What could be better than preparing fresh food grown in your area? The farm-to-table movement has encouraged organic gardening and buying local food for the past few years. Buying from local farmers gives you an appreciation for their hard work, and you realize the benefits of each meal you make.
If you’ve ever eaten something you’ve grown and harvested, you know how rewarding to eat something you grew with your own two hands. An article published by Statista mentions that at least 39.1 million households in the United States have vegetable gardens. Of course, this doesn’t include large farms and industrial agriculture.
Even if you don’t have a green thumb and gardening isn’t your thing, you still need fresh fruits and vegetables. One of the best sources of local produce is the farmers’ markets in your area. During peak season, you may also see pop-up roadside stands selling produce fresh from the garden.
Do you want delicious, healthy food all year round? Consider buying in bulk at your local farmers’ markets and learn the respected art of preserving food. It’s not difficult to can, freeze, or dry meats and produce. All these moves can help the farmers. Are you also a farmer? Then you can check out this pm kisan list – pmkisan.gov.in status here if you’re looking to improve your lifestyle by increasing your income.
You can use fresh garden produce to make delicious homemade recipes like jams, jelly, salsa, spaghetti sauce, and many other things. During the frigid months of winter, you and your family can enjoy these yummy recipes you made from local produce. Not only is it more flavorful and nutritious, but it’s often cheaper than store-bought versions.
Twelve Benefits of Growing and Buying Local Food
There’s no comparison to the quality of supermarket produce and food raised in an area garden. You have a chance to support local farmers and taste fruits and vegetables at their peak of ripeness. Here are some other reasons why buying local food is better for the world.
1. You’ll Enjoy Tastier Results with Local Food
Are you often less than impressed when you browse the produce aisle in your local supermarket? Usually, you’ll notice small fruits and vegetables sometimes have wax applied to make them more attractive. Some of the “beautified” produce may look good, but can you distinguish between it and local crops?
You know it’s fresh from the vine when you purchase locally grown produce. It hasn’t taken weeks to be shipped across the country or overseas. Local produce is at the peak of freshness and offers an optimal flavor for you and your family.
2. The Nutrients are Preserved Better
Did you know that fruits and vegetables can gradually lose nutrients and flavor? An article published by the University of California-Davis states that fresh produce is at its maximum nutrition right after harvest. Produce shipped in from other states and countries can take up to five days to reach your grocer, as stated in the article.
Now, consider that it may be on the shelf a couple of days before you purchase it. Some of the nutrients may have diminished in those seven days or more. When you buy local produce, the time from the farm to your table is minimal, and you can’t forget the maximum nutrition and flavor factors.
3. You Can Look For Local Food Without GMOs
In her classic book, Frankenstein, Mary Shelley intended more than to frighten her readers. She offered a grotesque glimpse into the consequences of humans trying to override nature. While the fictional Dr. Frankenstein may have had noble intentions, the results were genuinely monstrous.
Did you know that many items in your supermarket’s produce section are genetically modified organisms or GMOs? According to an article published by the University of Connecticut, the safety of GMOs has been debated since the 80s. Although the FDA still maintains that they are generally safe, studies are conclusive.
Buying local food from your neighborhood farmer’s market helps reduce your concerns for GMOs and other questionable practices. Most use organically raised seeds that haven’t been genetically altered. You have peace of mind knowing that your fruits and vegetables aren’t a Frankenstein lab experiment.
4. You’ll Support Farmers When You Purchase Local Food
When you pick up a tomato in the supermarket, do you know who grew it? Of course, federal guidelines require that companies identify their produce origins. Even if your tomato was grown across America, there’s still no local connection.
Flip scenarios and think about a tomato you buy at your local farmers’ market. You see the smiling faces of the local people who planted, raised, and harvested the crop. These are your friends and neighbors who work in your community and share their gardens’ bounty.
Each time you buy local food, you support your area farmers and their families. Your patronage allows them to continue growing fresh fruits and vegetables for everyone in your area. It’s a vote of confidence, and it helps build community pride, inclusiveness, and mutual respect.
5. It Will Preserve Farmlands and Rural Areas
While the expansion and upkeep of urban areas are vital to the country and economy, they’re not at the expense of risking precious farmlands. An article published by the American Farmland Trust points out that there’s been a decline in the number of farmland acres. The recent census indicated a reduction in the number of farms and farmers.
You may not be able to save the entire nation, but you can do something for your community. Supporting your farming or patronizing local food producers helps keep your area farmlands working. It can help preserve rural areas and farmlands from sprawling urban expansion and industrialization. On the other hand, land owners who would like to start farming may click here now to find a company that can help them with the farm development and management.
6. You’ll Support the Environment and Wildlife
Farmers are good stewards of the land since their livelihood depends on fertile soil and clean water. These are values that benefit your entire community. Best farming practices help prevent harmful soil erosion, and organically grown gardens reduce pollution.
When you help farmers stay in business, you are part of their environmental efforts. Minimizing pollution and caring for the environment also benefit the wildlife that calls it home. It’s all about preserving the land and countless creatures for the next generations to enjoy.
7. You’ll Enjoy Seasonal Local Food Favorites
Before mass transportation and importing foreign produce, people marked the seasons by what was available. You can still do the same thing when you buy local food. Each season has a unique harvest of your favorite products, and you may discover new ones for your family to try.
8. There’s Less Waste When You Buy Local Foods
The local food at your farmers’ markets only had to travel a few miles to get to you. With less handling and fewer travel hazards, it’s less likely to be bruised or mashed. An article from Global Agricultural says that at least 14 percent of the world’s produce is ruined by being transported to retail stores.
Buying locally means you’ll have less waste and more bang for your buck. Also, you’ll feel glad to know that you’ve reduced your carbon footprint. As a result, you benefit from less fuel, fewer emissions, and more produce saved in the short journey.
9. You’ll Help Boost the Local Economy
There are times when you must buy from a national supermarket chain. Although these chains provide jobs in your community, most of the profits go into the shareholders’ pockets. You’re also spending money overseas when you purchase imported foods.
Do your best to keep your dollars in your community. Patronize local businesses and buy local food from area farmers. You and your neighbors’ benefit when you contribute to the local economy.
10. Local Farmers Markets Provide Socialization
Did you know that your neighbor down the road raises prized zucchini and heirloom squash every year? You’ll discover a lot about your friends and neighbors when you meet them at the local farmer’s market. It’s ideal for catching up on the town news and share gardening tips and new recipes.
11. Your Family Can Learn More About Agriculture Science
Children are often shocked when they learn how to plant a seed, care for it, and watch it grow. You can do a project together in a small pot on the porch if you don’t have a big yard. Also, they will learn more about the variety of fruits and vegetables when you visit the farmers market together.
12. When You Choose Local Food, You Invest in the Future
What does the future of food and nutrition hold for the next generations? If you depend on products from other states and countries, your local farms will most likely go under. Your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren may have few options for farm-to-table meals.
Buying food locally doesn’t guarantee a farm’s future success, but it has a greater chance of survival with your support. You’re also setting an excellent example to your family about food, nutrition, and embracing community. It’s your way of contributing to a better future for your area, the country, and the rest of the world.
Final Thoughts on Reasons to Buy Local Food
There’s something almost sacred about preparing food that you or a neighbor grows. You know the people, the land, and the entire seed-to-harvest process and how long it’s traveled. It’s a blessing to be able to support farmers, and you’ll be thankful each time you set the family table with the help of organic produce.