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Seymour Chebutkin

There's much to be said for freshness at the farmers' markets, but, if properly treated, still more to be said for the convenience at the supermarkets.

S. Robinson

1. Bittman is arguing for municipal support and an opportunity at creating an infrastructure for our farmers' markets, mostly in the way of permanent space, water, electricity, reduction/removal of fees, etc... I believe Bittman has made a clear and convincing case. As a farmers' market supporter/consumer the issues he addresses in his article are real, as well the solutions reasonable.
2. Although the prices may be higher at times or for some things, buying from farmers' markets are worthwhile because they are dealing in fresh local products and you would be supporting your neighbors. The produce is much tastier, last much longer because its from local farm to local market and you have the chance of coming across rare delicious items, such as the purslane salad green Bittman mentions, that which you may never come into contact with in commercial supermarkets. I honestly find flavor and the opportunity at tasting rare and exotic things the most satisfying aspect of shopping at farmers' markets, but the most persuasive is supporting your locale businesses and neighbors (we are small business owners too).
3. Bittman's "we" are our fellow farmers' market supporters, consumers, vendors, and providers. Yes, this "we" does indeed include me and my family. Although for me, I understood Bittman when he said "we" he could have possibly worded "we" along the lines of "farmers' market consumers" or just "consumers" to be more accepting of the readers who have not yet experienced any farmers' markets.
4. Our local farmers' market could definitely use its own enclosed permanent space with electricity and running water. I say this mainly because we live in Florida where its hot/humid most of the time but it could also (and often does) suddenly begin to rain/storm. As well as an increase in space for parking and safety from the main highway.


2. Bittman shows how buying from farmers' markets helps out the local farmer. The goods purchased from these farmers are generally far more tasty than the average wholesale brand goods. Though the prices are higher, quality and taste in the long run make up for it. Bittmans most compelling argument is how buying from farmers will basically help them out in a far more personal way. Due to the fact that these farmers aren't wholesale, they have to be far more involved with their food.


3. Bittman's "we" includes himself and all of the people who read the article and who have shared a similar experience from shopping at a farmer's market, including me. He uses "we" so that people reading the article don't look at the experience as singular to Bittman, but rather think about the experiences with farmer's market produce that they've had themselves. This phrasing is more effective because it helps the reader identify with the situation in the article, and they are more likely to agree with Bitmann's arguments. It will only stop being effective if the reader has never shopped at a farmer's market or has had a bad experience.


2 Flavor is a large motivator for me, though I presently couldn't afford the increase in price. As a girl I grew up on wild picked berries, mushrooms, some herbs. nature grown ingredients are packed with flavor. The bitterness of gooseberry, the earthy bite of a fresh puffball mushroom, things you can't buy from a store. When he brought up the fact that farmer market fruits are more flavorful I just remembered wild picked onion and tried not to drool on my keyboard. Smaller, maybe, but still better than anything I've bought from a store.

3 This one was less persuasive. I like the idea, and I can understand the context behind it- produce traveling across the country to be put in a grocery store giving it less shelf life. On the other hand, I've taken two environmental science classes- wherein I learned that these produce are treated to preserve them longer than organic fruits or vegetables for that exact reason. Certainly I've tried to preserve fresh berries, but berries in general rot quickly.


3 I don't include myself in the "we" of this article. It should have been targeted to the specific group of shoppers. I shop at a large chain market place for my "not so fresh" produce. Though Bittman got me thinking. This once upon a time business was how we got produce, if we did not grow it ourselves. With big super markets coming in our towns, it has destroyed family and cultural history. Yes times they are a changing is a fact, as Bob Dylan has stated, but should everything change? should we just give in to what "the man" says? Him using "we" made me realize how important it is to support local businesses, how fresh food is better.


Bittman highlights the quality of the produce to make it worth the price. While he does mention other factors such as supporting the farmers who work tirelessly, the most convincing fact is that the food is actually "real." It is grown in an environment where the growers care about quality rather than quantity. You can be sure that it is not modified in anyway and that it is fresh. If there was any doubt, then you could ask the farmer right away because they were the ones selling their produce.

Kayla Peralta

Bittman's main point is that farmer's markets need more attention and support from the government so that they can become even better for producers and consumers alike. The argument was convincing because of the fact that he reeled the reader in by starting off with why farmers markets are so necessary, and even better than regular grocery stores. As soon as he got the reader to care about the subject, he was able to hit hard with the facts about how farmers markets are great and all, but they could be doing so much better if the government stepped in with some water, electricity, and other improvements.

