You have probably heard the phrase “Eat Local.” That typically refers to buying your food from within 100 miles of where you live. Unfortunately, when a phrase is used often it sometimes loses its impact. That is the case with this phrase, I fear.
So here is just a simple reminder of why Eating Local is not just a phrase, but a growing movement and a necessity for the future. Below are Seven Reasons to Eat Locally. It’s a powerful list that might just change your health, your life, and your community.
Want to be a Locavore? Remember these seven things and share them with your family and friends.
1. Buy Fresher, More Nutritious Foods
Locally grown fruits and vegetables are usually harvested within 24 hours of being purchased by the consumer. Produce picked at the height of freshness tastes better. Because locally grown produce is freshest, it is more nutritionally complete. Nutritional value declines, often dramatically, as time passes after harvest.
2. Reduce Energy Consumption
Locally produced foods do not require significant transportation or storage, both of which are very energy-intensive and pollute our air and water.
3. Increase Regional Economic Health
Buying locally grown foods keeps money within the community. This contributes to the health of all sectors of the local economy, increasing the local quality of life.
4. Encourage a Self-Sufficient Community
A community that produces its own food enables people to influence how their food is grown. In addition, it reduces reliance on far-off food producers, thus stabilizing its own food supply.
5. Help Preserve Biodiversity
Farmers selling locally are not limited to the few varieties that are bred for long distance shipping, high yields, and shelf life. Often they raise and sell wonderful heirloom varieties that may be hard to find in supermarkets.
6. Preserve the Rural Character of the Land
Supporting local farmers means maintaining local farmland. Local consumers can serve as the lifeline for local farmers because they create direct marketing opportunities where sellers can receive fair prices for their crops.
7. Avoid Post-harvest Contamination
Foods sold in local markets without the need for extensive storage and transportation will likely contain minimal or no waxes and/or fungicides applied to protect the product after harvest.
In short, whether your locality is Hartsville, Conway, Sumter, Dillon, or Florence, we should buy local food whenever we can. No, I cannot say that I have always done this. I have often bought what’s cheaper or more convenient. I cannot say that I will always do this, because the option to do so may not always be present. But what I can say to you is that I will try my best. I ask you to consider doing the same.
CALL TO ACTION
If after you read this list from the CFSA, you decided to make the same commitment, please share this list with your family and friends. Use the social media buttons below to post it to Facebook, tweet it to the world, and share it via your favorite network.
Change happens when we make a decision. With regard to buying local food first, now is the time for that decision.