Whether you live in the middle of a city or a tiny town nestled in the countryside, there’s a good chance that you can buy food that comes from local sources. From seasonal fruits to craft cheeses and farm-fresh eggs, most people have more access to their local food economy than they realize.
While heading to your community’s chain grocery store might be habitual, doing so prevents you from enjoying the myriad of benefits that go along with eating locally-sourced food.
Here are a few of the biggest perks of eating local.
While you can sometimes find tasty produce at the grocery store, most people would agree that there’s a discernible difference between the food there and the food at a local farmers’ market. That’s because most of the meat and produce at the grocery store comes from regions on the other side of the country, and sometimes, the world. Even with refrigeration and freezers, the transportation process still affects the taste.
On the other hand, locally-sourced foods like strawberries, tomatoes, and corn often get harvested the day you buy them. That creates a level of freshness that you’ll be hard-pressed not to notice.
Good for the environment
In addition to pleasing your taste buds, buying local food also benefits the environment. When transportation routes are shorter and foods require less energy for preservation, you help reduce carbon emissions.
Local food doesn’t always mean that it comes from down the street. Sometimes, it can come from a farm 100 miles away. That said, it’s still much closer than the food that comes from grocery store alternatives—especially when it originates on the other side of the Earth.
You support your local economy
As companies like Amazon and Walmart continue to push out smaller, more vulnerable businesses, finding ways to support your local economy can be difficult. Buying locally-sourced food provides you with an easy way to help it.
When you buy meat or produce that comes from the region in which you live, you help ensure that the money you spend circulates around you. It doesn’t end up in the pockets of a corporate shareholder on the other side of the country.
Some research seems to indicate that buying local food also creates a multiplier effect. Spending money in your community and ensuring it stays there helps support everything from local employment to local income levels (1).
As mentioned, most Americans have greater access to locally-produced food than they realize. Sometimes, finding it is as easy as asking around in the community or searching online.
Depending on where you live, you may be able to buy local food from:
- A local farmers’ market
- A local food co-op
- Farm-to-table restaurants/eateries
- A CSA (community supported agriculture) share
Spend some time researching exactly where you can buy fresh and delicious food in your area!
Fresh is best
While fresh, locally-sourced food may sound expensive or inaccessible, it’s not. And, besides being convenient, buying fresh local food also helps you support the environment and your local economy.
Buy some today to enjoy all the benefits that it has to offer!