• 2015.10.16
Buying local produce is becoming increasingly popular in Italy, especially among women.
In Italy, local foods are called ‘0 km products,’ which means they are locally grown or produced and are not imported from other regions or countries before getting to our kitchens. Such products are preferred to mass-produced goods because they are usually associated to quality, environmental sustainability, local development and genuine savings. By cutting off the intermediaries in fact, prices related to transport and retail are lowered thus reaching final savings of up to 30% less than the original price.  It is indeed estimated that a meal, before getting to our table, covers on average more than 1,900 km and much of the cost of its transport is borne by the final consumer.

Buying local foods is also very good for the local economy as it helps many local farmers and regional producers.  Furthermore, purchasing regional produce guarantees quality and freshness because these products don’t require to be kept frozen on trucks or on the shelves of a supermarket for long but they rather get sold right after being packaged at the source.

photo: local creamery           photo: local cheeses

Italians like to buy seasonal fruits and look forward to each season to buy what that season’s harvest has to offer rather than purchasing expensive imported fruits available year-round.

Nowadays more and more shoppers are interested in home deliveries: freelancers who do not have time to queue at the shops, older women who are no longer able to leave the house or young mothers who find the cobblestone-covered Italian roads hard to get by with a stroller.  For these people and for those who always prefer local provisions, a weekly door to door delivery service of vegetables and fruits directly from the farmers to your doorstep has been implemented to support regional economies and facilitate the life of the consumers.

The consumption of local foods has developed in Italy also thanks to the Slow Food association, which was funded in Italy in 1986 to counteract the growing popularity of the ‘fast-food culture.’
Slow Food is an international non-profit organization committed to restore the value of quality food worldwide, starting at the local level.  This organization aims to support producers who grow and make foods in harmony with the environment and the local ecosystems, in full respect of territories and traditions. The Slow Food movement is now active in 150 countries and strives to promote good nutrition and to advocate the production and distribution of clean and fair trade food for all.  Several events are held throughout Italy every year aiming to promote high quality ‘slow foods.’

photo: Slow Food association stand        Slow Food display to educate about food

In every Italian city, town and village you can find a local weekly market which takes place during a weekday where local farmers and producers come to sell their fresh products at very competitive prices.  At a local market one can buy fruits and vegetables but also freshly caught fish, meats, cheeses, honey and even flowers.
Such local markets represent a type of distribution ever-present and historically important on the Italian territory, characterized by the presence of multiple stalls (outdoor markets).  The vitality of a local public market depends primarily on the effectiveness of its location, its assortment, its quality/price ratio and the freshness of the products being offered but they usually represent a must-visit food shopping venue for all those who like cooking and eating well on a daily basis.

photo: city market           photo: weekly food markets
    with local producers


  • Patrizia Margherita
  • Jobtranslator, interpreter, teacher

Although she was born in Italy, she is half Italian and half American and she has become a "multicultural person" who can speak five languages. She has lived and worked in the US, Brazil, Australia, France and the UK so she considers herself a citizen of the world. When she is not teaching or translating, she likes cooking Italian food, hiking and traveling around the world...She has traveled to 80 countries and counting!

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