Why Eat Local Food?

Why Eat Local?HeirloomTomatoes.LickSkillet

As someone who grew up on vegetables from Costco and processed foods, I never discovered the difference between local food and “other food” until I spent a year working on farms in New Zealand, through the Willing Workers on Organic Farms (WWOOF) Program. I started doing this because it was a way to travel for free, as traveling on a budget was my first passion. But as I spent more time around farming and local food, they slowly started to become additional passions of mine. Now, working every day with local farmers and food, the reasons to eat local become more and more apparent. I have listed a few below. Feel free to add to the list by commenting on this blog, as I am sure there are many, many more reasons!

  1. It tastes better! I don’t think anyone can argue the fact that a local tomato (all other fruits and vegetables) tastes better than one purchased at the grocery store. Locally grown food simply has more favor.
  2. Support LOCAL farmers, and therefore your LOCAL community. Supporting local agriculturists is a great way to put money back into your local economy, helping to create more jobs and stimulate the local economy.
  3. It is better for the environment, as local food has not traveled very far. Food purchased at grocery stores has traveled hundred, sometimes thousands of miles, to get there. That is a lot of fuel that adds to the carbon footprint of your food.
  4. Local food hold more nutrients. Local food is sold usually within a day or two of being harvested! As soon as vegetables are harvested, they start to lose nutrients. The sooner you have them in your home, the better for you and your family.
  5. Local food is fresher, therefore lasts longer. You will be surprised at how long local lettuce will last in your fridge. Local food spends its shelf-life in your hands instead of on trucks, being hauled across the country.
  6. You can know your local farmer! Knowing your farmer can make vegetables more appealing to kids, and you can ask them directly about their growing practices. You can visit the farm, you can see where your food is grown and learn about how it is grown. This also helps build a stronger community.
  7. It helps maintain farmland and open spaces in your community! (instead of buildings)
  8. It teaches you to eat seasonally!
  9. It helps your community to be sustainable, to depend only on itself for survival. Imagine a world where nothing had to be shipped in to sustain us.
  10. Did I mention it tastes much better?