Local foods aren’t for everyone. Only the people who care about fresh, properly processed, and high quality are the ones who go out of their way to stick with non-GMO, locally grown and raised food. No, buying locally sourced products isn’t as simple as heading to Wal-Mart for a package of cheap chicken, but the rewards far outweigh the challenges you face. There are plenty of good reasons to eat local, though.
We eat local, and so should you. Here’s why.
1. We Prefer Fresh Food And Vibrant Flavor
Produce and meat have an expiration date and, just like people, they aren’t at their best after a few days of travel. It’s always best to avoid unnecessary additives and you’ll know more about your food if it’s close to home and you can learn about the person who grows it and the practices they employ.
We all like fresh, and we all like flavor. Things usually taste better when they haven’t been altered by preservatives to keep them edible for longer. Eat seasonal and eat fresh for optimum results.
2. We Think Natural Is Best
There’s just something about food that hasn’t been injected with all sorts of additives and processed until it doesn’t resemble its original form. (Most people don’t know what color an egg yolk is actually supposed to be. How crazy is that?)
The earth has always provided for us, yet humans insist on changing the way food is produced. Industrial farming isn’t concerned with raising animals and growing plants the way nature has already perfected; they take their cues from big business, and that’s not the way food should be grown. Nature figured out how to do things without our help, and we believe in honoring that by supplying food the way nature intended.
3. We Feel That Nutrition Is Important
Healthy eating is all but a movement today, yet most people have absolutely no clue where their food comes from. (They rely on labels.) While checking the label before you purchase is an admirable strategy, let’s consider a few facts about labeling:
- Only products labeled “100% organic” are actually 100% organic.
- If a product is labeled “organic” it must have 95% organically produced ingredients. The remaining 5% must consist of approved non-agricultural ingredients.
- The “made with organic ingredients” label means that at least 70% of the ingredients were organic.
Not really encouraging, is it?
Feeding our families healthy, non-GMO products is important. If you really want to know what’s in your food, know the farmer who grows it.
4. We Want To Protect The Environment
The widespread use of GMOs has taken the herbicide problem from problematic to catastrophic. As nature adapts to chemicals we’ve employed to destroy it, more and more chemicals must be used to maintain crop yields. Not only are pesticide and herbicide residues unsafe for the humans that inevitably consume them through ingesting contaminated foods, they hurt the plants and animals around them resulting in decreased biodiversity.
Furthermore, when you eat local, you’re helping to prevent the pollution of soil, air, and water that is a direct result and transporting food from one end of the country to the other.
5. We Believe In Sustainable Farming
Monsanto, the company that produces the wildly popular herbicide Round Up Weed Killer, graciously reminds us that the world’s population is growing at an unprecedented rate—and we must be able to feed all of those people.
While this is true, there’s absolutely no evidence that destroying the environment with harmful chemicals gives us the ability to feed the world. In fact, the smaller family farmers practicing sustainable farming are keeping the land healthy, ensuring that the next generation has untainted land to keep raising and growing food on.
Plus, we’re all for treating animals with the respect and dignity that they deserve.
6. We Want To Support Local Business
While it’s last on this list, it’s very close to the top of our hearts—supporting local business is keeping revenue and wealth within your community. This contributes to the quality of life in your area and helps create a good livelihood for those who—today—have chosen the path less traveled to give your community something wonderful that can’t be purchased at the local store.
Eat Local: It’s Time To Raise Awareness
Most people think of the farmer’s market as a pleasant way to pass an afternoon on Saturday or Sunday, but it’s so much more. We salute the individuals and families who work so hard so we can eat so well.
One of the most important benefits of dedicating yourself to eating locally is the relationships you build and the awareness you raise. When you choose to eat this way, your family and friends will become more informed and the movement can grow. It all starts with you.