We are coming into the growing season, and locally-grown produce will be readily available in most areas. There are many good reasons to buy locally-grown food.
1) It tastes better.
Local food hasn’t traveled long distances to get to you – sometimes thousands of miles - so it is fresher and more nutritious. Farmers in your area can raise food to taste good, rather than to endure shipping and last long in stores.
2) It’s good for the local economy.
Your food dollars stay in your community, and help those farmers to be able to continue to provide delicious, fresh produce and food items.
3) It’s good for your family’s health.
Even if not certified organic, many local farmers employ organic farming methods. Getting that “certified” label is expensive and tedious, and many farmers simply cannot afford to obtain it. Many farmers raise their farm goods free of chemicals, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics, and don’t use genetically modified seeds on their farms. Get to know them and ask them about their methods.
4) It’s good for the environment.
When you purchase from a local farmer, your food hasn’t contributed to carbon dioxide emissions. It hasn’t used expensive packing materials that may not be recycled.
5) It’s good for the future.
When you purchase locally grown products, you reassure local farmers and community leaders you want this delicious, good-for-you food! This enables local farmers to continue to thrive and produce healthy, flavorful food that will be available for future generations.
Many grocery stores are beginning to carry locally produced fruit and vegetables. Look for these codes on your food to assist you when choosing:
- 4 digits means conventionally grown foods
- 5 digits starting with a 9 indicates organically grown
- 5 digits starting with an 8 indicates genetically-modified foods
For a guide to local foods in your area, visit http://www.foodroutes.org/howtobuylocal.jsp.