At SPUD, we know that there’s no shortage of reasons to buy local. It’s good for people; it’s good for health, and it’s good for the environment. But if you’re still teetering on the edge of joining in on the local food movement, here are ten great reasons to get into it.
1. You’re supporting your local farmers.
It can be tough out there for local farms when big businesses are dominating the competition. Supporting local creates more jobs at local farms for the people who truly care about the food they grow. It also shows support for the various sustainable practices that are often found in smaller scale operations.
2. Local food strengthens the local economy.
When dollars are spent on food that was grown locally, money stays in the community. In an economy, money needs to keep moving in order to support the whole system. When we spend our hard-earned money at non-locally owned businesses, money flows out of our system and into another. When you’re spending money on local, the whole community benefits.
3. Local means fewer food miles.
Food miles are the distance a food product travels from point of growth to your plate, and it’s a great way to put the environmental impact of some of our favourite foods into perspective. When you buy local products, you can feel good about the minimal amount of fuel and emissions that went into delivering your food.
4. Local produces less waste.
All that rough and tumble that food goes through when it travels a long way results in a lot of bruised and scratched pieces having to be thrown away.
5. Your food will be fresher.
This may seem obvious, but food that doesn’t have to travel very far to get to you is going to be a lot fresher than something that crossed time zones to get over here. Plus, you can’t beat the goodness of fresh food.
6. You’ll make food discoveries, and learn about eating seasonally.
When you buy local, you’ll find yourself eating what is seasonally available. This is the perfect opportunity to try some new produce that you’ve never had before. Having a wide array of well-loved veggies makes the season changes exciting, and will certainly provide you with some new healthy cooking inspiration.
7. It promotes healthy soil.
Local food encourages diversification of local agriculture. Right now, too many of our crops are part of monoculture farming–single crops grown over a wide area over and over again. Local food reduces the reliance on monoculture, which allows more nutrients to be recycled back into the soil.
8. A successful local food system brings ‘agritourism’.
Although you may not think our local food production is very exciting, agritourism is a huge industry all over the world. Tourists travel to explore new areas and learn about different cultures–a local food system is part of that!
9. It helps protect open space.
When a community prioritizes local food, keeping land open for farming is more likely to trump consideration for suburban sprawl and development.
10. It promotes a more tightly knit community.
A market for local food creates a network of producers supporting one another, which strengthens the local food movement and helps to propel it towards being the main way that people choose to eat.
You’d be surprised by how good it feels to take pride in the food you’re buying. When we enjoy eating local food, it’s natural that we appreciate learning about the producers that grew it. Besides local food tending to be more nutritious and tasting better, the thing that makes local food undeniably sweet, is the care and compassion that goes into it. Food is such an integral part of our lives, and having the opportunity to learn about its creation brings so much more meaning and appreciation to eating.
Enough about us–why do you choose to eat local?
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