When was the last time you walked through your beautiful neighborhood farmers’ market? You can take a break from grocery aisles and breathe in fresh flowers instead. There are plenty of locally crafted cheeses, seasonal fruits and veggies, and small businesses to explore.
In fact, about 75% of Americans say they actively try to include locally grown foods into their diets.
On the fence about learning to eat local foods? Here are eight reasons you shouldn’t wait!
Eating local allows you to enjoy produce grown in your own community. You can even connect with local producers and farmers while you’re at it.
Beyond that, learning to support local small businesses can have an economic, social, and environmental impact, too.
Read to discover the benefits of eating locally today!
Support Local Farms
Each time you eat local produce, you’re supporting nearby farms. You can keep local farms operating with every purchase.
Your continuous support also means you’re creating local jobs at farms in the area. New jobs can emerge in food processing and distribution, too.
Every purchase you make when eating locally will support the people around you, even if you don’t realize it.
When you support local farms, you’re not only helping the farms. You’re also keeping your money in the local economy. Your support can help other local businesses as well.
If you want to support small businesses in the area this year, start eating locally. Invite friends and family members to eat local cuisine with you, too. Remember, every dollar can make a difference!
One of the amazing benefits of eating locally is the knowledge that your food was grown and produced nearby.
Before food can reach a supermarket, it has to travel across country or state lines. The weeks it takes for produce to reach stores give the food time to lose flavor. If the food ends up sitting in your fridge too long, it could rot as well.
Instead, eat local and gain access to amazing, fresh foods. You won’t have to wait for food to travel across the country to reach you. Instead, you can start enjoying fresh flavors straight from your community.
Most local produce is picked and harvested a day or two before it reaches the local market. Sometimes, it’s even picked the morning of. You can’t get food fresher than that unless you pick it yourself.
Fruits and vegetables will remain on the vine to ripen longer, too. They’ll remain in more favorable growing conditions compared to food that traveled to a store.
The food could taste sweeter, tastier, or even juicier as a result.
Even eggs that arrive from a farmer who raises chickens will taste fresher than those that arrived from across the country.
Shopping locally will allow you to produce amazing-tasting dishes at home. Otherwise, you can eat local at local restaurants and taste the difference yourself.
When fruits and vegetables have to travel, they can lose some of their nutrients. Processing or the time they sit on shelves at the store can impact their nutritional value, too.
For example, vitamin C is a water-soluble nutrient. It can degrade shortly after harvesting. The antioxidant content of produce declines over time as well.
Instead, consider eating locally. Locally grown produce won’t have to travel far. It won’t sit on a shelf long, either.
Instead, you can access nutritious foods from your local community.
Try New Flavors
Eating at local restaurants or buying local produce can give you a chance to try foods that are unique to your area. You might even get the chance to discover new flavors.
You can learn more about different foods and agricultural practices as well.
Without intending to, you might even discover your new favorite food at a local farmer’s market! Some of these foods are even difficult to find in stores. Eating locally can give you an exclusive chance to try new foods.
Better for the Environment
When you support local businesses, you’re also supporting mother nature.
For starters, local foods don’t have to travel long distances to reach customers or stores. Shorter travel times mean less pollution. It also means fewer carbon emissions.
Most locally-grown foods, especially produce, are sold in stands. They don’t require packaging. You can even bring your own reusable bags when you shop.
This process involves less waste. Shopping at the grocery store, on the other hand, usually involves plastic bags and packaging.
Supporting local farmers helps maintain the farmland and green spaces in your area, too.
Many local farms use sustainable practices. These practices might:
- Boost biodiversity
- Protect pollinators
- Promote clean water, air, and soil
When you eat local and support small businesses, you’re protecting your local environment, too!
Local food can help promote agritourism.
For example, farmer’s markets can encourage tourists to take part in the local economy. Local farms can also attract tourists on-site. Tourists can explore your local community and gain an appreciation for your area.
They can even pick their own fruits and vegetables at farms in the area.
You might not realize it, but eating locally is really easy.
First, try heading to your local farmer’s market. Meet some of the farmers and producers in your area.
You can also sign up for a CSA share or become a member at a local food co-op.
Otherwise, check out the farm-to-table eateries in your area! You can discover Buckingham Farms farm to table for a taste of the experience yourself.
Learn About Food
When you support local farmers, you also get the chance to make connections with people around you. Forging these connections gives you a chance to learn more about the foods you’re eating.
You can ask questions and learn about their farming practices.
You might develop a deeper appreciation for the food you’re eating as a result.
Snack on This: 8 Reasons to Eat Local Today
Learning to eat local can give you a newfound appreciation for your food. You can connect with your local community and start supporting small businesses, too. Keep these eight reasons to eat locally in mind before you start shopping!
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