The majority of the food stocked my fridge and pantry is local. Here’s a few reasons why it’s so great!
1. It’s better for you. How so? Produce that is not local has had to travel long distances to reach you. Over that long period of time, a huge percentage of the nutrients in your food have depleted. And if you cook it, you lose even more nutrients. Locally grown produce doesn’t have to travel as far to reach your plate, so it still has a lot of it’s nutrients left for just for you! Another great benefit to you and your body is that you will be eating seasonal foods by eating locally. It’s not always a good idea to eat the same foods over and over again all year round. By eating seasonally, you get a wide variety of foods to keep your body nourished.
2. It’s better for the environment. As mentioned before, locally grown produce doesn’t have to travel as far, so your carbon footprint shrinks just by buying that locally grown tomato versus the one that has traveled from the other side of the country. In addition, conventionally grown produce on the large scale uses many pesticides, herbicides, insecticides… you get the picture. These are not good for the environment. Many local farmers grow organically and if not, use minimal pesticides. You can ask the farmer how the product is grown when you are at the market if you are interested, which is another bonus to buying local!
3. It’s good for your local economy. I’m not an economist by any means, but I do understand the basics of buying local and the economy. Buying local means you are buying from a person who lives close by you. That person likely works hard on the farm, has bills to pay, and a family to feed. This person is someone who lives in or near your community. So when you buy local, you’re saying you want to keep your money in the local community for a healthy local economy. It’s a good thing!
4. It’s not as expensive as you think. In my experience in general, buying local food does not cost as much as people think it does. In fact, a lot of organically grown produce is even cheaper than the conventional options! Shopping at the farmer’s market typically means you will be paying less for your food than you would if you bought it in a grocery store. If you do find local food that is a good price, buy in bulk and freeze it for later! Another really great way to eat locally and save money is to join a CSA. CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. When you join a CSA by buying a share, you pay a certain amount of money directly to the farmer at the beginning of the season and you pick up your share every week (or month depending on the farm) over the course of the season. Look up CSA in your area, you might really like it! It saves money and it’s great to know you are directly supporting your local farm. Plus, it’s always good to know where your food is coming from!
5. It tastes better. It just does. End of story.
This is all the local organic food I picked up today at the Saturday farmer’s market in Burlington. All this cost me exactly $35.50. I will mention that I understand not everybody has access to fresh local food. Which is why if you do, you should really take advantage of that! I feel very fortunate and take advantage of the great place I live in that allows me to eat locally every day.