Eating local is a way to cut down on food miles and emissions. Economically, you support your own community, not large companies. Environmentally, your food travels less, and you know more where it’s coming from. Other benefits include solidarity with food producers doing things on a smaller scale, and the opportunity to eat more natural, whole foods. On that note, eating more natural foods is also good for your health.
So, what are the benefits of eating local? If you needed any more convincing in order to shop local, here are a few of the advantages:
#10- Local Farmers Markets teach your kids to be healthy
Taking your kids to local farmers markets teaches them about sustainable agriculture, but also about where vegetables, eggs, milk, and produce comes from. The better we educate our children about nutrition, the healthier they will be in their adult lives.
#9- Eating local is better for air quality and pollution than eating organic
In a study by the journal Food Policy, it was found that the miles that organic food often travels to our plate creates environmental damage that outweighs the benefit of buying organic.
#8- Buying local food keeps us in touch with the seasons.
By eating with the seasons, we are eating foods when they are at their peak taste, are the most abundant, and the least expensive. We are also eating them when they are at their freshest!
#7- Eating local means more for the local economy
According to a study by the New Economics Foundation in London, a dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy. When businesses are not owned locally, money leaves the community at every transaction. By buying from local farmers, you are supporting a local, small business owner.
#6- Locally grown produce is fresher
While produce that is purchased in the supermarket or a big-box store has been in transit or cold-stored for days or weeks, produce that you purchase at your local farmer’s market has often been picked within 24 hours of your purchase. This freshness not only affects the taste of your food, but the nutritional value which declines with time. An exception to this is frozen fruits and vegetables, which are flash frozen when picked, and are also very fresh.
#5- Local produce tastes amazing!
Have you ever eaten a freshly picked apple or tomato, it really tastes great!
#4- Locally grown fruits and vegetables have longer to ripen
Because the produce will be handled less, locally grown fruit does not have to stand up to the rigors of shipping. This means that you are going to be getting very fresh produce that has ripened on the vine/tree/plant versus a warehouse.
#3- Eating local protects us from bio-terrorism
The fewer steps there are between your food’s source and your table the less chance there is of contamination. Also, when you know where your food comes from and who grows it, you know a lot more about that food. Food with less distance to travel from farm to plate has less susceptibility to harmful contamination.
#2- Supporting local providers supports responsible land development
When you buy local, you give those with local open space – farms and pastures – an economic reason to stay open and undeveloped.
#1- Local Foods Create a Community
Knowing where your food is from connects you to the people who raise and grow it. The food you buy has a great story, from a real person.
Make sure to share with your friends if you agree and want to make a difference!
- Five Myths About Food Safety and Home Gardens
- Health and Environmental Hazards of GMOs: An Annotated Bibliography.
- Why Buy and Eat Locally?
- Local Food Is Elitist? Part I
- Book Review: The End Of Food by Paul Roberts