Why You Should Buy Locally Sourced Food

As an active citizen in my community, as well as a person who loves fruits and vegetables, I’ve found that my local farmers’ market is one of the best places to shop. It doesn’t just give back to my local economy, it is also better for the environment than shopping at a grocery store. Because the food is mostly harvested a few days before the farmers’ market, it is much fresher, contains fewer preservatives, and is higher in nutrient content. Shopping for locally grown food is a must for sustainably active citizens.

How does buying locally benefit the environment?

According to a study done at Iowa State University, the average distance a grape traveled, from the time it was harvested to the (approximate) time it was eaten, was nearly 2,800 miles. The transporting of a grape takes a great deal of energy, as well as money. To be considered “local”, food must be grown 100 or fewer miles from where it is sold. By choosing to eat locally sourced food, you are saving energy and decreasing the number of fossil fuels produced.

How does buying locally benefit the economy?

Typically, money spent at the grocery store goes to large corporations that do not give back to communities. Nearly $1.8 trillion is spent on food annually. Less than 15% of that price goes to local farms. Money spent on locally sourced food ends up supporting the economy of a local government through spending, funding, and more production from the farms. Doubling the percentage of spending on locally sourced food could lead to an increase in local governments’ wealth.

How does buying locally benefit my health?

Fruits and vegetables that are sold in the grocery store can be harvested up to 6 months before they are bought. Not only does this increase the risk of harmful bacteria and exposure to unhealthy substances, but it also decreases the nutritional value of the food. Because of this, lots of food from the grocery store contain preservatives. Preservatives do not make your food more nutritious, their purpose is to keep the food from going bad.

Eating locally has multiple benefits. Many people consider shopping at the grocery store easier because of the convenience, however the environmental, economic, and nutritional factors of buying locally out way the convenience of a grocery store. I strongly encourage you to buy locally sourced food to benefit you and our planet.

As an active citizen in my community, as well as a person who loves fruits and vegetables, I’ve found that my local farmers’ market is one of the best places to shop. It doesn’t just give back to my local economy, it is also better for the environment than shopping at a grocery store. Because the food is mostly harvested a few days before the farmers’ market, it is much fresher, contains fewer preservatives, and is higher in nutrient content. Shopping for locally grown food is a must for sustainably active citizens.

How does buying locally benefit the environment?

According to a study done at Iowa State University, the average distance a grape traveled, from the time it was harvested to the (approximate) time it was eaten, was nearly 2,800 miles. The transporting of a grape takes a great deal of energy, as well as money. To be considered “local”, food must be grown 100 or fewer miles from where it is sold. By choosing to eat locally sourced food, you are saving energy and decreasing the number of fossil fuels produced.

How does buying locally benefit the economy?

Typically, money spent at the grocery store goes to large corporations that do not give back to communities. Nearly $1.8 trillion is spent on food annually. Less than 15% of that price goes to local farms. Money spent on locally sourced food ends up supporting the economy of a local government through spending, funding, and more production from the farms. Doubling the percentage of spending on locally sourced food could lead to an increase in local governments’ wealth.

How does buying locally benefit my health?

Fruits and vegetables that are sold in the grocery store can be harvested up to 6 months before they are bought. Not only does this increase the risk of harmful bacteria and exposure to unhealthy substances, but it also decreases the nutritional value of the food. Because of this, lots of food from the grocery store contain preservatives. Preservatives do not make your food more nutritious, their purpose is to keep the food from going bad.

Eating locally has multiple benefits. Many people consider shopping at the grocery store easier because of the convenience, however the environmental, economic, and nutritional factors of buying locally out way the convenience of a grocery store. I strongly encourage you to buy locally sourced food to benefit you and our planet.

Sources:

Klavinski, Rita. “7 benefits of eating local foods.” MSU Extension, 13 April 2013, https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/7_benefits_of_eating_local_foods. Accessed 28 September 2021.

Pirog, Rich S., et al. “Food, Fuel, and Freeways: An Iowa perspective on how far food travels, fuel usage, and greenhouse gas emissions.” Iowa State University, June 2001, https://lib.dr.iastate.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1002&context=leopold_pubspapers. Accessed 5 October 2021.

Smead, Spencer. “The Benefits of Buying Locally Sourced Produce.” Global Food, Health, and Society, 29 November 2018, https://web.colby.edu/st297-global18/2018/11/29/the-benefits-of-buying-locally-sourced-produce/. Accessed 28 September 2021.“What is Sustainable Agriculture?” Union of Concerned Scientists, 10 April 2017, https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/what-sustainable-agriculture?gclid=CjwKCAjw-sqKBhBjEiwAVaQ9ayCNF06E1jddwdU7VsxOeBPJ80VcLWyFRvMEpF5YsvW797uvL82PkBoC8LUQAvD_BwE&utm_campaign=food&utm_medium=search&utm_source=googlegrants. Accessed 28 September 2021.

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