Today I am reminiscing on where I was one year ago. Last spring I decided to pack my bags and head to Ascoli Piceno, a small town three hours northeast of Rome. I did a study abroad semester in Ascoli where I took elective classes ranging from Italian Cinema to Italian Art and History. My greatest love for Italy was of course the food. Italians have a beautiful respect for food and where it comes from. My greatest experiences were roaming the food markets in the different cities that I traveled to in Italy. I noticed that the markets were how Italians did their grocery shopping, purchasing fresh ingredients daily or weekly for their household. One of the greatest observations I made was how community based these markets were. There was so much respect on both the provider and the consumer side which made these markets profitable for all. The value of food is held so high in Italy that markets are not affordable for only the middle class and higher but for everyone in the community.
Reflecting back has allowed me to compare these Italian markets with Seacoast Eat Local markets. I feel the same sense of community support from the vendors and the customers at Seacoast Eat Local markets. Being a part of a market that provides access of healthy foods to all in the community is an amazing feeling. Seeing programs set in place at the markers to promote and support vendors while helping individuals in our community get options to local, good food is rewarding in itself. With all of this said these markets are supporting a more sustainable food system and helping to redefine the value of food in our country. I am so happy to be a part of the winter markets this school year!