The article gives farmers' markets a good name by promoting their high quality, camaraderie, and educational value. Bittman's higher quality argument was especially persuasive because it was both amusing and concise, as he utilized sarcasm, logic, and facts. At the end he even states "To some extent, you get what you pay for." He reasons with the reader quite well. He then gave a plethora of examples of when he found good quality produce at a farmer's market for a fraction of the price. The other points in his article were powerful too, but this was the most convincing.

Spenser Quash

2) Bittmans most persuasive argument advocating for people to shop at "Producer-Only" Farmer Markets as opposed to consumer supermarkets lies within the connection that one has with the seller at the Farmer's market. I really like the saying "Know your Farmer, know your food," because it makes me realize the fact that I can actually ask the farmer questions about the products that you simply cannot at the supermarket. Vendors at Safeway do not actually grow their own products whereas the farmers do.

3) Though I have definitely tried farmer markets products but I cannot totally agree with Bittmans statement saying that we've all seen them last two to three weeks longer than supermarket foods. To be honest I feel like people go to supermarkets more any way because its convenient. If he changed his phrasing to a more suggestive tone as in suggesting we see for ourselves to notice the difference maybe that idea would be conveyed more effectively in my opinion

Kevin Manion

1. Bittman is arguing for government assistance in improving the infrastructure of farmers' markets. While the support for farmers' markets is growing, farmers' markets still need support in improving systems of pavement, space to operate, and water and electricity. Bittmans argument is convincing because he addresses the most concerning problems with solutions that are not ambiguous and can be accomplished in a timely manner.

3. Bitmann uses "we" to group together farmers' market consumers and supporters. While I do not regularly visit farmers' markets, I am aware of the situation he is discussing and consider myself a part of that "we." While the phrasing was effective to me as a reader, it may have not been to a reader who has limited knowledge regarding farmers' markets.

Aimee R.

2. The reasons Bittman espoused farmers' markets were greater food quality, the support to small businesses, and the personal experience unique to buying from a local source and being able to speak with the producer of your food. The personal aspect is the greatest one in my mind because so many people are disconnected from the process of growing, preparing, and eating food in contemporary America. There are tons of people who rarely or never cook, let alone take the time to learn what goes into growing a carrot, the nutritional differences between greens, or what something fresh and local tastes like. Food is incredibly basic in terms of necessity and to be separated from that process is a really dangerous thing in my opinion; it's almost like willfully ignoring the outdoors.

3. The 'we' refers to those who shop at farmer's markets rather than supermarkets. It doesn't apply to me since I haven't been to a farmer's market in probably a decade, but I would guess Bittman was wagering his audience was already in favor of his ideas. It seems as though he was assuming he'd be 'preaching to the choir', as readers of the article might have already been interested in local produce. That phrase did jump out at me when reading the article. I think it may come across as less (mildly) alienating to phrase it as 'many of us' or something more specific to those who've already tried farmers' markets in particular. But Bittman's original phrase, by including the reader and asserting an absolute 'all', makes a much stronger statement.


1. Bittman’s main point is that farmers’ markets need municipal support to thrive. I think he argued his point well. His strategy was interesting. He didn’t mention the real intention of the article until two-thirds of the way through, and in this case, I think it really benefitted his point. By educating his audience about the benefits of farmer’s markets first, his call to action seems more impactful.

2. Bittman asserts that the higher quality, fresher, better-tasting produce found in farmers’ markets is worth the extra money. He also discusses how farmers’ markets support local farmers who may be struggling to make ends meet through wholesale business alone. I was more swayed by the prospect of superior produce as that seemed to affect my daily life more directly.


2. Bittman argues that purchasing produce from a farmers' market is better than purchasing produce from a supermarket because it is not only a more cost-effective option, but a better of a sacrifice between the two options. I would agree with him..a lot of supermarket produce is not always the tastiest, which oftentimes leads to its non-consumption and, by consequence, a loss of money. Also, our health should be the number one priority in our lives given that if we are in bad health, we cannot fully enjoy anything, monetary or otherwise, that life has to offer.

3. Bittman's usage of the word "we" includes all produce-shopping individuals who have tried the fares of both supermarkets and farmers' markets. In this case, the word does in fact apply to me given that I have been in both premises and found that farmers' market food to last longer and retain its texture and flavor longer than that of supermarket food. However, I do feel it would have been better if he had instead used "Those who have shopped at both supermarkets and farmers' markets..."

Kim N.

Although he is clearly asking people to go to farmer's market more, but what he is aiming to get across the audience is that farmer's market need the revenue. They are striving to find some more ways to get more foot traffic by using variety forms of payment. It is interesting how they are trying so hard to sell us good farmer's food because if you were to go to a grocery store, which everyone in their life span has, what a person finds is either organic or inorganic food. Which probably cost a lot less than farmer's market prices. But does not give you a "pow" or "splash" of flavors in your mouth. So my overall feelings about farmer's market is that people should invest the money they have from the grocery stores to the farmer's market. You will be getting better quality food and it is so delicious.

Will S.

Bittman encourages people to visit farmer's markets out of a romantic notion of farming as a wholesome activity whose value extends beyond that of commerce into an almost spiritual education. His argument is a depressed sigh about the economic realities of competition, rather like the plight of the small bookstore owner in the age of Amazon.

Bittman's claim that farmer's markets offer unarguable superiority invites readers to abandon the possibility that large-scale industry is capable of producing food of high quality. I am cautious of the use of the word "inarguable" employed mid-argument.

An essay on food, value, and quality that includes the word "inarguable" but fails to include the words "doctor", "science", "study", "evidence", or even "health" is one that has failed to convince me that even the basic premises of the thesis are sound. Instead of building on strong foundations, Bittman unwisely takes the debate into the very economic sea in which the sharks of industrial competition circle.

I enjoy farmer's markets, and would think the world a worse place were they to disappear. They deserve an argument crafted with more care. This one was scattered and grasping.

Nathalie V.

3. Mark Bittman claims the produce is fresher than that of super markets, buying produce at a Farmer's Market supports local small businesses, and you can ask the Farmer how they are growing their foods. I find all these reasons persuasive, I think it is important to support local small businesses, I do believe that the produce found at Farmer's Markets are generally fresher and have more flavor than what I buy at a super market. However, it is more expensive. Although I would love to be able to shop at a Farmer's Market on a regular basis, it's not practical or affordable for me.

4. I assume that Bittman's "we" includes those that shop both at super markets and farmer's markets. This does not include me, although I have shopped at farmer's markets before, I have not noted which lasts longer. He might have presented his statement that way to reach out to the community, he is trying to include those that shop at farmer's markets and the phrasing makes it seem like it is a fact. I did not think it is effective, since I do not feel like the "we" includes me, I felt excluded from the statement.

Overall, I did enjoy the article. I felt as if he was well informed, sincere, and his article was educational. Although, I don't currently shop only at farmer's market I do hope to be able to some day.

Gabriel Venditti

1. Bitterman encourages people to buy their food at trustworthy farmers markets, however, the primary call to action of his essay is actually to increase financial support for farmers markets by reducing fees and providing adequate space for them. It seemed to me that his main supporting argument was that doing this would even the playing field between larger corporate food production and local farmers markets. In my opinion this would be giving an advantage to local farmers, not a an equal position. While Bitterman made a very strong case for people to shop at farmers markets I don't believe that the his main point will be well received by audiences or that it is especially effective.

3. Bitterman's statement "we’ve all seen farmers’ market produce last two or three times longer than supermarket produce." alienates most of his readers and reduces the overall effectiveness of his essay. That statement makes it very clear who he believes his audience is, and while it probably makes for a more convincing argument to those people, it also makes much of the rest of the essay feel very impersonal and unpersuasive to a majority of people that might come across his article.


Bittman wants the audience to buy at the farmer's market because not only you will get the freshest produce but it helps the farmers as well. Even though the prices are higher you are better off getting produce from the farmers market because it is fresh and the shipments just came in. Unlike the supermarkets the produce needs to get delivered to the stores first and that is why the prices are a little bit lower because they have been sitting at the stores longer than at the farmers market. Bittman states the the farmers are struggling and are asking for people to visit the farmers market and boost up the farmers revenue. If I had the time to go to the farmers market I rather go there than to a supermarket. Knowing that the produce is going to be fresh and not in the process of getting of old.

Nathan beehler

I have to agree because I live in a small town and fresh vegetables are everywhere. which really helps and for those that aren't close to farms can have this as a good thing. Yes the prices can be really high. But, the quality of the produce is a lot better. And you don't have to deal with the chemicals they put in the food to make it better.

Leeann Lafortune

Bittman’s real argument is that given a few tweaks here and there the farmers market could become an even bigger business than it already is. He argues that there are more restrictions put on the farmer’s market than put on wholesale food stores. I myself believe that he should have focused the article on what he really was saying first instead and he should have put the advocating for farmer’s market’s second. Since he failed to put these two things in the right order he has failed to show his case efficiently and effectively.

