The pandemic shines a global spotlight on the injustice of the industrialized food system. In the United States, where the roughly 10 million restaurant workers are twice as likely to be on public assistance as other Americans, it exposes how a commodity-oriented system designed to distribute high-profit “food-products” undermines food-sovereignty and allows essential workers to be among the most vulnerable members of society.
In light of this systemic failure, new programs must be developed to connect community service providers in underserved areas with the small farms in their respective regions. This will help create markets for the surplus produce of independent farmers while bringing healthy farm products to the communities who need them most.
Meanwhile, for those who still possess the means and access, Farmer’s markets must continue to be patronized rather than moving to “convenient” online shopping platforms. The ideology of convenience is both the fuel and poison of the consumerist system. It urges us to sacrifice quality in order to get back to work.
Farmer’s Markets and the small farms they support nourish both people and the planet. Not only is the carbon footprint of the produce we buy at Farmers Markets significantly smaller than what is sold at supermarkets or online, the variety of the produce that small farmers cultivate supports the diversity if our regional cuisine and the biodiversity of our planet.