What are the benefits of eating locally? Here are the top 8 reasons to eat local foods:
Local foods are fresher. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose nutrients as soon as they are harvested. Buying local produce reduces travel time from farm to fork.
Local foods are seasonal. It's true that it would be great to have fresh tomatoes and berries year-round, but eating seasonally means avoiding “artificial ripening” with gases or eating a mushy version of a fruit or vegetable that has been shipped thousands of miles. Eating seasonally results in the most delicious and nutrient-dense product.
Local foods are better for the environment. Some food is shipped literally thousands of miles; That's a big carbon footprint that could be avoided by buying local and seasonal food.
Local foods preserve green spaces and farmland. The environmental question of where your food comes from is bigger than your carbon footprint. Buying food grown and raised close to where you live helps maintain farmland and green space in your area. Local foods promote food security. Less distance between your food source and your kitchen table leaves less chance of contamination.
Local foods promote variety. Local foods create a greater variety of foods. Farmers who run CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs, sell at farmers markets, and provide food to local restaurants have the demand and financial support to raise more types of produce and livestock.
Local foods support your local economy. Money spent locally stays local. Buying locally builds your local economy instead of handing over the profits to a corporation in another city, state, or country. Also, since food moves through fewer hands, more of the money you spend will end up in the pockets of those who raise and grow that food.
Local foods create community. Have you ever spent much of your time at the farmers market chatting and socializing in addition to shopping for their produce? Getting to know your farmer, cheese supplier, fishmonger, butcher, workers from your local cooperative, etc., creates a sense of community.
Ready to eat locally?
Original article (in English)