I picked up a 2015 Local Food Guide at the rec center where I do Zumba. It’s a great booklet celebrating and featuring all the local farms, ocean harvesters, artisan foods, markets and restaurants. On the back cover, they gave these 10 reasons to buy locally grown. I had to share them. These reasons work for your area as well.
1. LOCALLY GROWN TASTES AND LOOKS BETTER. The products are usually picked at their peak and sold within 24 hours (as opposed to imported from afar and transported in trucks or planes and stored first in warehouses)
2. LOCAL FOOD SUPPORTS LOCAL FAMILIES. That’s great. Some of them may even be your neighbors or someone you know.
3. LOCAL FOOD BUILDS TRUST. There’s not a question of food safety when you can look your farmer in the eye and see his or her products.
4. LOCAL FOOD BUILDS COMMUNITY. I know this one from my parents who were local retailers. Getting to know the folks who grow your food is important. You might be surprised who the farmers are. I would suggest even a trip to the farm to see how the food is grown. You’ll never look at a zucchini the same way again.
5. LOCAL FOOD PRESERVES OPEN SPACE. We need the air and the green. We have plenty of city space.
6. LOCAL FOOD KEEPS TAXES DOWN. According to this Buy Fresh Buy Local Cape Cod guide (firstname.lastname@example.org) several studies show farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services (the opposite of residential developments).
7. LOCAL FOOD BENEFITS THE ENVIRONMENT AND WILDLIFE. Imagine a patchwork of farms with fields, meadows, woods, streams and ponds. That’s priceless for the wildlife and our eco system.
8. LOCAL FOOD MAKES A LIGHTER CARBON FOOTPRINT. We’ve heard a lot about that. The average non local food travels about 1500 miles from farm to plate.
9. LOCAL FOOD PRESERVES GENETIC DIVERSITY. Remember the actual taste of a tomato and smell of a rose? Industrial agriculture is bred for uniformity and to survive harvesting and transport. I want taste and flavor and good nutrition.
10. LOCAL FOOD IS AN INVESTMENT IN YOUR COMMUNITY’S FUTURE. Yep, buying local supports, preserves and strengthens the character of the community for the next generation of farmers. And for us.