries have the highest pesticide residue recorded for strawberries by USDA.

Or how about this: You could consume 206 servings of peaches in one day without any effect even if the peaches have the highest pesticide residue recorded for peaches by USDA.

Time and again it's been proven that so-called organic foods are not healthier but don't tell that to those ready to forgo paying the mortgage so they can "live longer". As Scientific America notes, 50 years of studies in the UK found that organic and conventional foods have the exact same nutritional content.

Organic-food companies and markets continue to profit from the misinformation that conventional food is somehow dangerous. God forbid your vegetable traveled on a train. Find out your kid just ate something from South America and you'll have to sacrifice the children. Add the magic term "local" to the mix or how about "locally grown organic" and you have a gold mind where you can trade food for bars of gold.

Towns like Amherst are ripe for this propaganda.

Anonymous said...

Nobody pierces the illusions that rule our lives (and then stamps on them) quite like Walter.

Anonymous said...

I never quite got the allure of the farmers market. It all seems very overpriced. Not always great selection. It seems like more feel good Amherst stuff. Kind of like oh look we have minorities in our town, a farmers market, and we protest any war as often as possible. Aren't we great.

I've been to farmers markets around the country with lots of organic food. The value is significantly better. Amherst seems like a place for liberal do gooding suckers.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Walter, you might want to do a little basic research before swallowing (pun intended) a California Agribusiness front group's "pesticides are good for you" propaganda.

Just one example: