Local food is on trend. This is evident given the fact that I seem to see a poster for a new farmers market on nearly every streetlight poll in Portland. The most recent one I've seen is the Mississippi Farmers Market.
It sounds a little bit like I'm complaining about this. I'm not. I love farmers markets! In fact, I visited one this morning and enjoyed every minute of it.
I don't mean to sound ignorant or uninterested, but my primary reason for attending farmers markets and buying from the farmers + craftsmen isn't necessarily value-related. I attend farmers markets because I love food, which includes shopping for food, and shopping at a farmers market is much more fun than shopping at Fred Meyer. Farmers markets have samples, friendly people and amazing colors and smells. Fred Meyer does not.
Although I do support and/or believe in locally grown, sustainable, organic, pesticide-free, etc., foods + products, this really isn't the main draw for me.
Although my reasoning for buying local may not be the best, and probably even a little selfish, I still feel good about my decision after buying products from a farmers market vendor. In addition to having a great shopping experience, when buying from a farmers market I know the product was made/farmed/raised with care and the right people will benefit from the profit. That's good enough for me!
Edit 7.1.14 - I just read this article that made a huge impression on me. It really opened my eyes as to what it means to consume sustainably. We, as a society, are on board with the 'nose-to-tail' approach for animal products. How come we haven't adopted this for plant products as well?
I still think farmers markets are super fun, but this article provided a more critical examination of ways in which local food consumption can improve.