If you are concerned about the quality of your food and/or the environment, there are some very sound reasons to eat local. And, it is becoming so much easier all the time. Even if you live in the middle of the city, you shouldn’t feel bound to shop at a supermarket because there are all sorts of ways that local produce from the greater metropolitan areas is finding their way into the city. Check out these very compelling reasons to eat local.
1. Better Taste
Although it might seem simple, one of the biggest reasons to eat local food is because it simply tastes better. The fresher the produce, the better it will taste – and it doesn’t get any fresher than coming from the farmer’s field just down the road. Why would you want to pay for bland, overripe fruit when you can get some amazing produce locally?
2. Help Local Farmers
Rather than contributing to the huge farms that have been taken over by multinational companies, you might consider eating local produce because you’re helping your local farmer. It’s a struggle to make a profit as a farmer nowadays, especially when it comes to meat – supermarkets have cut down prices so much that farmers are sometimes losing money on the produce that they sell. If you really want to help local farmers, see if you can buy from them direct – they will make more money, and you’ll be ensuring that you get the freshest produce available.
3. Good for the Environment
It’s a good idea to think about how many miles your dinner has traveled before it got into the oven. What would you rather: buy chicken breasts that were produced in China under awful conditions, or pay a tiny bit more for a chicken that came from a local farmer? If you are worried about your impact on the environment, a good way to start reducing the strain on the planet is to eat local food. It’s easy and tastes better!
4. You Know Exactly What You’re Eating
When you purchase food from a supermarket you have lost control over what is in your food. Even if you are someone who buys all fresh produce from the supermarket to cook meals from scratch, you never know how the ingredients you’re using have been treated. If you want to get rid of the triple-sanitized vegetables and replace them with good, fresh produce that you can enquire as to how it was cared for, then you’ve just found another of the good reasons to eat local food.
5. Get to Know Your Community
Another of the great reasons to eat locally-grown food is that you start to know your community better. If you wake up at 11am on a Sunday morning, roll out of bed and put some Canadian bacon in the skillet, you have lost all sense of community. Instead you can get up at 8am, head on down to your local fresh produce market and meet the people who grow your food. Nothing is better than understanding how your food was grown, and the only way to truly do that is to know who grew it.
6. More Nutrients
The fresher the food, the more nutrients that are still packed in. The greater the time between tomatoes being picked and making their way onto your plate, the greater number of nutrients that will be lost. The same principle works for all fresh food – if you really want your fruit and vegetables to be packed full of goodness, make sure that you buy local food whenever you can.
7. Get More Diverse Food
If you’ve ever taken a stroll around the farmer’s market, you know that you see so many colors of fruits and vegetables that you didn’t know existed. Purple carrots? Black tomatoes? Yellow beetroots? If you’re interested in getting some unique items that you won’t find in your supermarket, buy local food from your local fresh produce market. If you want a way to get the kids to eat their greens, look for greens that aren’t actually green – they will learn more about food, and so will you!
Did you know there are so many great reasons to eat local and support your nearby food producers? Do you stick to the supermarket and grocery store or do you like farm shops and farmers markets? Pray do tell!