By Lindsay Reinsmith with contributions from Karen Roman
If you were told that by making one small change in what you eat you could have healthier, better tasting food, while giving your local economy a boost, would you make the change? Eating locally sourced foods offers many benefits not only to the individual eating them, but to the community as well. Here are five reasons why eating locally sourced food might be the best option for you:
When you buy food locally, there is a short amount of time from farm to your plate. Lettuce that was picked yesterday is much fresher than lettuce that was picked 3 weeks ago, sealed in plastic, and shipped half-way across the country. Fresh food will also last longer in your fridge.
Local food tastes better. When your food has the opportunity to ripen on the vine instead of being harvested prematurely, the flavor is better. The color, texture, and flavor that you get is exactly as it was intended to be in nature. When food has to be shipped away, it is harvested unripe, treated with chemicals, and then ripened during shipping.
3. NUTRITIONAL VALUE
Food is at its most nutrient dense state when picked ripe from the vine. Nutritional value starts to decline as time passes after it has been harvested. Local food makes it to your table within days of being picked. Most food found in grocery stores has been shipped in from other states or even countries and has spent most of its time sitting in distribution centers before it even got on the shelf.
Buying locally means that your food does not have to travel thousands of miles to get to you and therefore is not leaving a big carbon footprint. Also, since your food is not traveling very far, the need for packaging, preservatives, and other synthetic ingredients to keep food good for longer are reduced.
When you buy locally your money goes into the pockets of people within the community and your food dollars are recirculated into your local economy instead of going to another state or country. This enables small farmers and other small business owners to compete with huge corporations. Also, more of your money ends up in the farmers pockets because they do not have to pay distributers, packaging plants, and shipping costs. The benefits of buying and eating locally sourced foods affect you, your family, and your community. Next time you go grocery shopping check out your local farmer’s market, farm stand, or local food outlet first.
Where do you buy most of your groceries? Grocery store, online, farmer’s markets?
Lindsay Reinsmith is the founder and CEO of Kaeng Raeng, a leading creator of natural vegan dietary supplements and cruelty free cosmetics. Learn about Kaeng Raeng’s commitment to locally-sourced ingredients at kaengraeng.com.