7 Reasons to Support Local Farming
Eating local is better for you, the environment and your taste buds.
Here is some food for thought:
When you choose to buy local, you are choosing food picked at its peak flavor, freshness and nutrient value. Often, seasonal, locally grown food has a flavor that artificially ripened and chemically enhanced foods cannot match. We all can tell the difference between lettuce from a bag and lettuce fresh from the field. How much do you love a local strawberry or tomato in summer? Flavor is king and local foods reign supreme.
Everyone who has eaten a crisp apple from a tree, perfectly ripe blueberries in the summer or freshly shucked corn, knows that those foods are best enjoyed when they can be purchased from a local farmer. The food is fresh, full of flavor and makes us drool at the memory. Appreciation grows when we can’t always get what we want. Enjoy produce when it is ripe and see what freshly picked fruits and vegetables your local grower is offering. Consider onion, bananas and dandelion greens in the spring; sweet potato, spinach and avocado in the summer; mushrooms, ginger, and turmeric in fall and leeks, beans and yucca in winter. Live in a colder climate? Enjoy fresh fruits & veggies all year long with a Jubilee Monthly Subscription.
Food from far has traveled by planes, trains and trucks to be stored in warehouses prior to purchase. Often, it was picked well before it was ripe and shipped in from other countries. This food can be older and given time gap between harvest and table, it is likely that the nutrient value has decreased. There are fewer steps between your local farmer and your table and that minimizes risk of contamination along the way. Eating local keeps unnecessary hands off your food and gives you greater control over what you eat.
Local farmers aren’t anonymous. You can meet them at a farmers market or see the fields where your food is grown. Local farmers are accountable for the food they grow and you can ask questions and hear directly how your food was produced. Nature doesn’t use herbicides, pesticides or fertilizers, which kill nutrient rich soil. Local farmers can share with you how they prepare their soil and care for the food they grow. Connecting to where your food comes from and who grew it leads to more informed choices about your health and lifestyle.
Local farmers often grow a variety of crops to provide a longer growing season and that is a plus for those of us trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Walk those farmers markets and see the variety, color and beauty of lush veggies grown close by. Go and discover the taste of a freshly harvested avocado, or try some heritage okra in your next stew. Just say no to the supermarket tomato!
By buying foods grown and raised close to where you live, you help maintain farmland and open space that may otherwise turn to development. Protecting our open and green spaces is a priority in this world of buildup and build out. A field of greens beats a strip mall any day.
Knowing where your food comes from and having a connection to the people who grow it is a relationship you cannot have with a local, big box supermarket. Local farmers reinvest in their businesses and money spent with them stays close to home. Weekly farmers markets are community meeting centers that draw people in and bring them together. When a crowd draws around the farmer, sharing slices of his freshly harvested mango, everyone wants to join in!