“Local food” … “Farm-to-table" … “Support local”
I’m sure you’ve either heard or seen these words while shopping or scrolling on the internet, but why are these words and phrases becoming mainstream?
Well, because of all the great benefits of buying local.
Local food is typically described as food grown and harvested within approximately 100 miles of its point of sale or consumption.
Why is this important?
Well, for one, you can get a better picture of where your food is coming from. You can put a face to the farmer whose produce you are purchasing and consuming. You can build relationships and connections.
Next, local food is more likely to be harvested at its peak and transported to your grocery store, farmers market, or straight into your hands, faster. You are getting the full nutrients and taste these products have to offer. Local food isn’t artificially ripened.
It’s fresher and healthier.
As farmers rotate their crop to match the appropriate growing season, they sell a variety of produce that are at their peak for nutrients and flavor.
By sourcing locally, we can be more sure not to strain or over harvest from finite natural resources. Stretching local resources globally or even just nationally is not going to last.
Because food is traveling less distance to make it to you and your table, it outputs fewer CO2 emissions - especially when farmers distribute cooperatively with shared vehicles.
It’s mindful of emissions.
By choosing to support local farmers, you are supporting your community.
It’s caring for and supporting the community.
So, how do you get started on buying more locally?
- Buying directly from the farm. Find your local farmers market and/or research local farms. Then, buy in person, online, or through a CSA.
- Eating from restaurants that source locally. This most likely won’t be that chain restaurant near the mall, but rather, the quaint, small restaurants in town.
- Grocery stores. Start looking at the grocery store you shop at frequently for any local produce, and if that store doesn’t carry anything local, try looking at another store.
- Grow some of your own! If you can’t find any local produce near you, start planting and growing your own food.
- Coming soon. A directory at Local Food Network that you can use to find farms, restaurants, and grocery stores that source locally.
Try and eat locally-sourced foods at least once a week. They're better for you, your community, and our planet.
Oh - and your tastebuds will thank you 😋