Why buy locally, especially fruits and vegetables? For so many reasons, but here are my top picks!
Healthier for you
Fruits and vegetables that you purchase locally have been picked when they are ripe and ready. When the nutrients are at their peak. Produce shipped across country is usually picked slightly before maturity so it won’t spoil during transportation.
Foods are fresher and taste better
Think of it this way, which would you prefer leftovers from the weekend or a meal made fresh that night? It’s the same with fruits and vegetables. They taste better when they are fresh off the tree or just picked from the garden.
Smaller carbon footprint
When you buy locally, food doesn’t have to travel thousands of miles to get to you. It is estimated that the average meal travels 1500 miles to get to your plate! That is a lot of fuel and energy used to get from the farm to your table.
Improves your local economy
Buying local keeps the money local. According to the National Farmers Union, a farmer only receives 17.4 cents per dollar spent away from home. In other words, the farmer across the country only gets $1.59 of the $3.69 you paid for a 5-pound bag of carrots at the store! Keep it local to keep more dollars in your town and help farmers spend less on transportation and marketing.
Variety is the spice of life. Because they are small and don’t have to meet the large market demands that commercial farmers do, your local farmer can grow a wider variety of fruits and vegetables. Have Brandywine or Lemon Girl tomatoes from your local farmers’ market instead of the “tomatoes” from the store. Let your taste buds experience the flavors of heirloom vegetables and fruits.
Enjoy food seasonally
When you eat seasonally, every month is like Christmas! The anticipation of tasting what you’ve been craving for months. Savoring the flavor because you know that soon it won’t be available again. There is something special about that. Fresh asparagus in the spring tastes much better than in late summer – just like Christmas in July isn’t as special as December 25th.
Why buy locally, especially fruits and vegetables? Simple. Because I want to know where my food comes from.
If you’d like more reasons for buying local, go to SustainableConnections.org. You’ll find great articles there.
What are your thoughts on buying locally? I’d love to hear from you! You can leave your comments in the section below this post.