We love our fruits and veggies, and even more so when they’re grown and harvested locally! Here are eight great reasons to buy, and eat, local produce.
1. Optimal freshness. Unlike produce purchased at a major grocery chain which has been in transit or in cold storage for days or even weeks, fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s market have often been picked within 24 to 48 hours of purchase.
2. Better taste and quality. Food grown locally is noticeably fresher, often sweeter and loaded with more flavour since there is less distance to travel before making it on your dinner plate. During transportation, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink, and produce loses its vitality, so a shorter time between harvest and table means fewer nutrients lost.
3. Less pollution. Another undesirable result in food travelling from long distances is the burning of a great deal of fossil fuel by the trucks and planes used to deliver the produce, and therefore contributing to pollution and global warming. Local food travels a much shorter distance, directly promoting clean and eco-friendly living.
4. Maximum health value. Since locally grown produce retains most of its nutrients, you’ll benefit not only in taste, but in health value as well. Eating local food is a great way to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, and a great way to make your diet and lifestyle even healthier.
5. More variety. Large grocery chains sell produce to a mass market, and therefore offer the typical fruits and veggies like russet potatoes, romaine lettuce, and Granny Smith apples in abundance. On the other hand, local farmers will experiment with small crops of various fruits and vegetables that would probably never make it to a major supermarket. With local produce, you’ll find a larger selection of different types of lettuce, apples, potatoes and more.
6. Seasonal selection. Local food is seasonal, and by eating with the seasons, you’ll be consuming food when it’s in abundance, at its peak taste, and least expensive.
7. Assuredly safe. Visit a farmer’s market and you’ll meet the very people who have grown and harvested the produce you’re about to purchase. Local farmers take pride in their crops and have a deep sense of responsibility in growing crops which are safe for consumption. There is also less use of pesticides and thus provides you, the consumer, with confidence in what you bring home to eat.
8. Contribution to local economy. Buying produce that is grown locally translates into profit for the community you live in, so you can feel good about doing your part to boost the sale of local goods.