The Importance Of Farmers Market

Jackson Zyskowski, Op-Ed Writer

  Do you like caesar salad? Romaine lettuce is the main ingredient in most popular salad dishes. However, as of lately, this lettuce is seeming less and less appetizing. While lettuce that is distributed nationally seems contaminated, locally grown lettuce is most likely to be completely healthy.

  The Center for Disease Control is investigating a “multistate outbreak of Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli infections linked to romaine lettuce.” They suggested that if you do not know where it is grown, then throw it away.

 However, Tony Linegar, agricultural commissioner of Sonoma County, said, “To my knowledge, there are no farmers in Sonoma County that produce romaine lettuce in the type of volume that would be needed to distribute nationally,” in a conversation with The Press Democrat.

  All Romaine was recalled rather than the contaminated product because it is easier to take all of it away for a short period, even if all of it isn’t infected. The CDC has narrowed the origin to large farms in central California, so the local farmers have nothing to worry about.

 Science teacher Mr. Knight shops at local markets for “convenience and better quality product.” National chains have quotas to meet and profit margins to fulfill.  Local farms aren’t run like huge companies, but rather as “people helping others” said junior Sami Stubbs, and “it feels good to support people you know.”

  Sonoma has a farmers market May through Sept. every Tuesday evening from 5:30 p.m. to dusk in the Plaza. There is also a market Friday mornings  year-round, 9 a.m.-12:30 p.m., in the Arnold Field parking lot. Also, on Highway 12 from Sundays Oct.- Dec., 10 a.m. -2 p.m in Boyes Hot Springs.

  With so many opportunities, there is no excuse not to buy from our local farmers. Contributing to the local economy is more important than giving money to a national chain. While you might have to pay more, the product will be higher quality.