Locally sourced and organic foods feature numerous benefits over store bought and traditionally grown foods. There is a substantial difference not only in the way locally grown produce looks and tastes but also in its nutrition content. Participating in your local food market can help to build and promote a positive connection without your environment and community. There are tons of reasons to buy local, take a look.
The quality of locally sourced foods far surpasses what you buy in the grocery store. Tomatoes are a perfect example of this. In the Northern part of the United States, a significant amount of farming can be completed during the summer months, however, during the winter it is difficult to find locally grown tomatoes. The only tomatoes available are those that have been trucked in from California or Mexico. The imported, traditionally farmed tomatoes are dull in color, and in flavor, but they sure last a while in the refrigerator. On the contrary, when the summer months arrive, and tomatoes are farmed locally, the result is a vibrant, juicy, flavorful tomato.
Local grown foods are better quality for a number of reasons. Produce is picked and consumed at the prime time. Farm products like cheese and livestock are processed locally and crafted for the best flavor. Locally grown produce and foods are also more nutritious than traditionally grown foods and are often grown with less or no chemicals.
Studies have shown that locally sourced and organic foods have more nutrients, including antioxidants, than traditionally grown foods. Nutrients are lost between the time produce is picked and the time it is eaten. Traditionally grown food features a much longer time line; it is picked, cleaned, transported, shelved, and waits to be purchased. Locally grown food is picked and typically bought within 2-3 days. This shortens the timeline profoundly and increases the nutritious content of the food.
Studies also show that people who have allergies to foods or preservatives often find their symptoms lessen or go away all together when they eat only locally sourced and organic foods!
Buying locally sourced foods is beneficial for the environment. First off, purchasing locally saves auto emissions; if you buy local, you’re not traveling miles away for the big fancy grocery store. Additionally, locally grown food is typically grown with substantially less, or no pesticides and chemicals.
Buying local food helps to preserve genetic diversity. The debate of genetically modified foods is a valid one and many recognize the currently agricultural system as being based on these types of plants. Local farmers grow a variety of crops to offset this challenge and are able to focus more on flavor and harvest, as opposed to survival and shelf life.
There is significant evidence that pesticides are wreaking havoc on the environment. Supporting farmers who do not use them is a huge benefit to the environment.
Supporting local business is great way to help build the local community. Local businesses support the community in which they are located often sponsoring the local little league team or donating a gift certificate to a benefit dinner. It is important to support them in supporting the local community.
Local businesses help build jobs and support a healthy local economy. A great example of this is a study completed in Texas. This study identified that for every $100 spent at a chain bookstore, $13 re-entered the local economy. However, if that same $100 was put into a local, independent book store, $45 was put back into the local economy. Buying local supports your local economy.
A sense of community is built when doing business with your neighbors. Consumers feel better about their purchases when they know that they are backed by a neighbor and local community member.
Let’s Learn from Daryl
Daryl Bragg is a 72 year old retired teacher turned farmer, and owner of Bellevue Gardens in Manvel, North Dakota. He is a wonderful inspiration to those who question the importance of buying local. Daryl owns 5 acres of property in Manvel that he independently farms, often spending 8-9 hours every day to maintain his crops. Daryl takes his produce to local markets and gas stations selling it for very reasonable prices to the local community. He doesn’t stop there, he also donates the crops he works so hard to grow, to local food banks and needy families. Daryl is the ultimate example of why buying locally sourced foods is so valuable.
Buying locally is more nutritious, better for the environment and helps to build a connection within your community. Growing, sharing, and eating locally sourced foods is the best solution for your health, environment, and community.