Why Eat Local Foods?

If you eat, you are involved in agri­cul­ture”– Wen­dell Berry, philoso­pher and farmer

Eat­ing local foods is not only good for your health but also our envi­ron­ment.  Here are four rea­sons why it’s impor­tant to sup­port your local farm­ers.

Fresh­ness

When you buy local foods direct­ly from your local farmer or farm­ers mar­ket, the pro­duce is har­vest­ed the same morn­ing it’s sold.

On the oth­er hand, super­mar­kets sell pro­duce that were har­vest­ed weeks before the fruits and veg­eta­bles could reach their peak ripeness and top nutri­tion­al val­ue.  This is to ensure that pro­duce can sur­vive an aver­age of 1500 miles of trans­porta­tion time, (longer if it’s import­ed from oth­er coun­tries).

Sea­son­al

Local­ly grown foods have the added bonus of being auto­mat­i­cal­ly in sea­son.  Farm­ers sell what they are able to grow in their par­tic­u­lar region and cli­mate.   Sea­son­al pro­duce keep your meals inter­est­ing and pro­vide you with a rain­bow of nutri­ents through­out the year.

Envi­ron­ment

Local foods trav­el only a few miles, in con­trast to pro­duce brought in from oth­er regions which trav­el on aver­age about 1500 miles.   Buy­ing local foods reduces fuel expend­ed and min­i­mizes air pol­lu­tion from truck exhausts.  But it also elim­i­nates exces­sive pack­ag­ing which is need­ed to trans­port food over these long dis­tances.

Com­mu­ni­ty

When you buy from your local farmer you ensure that the mon­ey goes direct­ly to the farmer and local econ­o­my;  not huge cor­po­rate retail­ers.  You also cre­ate a direct con­nec­tion, com­mu­ni­ty feel, between you, where your food comes from, and your local fam­i­ly farms. 

 

A Word from Michael Pollen

 

 

 

 

 

 

References

Ref­er­ences: Sus­tain­able Table. Serv­ing up healthy food choic­es. http://www.sustainabletable.org/home.php. Accessed July 3, 2011.

Cen­ter for a Liv­able Future. Farm­ing for the Future. http://www.jhsph.edu/clf/programs/farming/index.html. Accessed July 3, 2011.

 

 

 

 


2 Comments

  1. ColumbiaChemist

    If eat­ing local foods from your neigh­bor­hood mar­ket reduces fuel costs, why are famers’ mar­kets so expen­sive?

    • Anna-Lisa

      That’s a great ques­tion and I think shared by many peo­ple. Because it’s not a short and straight­for­ward answer I will write a post on this top­ic. Please stay tuned and thank you for your ques­tion.


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