By Matthew Toplikar
Nov 29, 2010
Supporting local farms is one of the best and easiest ways to eat healthy, reduce your carbon footprint, and strengthen your community.
7 Reasons to Eat Locally
1) Helps the Local Economy: According to a study by the New Economics Foundation in London, a dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy. When businesses are not owned locally, money leaves the community at every transaction.
2) Reduces Air Pollution Better than Organic: In a March 2005 study by the journal Food Policy, it was found that the miles that organic food often travels to our plate creates environmental damage that outweighs the benefit of buying organic.
3) Better Nutrition: When you buy local foods produced on a small scale, what you see is what you get. Instead of a long list of additives, preservatives, steroids, and other chemicals, locally produced food very rarely includes ingredients processed in a lab. In addition, local produce is fresher. Because nutritional value declines as time passes after harvest, the fresher, local produce tends to have higher nutritional value.
4) Helps Fight Large Scale Contaminations: Recent food-borne-illnesses like E. coli are less likely to happen on smaller scale farms. On the other hand, food that spends large amounts of time in transit, changes hands multiple times, and is processed in huge batches provides more opportunities for contamination.
5) Energy Conservation: Buying locally grown organic foods decreases dependence on petroleum, a non- renewable energy source. One fifth of all petroleum now used in the United States is used in Agriculture. Buying from local producers also conserves additional energy at the distribution level.
6) Taste: Fresher = Tastier. Try it for yourself.
7) Reduce Animal Cruelty: Small, local farms don't produce the inhumane conditions caused by factory farms
What To Do
Find your own local farmer's markets and co-op grocery stores with an easy search on the Local Harvest website.