Aida Peterson

Thank you for explaining the Farmers' Market Vs. "Producers' Only" Farmers' Market. My experience with these markets have been mixed and I suspect this may be one of the reasons. When on the Big Island of Hawaii I always visit the Farmers' market and have found some of the best tasting papaya at excellent prices right next to pineapples that still have the Dole tags on them (usually at higher prices than at the local grocery store). After spending a little time chatting with the seller it turns out they gather produce from their small farm or garden as well as from others in their area. They have become the retail marketers while the neighbors put their time in on production and harvest. I've witnessed them unpacking new boxes of produce from their van's in addition to their local bananas and papayas. I must suspect that they are basically consigning wholesale to them for resell. There must be some level of relationship and trust built up because at the end of the week, a couple hours before the 2 days off, the ripe produce goes on sale for about half off. The fruit and vegetables are not all perfect in appearance but the flavor is superior. Being in a tropical climate, the shelf life of the fully ripened produce is limited.
Seeing these same "farmers" manning their stalls day after day leads me to believe that this not so much support of local growers but supporting a local growing and distribution system. I've experienced a very similar situation in California. At a couple of those markets the sellers did divulge their sources, which were somewhat local (within 50 miles). Additionally, they told me of the circuit of markets that they attend. The quality of the locations and typical sales are well known to these people. I can appreciate your point of view trying to keep costs low and requesting municipal support but at what price point? Do these markets contribute to sales tax? or property tax? Instead of paying a water or utility bill you suggest free service. In these lean times for local governments, some even filing for bankruptcy protection, I doubt many can afford a giveaway program that competes with businesses that pay into the tax base. Just to be clear, I do support buying local, I do visit farmers produce stands and U-pick farms, and as I said I do purchase local grown at farmers' markets.

Maddie Girard

1. Bittman argues that a few key improvements could make it easier for farmers and markets to thrive. He goes on to say, "Near the top of many lists is municipal support, largely in the form of space, water, electricity and the like, and the reduction (or absence) of fees." His argument is convincing as he addresses real issues, prevalent at markets everywhere, even in the small town I live in. Also, by providing possible solutions to these issues- such as a more permanent space for these farmers to utilize, benefitting both the customers, along with the farmers- Bittman creates a more convincing argument.
2. According to Bittman, farmers markets are worthwhile, even with the extensive prices because they offer food of superior quality, help support smaller-scale farmers in an environment that’s more and more difficult for anyone not doing industrial-scale agriculture, and increase the amount of local food available to shoppers. I find his first point the most convincing. Being a regular at the local farmer's market, I can tell you that it is the delicious taste and vibrant colors of the products that make up for the price. It really makes you wonder why the grocery store tomatoes are more of a pale pink than a vibrant red and taste lie water.
3.Bittman's usage of the word "we" when he says, “we’ve all seen farmers’ market produce last two or three times longer than supermarket produce.” includes all produce-shopping individuals who experienced both supermarkets and farmers' markets. In this case, the word does in fact apply to me given that I have been a customer at both. (even though I do not agree with his claim that fresh produce lasts longer than super market produce which is treated with chemicals to preserve freshness.)
I feel it would have been better if he had instead used "Those who have shopped at both supermarkets and farmers' markets..." Rather than alienating most of his readers and reducing the overall effectiveness of his essay.
4. Our local farmers market could definitely use more parking as well as an indoor space. I live in Minnesota where our winters are extremely brutal so it is pretty much impossible for the farmers market to continue year round. However, during the months when it is decent enough for things to grow, our farmers market has a tough time finding a location to sell the produce. Each weekend it is a scavenger hunt trying to find the new location, which is always poorly advertised. With a permanent indoor facility, and better advertising, I feel our market would gain more support as well as become more organized and established.



Amy Uhlar

According to Bittman, farmers markets are worthwhile, even though it's usually more expensive. He gives some examples stating that farmers markets “offer food of superior quality, help support smaller-scale farmers in an environment that’s more and more difficult for anyone not doing industrial-scale agriculture, and increase the amount of local food available to shoppers.” I think the best benefit Bittman mentions s that when shopping at a farmers market you know exactly where the food is coming from, and you have the option of talking with the farmer about their product. Knowing where and when a crop was grown really is important when trying to eat healthy and more organically. Not only do you know what you’re getting the products most likely will taste ten times better than from a mass store.

Bernard L.

I think farmer’s markets are a great idea, and I believe more should be made available. They would be even more beneficial in inner-city neighborhoods where large grocery stores are not available. It would allow the residents in those communities to have access to healthier food options. Another benefit is the intimate relationship you get to experience with the farmers who actually grow the food. Additionally, it will allow for a closer sense of community that has been lost to a lot of neighborhoods.

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