Buying food and ingredients in 2022 comes with many, many options. Whether it’s the sheer number of supermarket chains, the choice of organic versus non-organic, and etc, where your food comes from is a major point of contention. So why should you buy local?
Despite the fact that it may be trickier to obtain locally-grown food than your average grocery store fare, there are countless benefits.
Firstly, food that is grown locally and goes directly from farm-to-table has a higher chance of carrying more nutrients. When less time passes between harvesting something and eating it, less nutrients are lost through storage and transportation, especially when it comes to leafy greens or fruit. Many local farmers may also grow varieties of produce that are naturally higher in produce. Retailers don’t like to sell these because they’re harder to ship long distances. So buying locally ensures you and your family a nutritious harvest. And of course, because of the nutrients, high-quality soil and sunshine used to create your food, it’s bound to be tastier.
Local food also benefits the environment as well as the local economy. The money you put into local vendors and markets goes into their businesses, their families, and back into your community. You can feel good when you buy locally, knowing that you’re supporting small businesses and helping to create jobs within the small-scale farming industry. Eating dinner knowing that the money you spent on it is staying close to home and within your own community is satisfying.
When it comes to the environment, sustainability is key in 2022. A great way to contribute to the land is to invest in local farmers who use sustainable practices. Large industrial farms tend to create more emissions with their transportation across the country as well as large-scale deforestation. Smaller farms often use practices such as rotating crops, intercropping within trees, and more to utilize their smaller spaces and give back to the land.
Eating seasonal, local foods can be exciting and satisfying. Browse your local farmers market and see what herbs, fruits, vegetables and more are in season. Figuring out what recipes to try with that month’s harvest can be a lot of fun, and it assures you have ripe, juicy crops to choose from. It’s far better to enjoy local berries when they’re full of color and flavor than to dig for out-of-season fruits in a big supermarket.
Many consumers worry about what goes into their bodies, and take the time to look at every nutrition label to ensure they’re not consuming any harmful chemicals. There is no better way to do this than to buy locally. Small vendors can transparently tell you everything that goes into their products. Not to mention, there are far fewer opportunities for contamination with your food when they’re not going through a lengthy shipping and selling process. The local owners can tell you how exactly their food is grown and harvested, and you may even be able to learn new and exciting information about the future of farming.