Have you heard of the locavore movement? This growing movement is all about eating locally to improve your health, reduce your impact on the environment and support your community. Here are my top 10 reasons for eating locally!
#1 Fresher food
The food in your supermarket might look fresh, but you never really know if it came from a farm five miles away or one on the other side of the continent. This can make a big difference to the quality of the food you eat.
The longer your food spends in a warehouse, truck or supermarket, the worse condition it will be in by the time you eat it. Food that is not fresh contains fewer nutrients and tastes worse. There are also more chances for it to be contaminated along the way.
#2 Support the local economy (and small farmers)
Eating locally is a great way to support your community. Small farmers often depend on the income from farmers markets and local stores to survive. By eating food that is produced locally, you can help to ensure a healthy future for your neighbors and the local economy.
#3 Better taste
Local food is fresher and more nutritious by the time it arrives on your plate. If you’ve ever noticed the lack of flavor in tomatoes that are out of season, you’ll know what I mean. Buying local produce means that everything you eat is in season and has naturally ripened.
#4 Less pollution
Just think about the distance that out-of-season vegetables and exotic fruits need to travel. Sometimes it’s thousands of miles and involves several different types of transport. Eating food from local farms is kinder to the environment and will dramatically cut your carbon footprint.
#5 Better nutrition
It’s a fact that properly ripened food is more nutritious. When fruits or vegetables are transported long distances they are often picked before they are ripe, so that they appear to be ripening just as they arrive at their destination. Unfortunately this means that they do not have the nutritional value of foods that have ripened naturally. Eat locally to get the maximum amount of nutrients from your food.
#6 Rediscover the seasons
Before long distance travel, we had no choice but to eat seasonal foods. This meant creating different dishes with different ingredients for each season. Eating locally is a great opportunity to rediscover some of the traditional dishes from your area and explore some new and exciting recipes.
#7 Know what you’re eating
Fresh is always best when it comes to foods, and one reason is that you know exactly what you are eating. For example, the out-of-season apples in your supermarket are usually covered in a layer of wax to keep them looking fresh, whereas apples from your farmers market are just as nature intended.
#8 Meet the neighbors
Are you involved in your community? You might be surprised how going to farmers markets can help you to meet your neighbors. Eating local, healthy food is a shared interest that can make you lots of new friends.
#9 Try new foods
Eating local can be just the encouragement you need to try some new cuisines and ingredients. Cooking with only local, seasonal ingredients might push you out of your comfort zone, but it will open up a whole new world of exciting recipes for you to try.
#10 Eating local can be cheaper
If you like to buy organic food, you can often find it cheaper at your local farmers market. And if you talk to the farmers, you’ll find out that many of the ‘non-organic’ foods on offer might be very high quality too. For example you can often find some excellent antibiotic-free meat and spray-free vegetables.