The idea of “eat local” is getting more and more attention recently. Maybe it’s the pandemic, maybe it’s due to more informed consumers, but why is this important? Most of us buy our produce at the supermarket, and visit a farmers’ markets or other local retailers only occasionally, and though that isn’t wrong, buying your produce locally may be a better option for a variety of reasons.
Why Buy Local Produce?
There are many benefits to buying locally grown produce no matter who you are, and thanks to farmers’ markets and food access programs, it’s available to more people than ever before in our recent history. Below are three main reasons why should try incorporating more local food into your weekly food routines.
For Your Overall Health
Locally grown produce is often better for your overall health and wellness. Locally grown produce is often fresher than produce bought in a supermarket because it is picked and sold within a day or two. Most produce loses some of its nutrients within 24 hours, and when you buy from the supermarket, your food may not make it to the shelf for a few days, sometimes even a week. So if you’re on the hunt for nutrient dense foods, start by finding a farmer near you.
Support Your Local Community
It’s always important to support the businesses in your local community as they are the livelihood of your neighborhood. Instead of buying produce from a supermarket headquartered far away, support your local farmers and buy produce that was grown near your home. Chances are, that by getting to know the local farmer you’ll also learn more about how your food was grown—a nice benefit if you’re trying to reduce anything from your chemical exposure to your carbon footprint. Consider visiting local farmers’ markets and local farm stands to buy your fresh fruits and vegetables while they’re in season.
It Can Be Cheaper
When you buy local produce, you are likely going to save yourself money. The actual price tag of produce may be the same as the supermarket price tag, however, you tend to get more for your money and, if you care for your farmers’ market haul properly, it will last longer too. And remember, peak season produce is likely to be cheaper than produce bought in the supermarket coming from outside the region.
Buy Local Produce
The next time you’re planning your meals for the week, make it a point to stop by a local farm stand or a farmers’ market. The benefits of locally grown produce are too great to ignore, in fact, it begs the question, why wouldn’t you buy locally grown produce?
Need to find a farmer’s market? Countryside has year-round markets to help you meet your eat-local goals.
About the Author
Kelsey Simpson enjoys writing about things that can help others. She lives in South Jersey and is the proud companion to two German Shepherds and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.