Local Farmers MarketA poster with a succinct idea concerning the why of local foods at yesterday’s Farmer’s Market (an especially pastoral picture captioned, HOMELAND SECURITY — Eat local foods), made me remember the Tufts University Food Awareness Project data:

"The average mouthful of food in the U.S. travels 1300 miles before it is finally eaten!"

Local foods are those foods grown or raised in your local area. At this Midsummer season of rising fuel and transport costs, buying from your local farmer will not only be more nutritious but less expensive, especially when you consider the environmental and social costs associated with eating non-locally grown foods.

Five Good Reasons to Shop at your Local Farmer’s Market

There are many reasons to eat local foods, of which a few are:

  1. In contrast with large commercial farms, local farmers and growers often use fewer pesticides — which equates to less polution of water supplies and the environment, and a less health risks.
  2. Shipping, along with and storage, result in the loss of nutrients — as opposed to foods trucked in from a local farm, which tend to maintain their nutrient density.
  3. Local foods that are consumed soon after the harvest often do not require preservatives, added wax, ripening agents (chemicals).
  4. Consumption of local foods benefits your local economy. Buying from small family farms and growers means that they can survive and can continue production, in turn contributing to the local economy.
  5. Transporting food a few miles instead of thousands reduces fossil fuel emissions that contribute to air pollution, acid rain and global warming as well as effecting final food prices and quality.

Not only that — there’s something to be said for the taste of fresher food plucked off the vine or scooped out of the earth as recently as today.

Contributing Author Lynn Cameron owns the AromaVital.com website and has conducted her own research into the complementary health field since the early seventies.

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2 Comments for "Why eat local foods?"

  1. Diane Vigil

    Thanks, Lynn. I’d add, too, that food from local farmers likely doesn’t require being picked green, refrigeration for a long trip, etc. It pretty much comes straight from the farm to you. Or me.

    Here are some pictures from our farmer’s market here in Santa Clarita (north Los Angeles) — and these aren’t stock photography. They were taken with our own camera.

  2. Lynn Cameron

    Hello WWOF readers,

    President Obama’s First Term started the year I first wrote the above, and the actual availability of local produce in many, many areas of the USA seems to have deteriorated at the dawn of his second term.

    Four and a half years later, I didn’t expect there to be such dismal legislative evidence that our president’s support of sustainable farming practices would have been so disappointing. In the probable chance that this shortsightedness was due to the enormous clout of bioengineering industries and their financiers, I found a super simple site with TOOLS to DO something in your own personal area of outrage. Tools for progressive action: http://www.moneyout-votersin.com/?page_id=319

    As the 2013 annual flu vaccine drive gets going — as more issues of food supply contamination surface — as scarcity & fuel costs drive up prices — as immigration and farm worker issues arise — as pesticide and chemical residue risk is a given — as USDA harrassment of small production methods continues — as GMO seed patent infringement lawsuits are won by BigAg — as GMO salmon approval paves the way for soilent green . . .

    On this deep Winter morning of 2013, I add a sixth Reason to the Shop Local ideal: The germs you know may be far less lethal than the risk of what might get into every spoonful trucked in from 1300 miles away!

    Happy New Year 2013! And keep wanting organic food.

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