There are so many advantages to buying local. Locally grown fruits and vegetables are picked at the perfect stage of ripeness. Most produce at grocery stores is picked immature so it will ship well and have a long shelf life. With local produce there are no high shipping costs that are passed on to the customers.
Buying local has many benefits:
a Know what you’re eating. Buying food today is complicated. What pesticides were used? Is that corn genetically modified? Was that chicken free-range, or did it grow up in a box? People who eat locally find it easier to get answers. Many build relationships with farmers whom they trust. And when in doubt, they can drive out to the farms and see for themselves.
a Meet your neighbors. Local eating is social. Studies show that people shopping at farmers’ markets have 10 times more conversations than their counterparts at the supermarket.
a Get in touch with the seasons. When you eat locally, you eat what’s in season.
a Discover new flavors. Ever tried sunchokes? How about purslane, quail eggs, yerba mora or tayberries? Even familiar foods are more interesting.
a Explore your home. Visiting local farms is a way to be a tourist on your own home turf, with plenty of stops for snacks.
a Save the world. A study in Iowa found that a regional diet consumed 17 times less oil and gas than a typical diet based on food shipped across the country. The ingredients for a typical British meal, sourced locally, traveled 66 times fewer “food miles.”
a Give back to the local economy. A British study tracked how much of the money spent at a local food business stayed in the local economy, and how many times it was reinvested. The total value was almost twice the contribution of a dollar spent at a supermarket chain.
a Be healthy. Eating from farmers’ markets and cooking from scratch encourages you to eat more vegetables and fewer processed products, to sample a wider variety of foods, and eat more fresh food at its nutritional peak.
a Create memories. Buying locally grown food is fodder for a wonderful story. Whether it’s the farmer who brings apples to market or the baker who makes bread, knowing part of the story about your food is a powerful part of enjoying a meal.
a Support diversity. Local food translates to more variety. When a farmer is producing food that will not travel a long distance, will have a shorter shelf life and does not have a high-yield demand, the farmer is free to try small crops of various fruits and vegetables that would probably never make it to a large supermarket.
a Have more fun while traveling. Once you’re addicted to local eating, you’ll want to explore it wherever you go.