Advantages of Choosing Local Food
With so many different cultures and types of people in the world, is there anything that stays the same between them all or is it just a hodgepodge of differences? Some of us have experienced many cultures, travelling far and wide, and might have an answer, or multiple to this.
One of them that would probably resurface time and time again is that there is a community, you can get a sense of the community. Anywhere you travel, each culture, city, or village will have communities that function in different ways, but “community” will always be there. How important must this be then! The fostering of a healthy community is what creates a sustained and strong economy. So how can we help grow a strong community? One great option that more and more are choosing is supporting local food.
Becoming a Member of The Community by Supporting Local Economy
One of the most important reasons that many other people have really started to push towards shopping and consuming local foods is to help support a type of community that is dying out. This community is one that thrives around the small businesses, where people know the local grocer’s name, know the farmers that bring in the food, get their cheese from the same person for thirty years. Nowadays, the community that surrounds us is one of anonymity, walking around with headphones in and head down. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is this that is slowly killing the small, homemade businesses that sustain a local economy.
The Perks of Proximity
Another important reason that buying beef or cheese from the local cow farmer instead of the large supermarket down the street is the cost of transportation. When thinking about this, don’t just add up the dollar amounts, but consider the cost on the environment. To keep foods fresh when they are being transported across the country, fruits and vegetables must be harvested early (taking much of the flavour away) and sprayed with chemicals. Then, they are loaded up and semi-load after semi-load are taken around the country to satisfy someone’s craving for grapes in January. Not only are we being robbed from experiencing a great-tasting grape, but the amount of pollution added to the air and soil in this process is just not worth it.
Growing Personal Health
Taking eyes a bit off of the big picture, we should consider our own health. We have talked about community health and environment health, but is it possible to be very influential to the community and surrounding areas if we are not healthy? When food is bought from local producers, it is always going to be the “in season” produce. Some things, then, might be able to be bought year-round, while other things might have to wait to be eaten. For many, this encourages a much healthier diet.
Also, the personal connection that can be forged between a local grower and the consumer is stronger than that between a customer and the supermarket. The grower commonly cares about your health and well-being, knowing you as the individual you are and many times tries to meet health needs by using all-natural fertilizers and insecticides versus chemical sprays. Although the chemical sprays have been certified to be “safe”, the loose connections that have already been found with diseases, like cancer and infertility in some cases, is enough to have already caused an exodus out the door of large supermarkets.
Altogether, although it can be more work to seek the right store or a farmer’s market out, the rewards and benefits gained on each level, from personal to societal, make it worth it. The taste is better and more wholesome, we can help make our families and communities healthier, and we are putting money back into a system and community that will help to support us as well. Win-win for all!