Why Locally Grown is Better
Locally grown food tastes better
Locally grown produce is guaranteed to be fresh. Foods that are purchased at a local farmers market, or a specialty store like Green’s Produce & Plants spend less time being shipped and retain more nutritional value. From the time fruits and vegetables are picked, sugars and other nutrients begin to break down into starches and loose flavor. On average, foods at a supermarket travel 1,500 miles and take six to seven days to arrive on the shelf. This is not including foods that are purchased ‘out of season’, which may travel many thousands of miles further and take even longer to arrive on grocery store shelves. By contrast, foods that are purchased locally may travel a few hundred miles or less and may arrive the next day at a Farmer’s Market.
Locally grown food helps local farmers
Each year there are increasingly fewer individuals that claim agriculture as their occupation. The number of farmers in America has dwindled not only because of better farming technology, but also because the profit per dollar on food has decreased. This forces many farmers to fold to large scale agriculture operations which receive government subsidies and the business of corporate supermarkets. Local farmers also compete with growers in foreign countries that can sell their foods for a much smaller profit margin. By choosing to buy food locally you are choosing to support your local economy. Farmers that sell their foods at a local farmer’s market or to a specialty store like Green’s Produce and Plants can expect to receive most or nearly all the profit they deserve from their foods.
Locally grown food protects the environment
By choosing to buy locally grown foods, you are helping to protect the environment in several ways. First, locally grown foods do not have to be shipped as far as other foods that travel to large supermarkets. The shipment of food by diesel truck in America releases millions of tons of CO2 into the atmosphere each year, contributing to the warming of our planet. Buying locally grown foods decreases this carbon footprint significantly. Additionally, locally grown foods protect local ecology. Large scale agriculture operations that produce one type of crop eventually drain the soil of nutrients for any future planting. These operations also require more acreage to operate, moving from field to field once one area is no longer able to yield crops. Smaller farms are able to grow a diverse selection of foods, which is less harmful to the soil. Variety in crops also protects plants from the damage normally seen in large fields of a single crop. For example, planting bush beans with potatoes protects both plants from beetles.
Locally grown food connects consumers to the foods that they eat
After World War II into the present day America has seen a drastic increase in the amount of food purchased at supermarkets. Purchasing food at supermarkets is so common place now that most people do not know where their food comes from, how it was grown or what chemical agents or hormones are used in the foods they eat. Consumers should be more wary of this fact. Furthermore, most young adults and teens would not know how to grow or care for their own food if circumstances necessitated. By buying local foods or directly from farmers the consumer is made aware of where their food comes from and how it is grown. Any time we purchase food we trust that the grower is careful and diligent in providing for our most basic need. By buying local foods there is a greater opportunity to ensure this trust.