Why Eat Local?
Buying locally grown food can be your contribution to the well-being of our planet, as well your own personal health and well-being. Buying locally grown products supports local farmers and ranchers and keeps land in agriculture. Simply, put, buying local is the right thing to do.
So why should you care about farmers and ranchers? Agriculture, whether or not you ever think about it, is part of the very molecules of your being. If you eat food, wear clothes, or live in house made with wood products, you are involved in agriculture, and the choices you make help determine the future of agriculture.
1. Taste the difference.
At a farmers' market, most local produce has been picked within 24 hours. It comes to your table ripe, fresh, and with its full flavor, unlike supermarket food that may have been picked weeks or months before.
Local eating is social. Studies show that people shopping at farmers' markets have 10 times more conversations than their counterparts at the supermarket.
3. Get in touch with the seasons.
When you eat locally, you eat what's in season. You'll remember that cherries are the taste of summer. In winter, comfort foods like squash soup and pancakes just make sense.
4. Discover new flavors.
Even familiar foods become more interesting when you buy them from the farmer and hear their story. Count the types of pear offered at your supermarket. Maybe three? Small farms are keeping alive nearly 300 other varieties -- while more than 2,000 more have been lost in our rush to sameness.
5. Explore your home.
Visiting local farms is a way to be a tourist in your own "backyard."
6. Save the world.
A study in Iowa found that a regional diet consumed 17 times less oil and gas than a diet based on food shipped across the country.
7. Support small farms.
In areas with strong local markets, the family farm has been given new life. Farms and ranches preserve open space and provide natural firebreaks around communities.
A US study showed that almost twice the contribution of a dollar stayed in the local economy when spent at a local food business compared to a supermarket. Buying direct also ensures you pay the true cost of food.
9. Be healthy!
Eating from farmers' markets and cooking from scratch makes you feel better; you are eating more fresh fruit and vegetables and fewer processed products, with fewer additives.
10. Create memories.
Making jam, eating fresh local food and drinking a bottle of local wine with a friend is a more lasting memory than the latest Hollywood blockbuster.