People are becoming more aware of the impact and benefits of eating locally. With a plethora of local farmers markets, eating locally has never been easier. But why eat local? Take a look at the top 5 benefits of eating locally below.
1. Supports your local community, economy and farmers
- Less transportation, shipping, packaging and processing cost means more money in the pockets of your farmers and more invested in your local economy.
2. Fresher and more nutritious food coming directly from the farm
- By capitalizing on produce picked during its peak season, the food retains more nutrients by getting from the farm to the table more quickly.
- Fresh, in season produce is more flavorful than produce that is picked before ripened and shipped a longer distance to a grocery store.
- Smaller, local farms generally use less chemical sprays on their produce.
3. Cleaner air and diminished carbon footprint
- Saving on transportation costs means less pollutants (greenhouse gas emissions) being spewed into the air.
- Less added cost for the farmer often translates to the farmer charging a lower price than grocery store retail.
- Being that food is often less expensive at the local farmers market, you’ll be able to get more out of your food budget each month.
5. Makes use of vacant land and reduces urban sprawl
- The urban farming movement keeps development in check by utilizing vacant urban spaces for community gardens.
- Local farming also helps prevent urban sprawl and preserves open spaces for a more productive use.
Interested in finding local farmers markets and farms in your area?
Check out: GreeningDetroit.com’s Local Farming section and http://www.farmersmarkets.msu.edu/2009MarketLocations/tabid/772/Default.aspx for Michigan farm markets or http://www.localharvest.org/ for nationwide market listings
Angel Hartter is a Freelance Writer, Holistic Health and Wellness Coach and Owner of Zeste Healthy Life LLC.