Local Foods: Better Nutrition
Typically the local produce that you buy locally (farmers markets, etc..) will have been recently picked or harvested. Fruits and vegetables start losing vitamins and other nutrients from the minute they’re picked. That short (local) travel time is important to their overall nutritional impact. They haven’t had a chance to start losing nutrients, so they are actually healthier for you than they would be if the foods had to travel for a week or more to reach you.
Local Foods Taste Good!
Locally grown fruits and vegetables generally end up in your hands at their peak of flavor because they were picked ‘in-season’. The only way to get it any fresher is to grow it yourself! You will notice the difference in the just-picked, mouthwatering taste of the fruits and veggies from local farms. You will also find that smaller farms often have a diversification of foods and varieties, providing customers with unique heirloom varieties and other flavors.
Local Foods Are Good For The Community
Those small farms are an integral part of the fabric of our communities. They help to keep the special character of the region alive. A vibrant farming community is part of what makes an area unique. Unfortunately we’re seeing less of them these days…
Local Foods Are Good For The Local Economy
When you shop locally, far more of the money that you spend stays local. It supports the businesses and individuals in your community. It creates a positive ‘ripple effect’ that can be felt across the community. Those local businesses can then grow and thrive, helping put more money back into the local economy instead of an international food corporation.
Local Foods Circumvent ‘Just-in-Time’ (JIT)
A Just In Time Food Disaster is a potential reality. Nearly every single thing that we buy comes from places very far away. Businesses (and grocery stores) do not sit on inventory any more, and the supply chain is fine tuned to be “just in time”. Should systems fail, shortages will occur rapidly. Keeping foods close to home (buying local) will lessen that impact.
Local foods will usually cost more than buying from Super Walmart or other grocery stores. Why? Because of “economy of scale”. Local smaller farmers don’t get the same quantity discounts on the operating requirements/costs of their business compared with the mass producers. And they have bills to pay too.
Many people may have good intentions but then won’t pay the extra to buy local. Just know that more of our local food farms will continue to disappear without our support.
I would rather have a few thriving farms in my local area to help community self reliance than having none at all.