Fantastic Benefits of Eating Local
The benefits of eating local food are clear—and more and more people are catching on to the trend. And if you’re wondering, What are the benefits of eating local? then this article will help you out!
- Whether it’s taste, health, or convenience, these reasons will have you thinking twice about your grocery store trips and opting instead to support your local farmers market.
- So start reading to discover some of the best benefits of eating local!
1) Healthy food
The fresher food is, generally speaking, healthier food. By eating locally grown and produced foods, you’re avoiding preservatives and a long supply chain.
And by buying directly from your local farmers (or better yet, growing it yourself) you’re supporting your community and cutting down on the carbon emissions that come with transporting products great distances.
In fact, research has shown that eating fresh produce helps you to lose weight more effectively than counting calories or eliminating fats entirely!
There are many other health benefits associated with buying local as well, including lowered risks for cancer and heart disease.
For example, when people eat a diet rich in antioxidants—which are plentiful in fruit and vegetables—they have lower levels of C-reactive protein in their blood stream, which is an indicator for inflammation throughout the body.
This reduction in inflammation means they are less likely to develop chronic diseases like cancer and heart disease.
So while many factors go into good health (including regular exercise), increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables can only help you feel better both inside and out!
2) Better quality
Locally-grown food is fresher and tastes better. You’ll notice improved flavor in just about everything, whether it be tomatoes, potatoes or breads.Plus, local foods are rich in nutrients that aren’t available in most processed foods.
Farmers markets often sell fresh fruits and vegetables with high levels of lycopene (the antioxidant found in tomatoes), calcium and fiber – nutrients that may help reduce your risk for heart disease and certain cancers.
Eating fresh local produce also encourages you to stay away from heavily processed foods laden with preservatives, which can contribute to weight gain and other health problems. And eating more whole grains has been linked to a lower risk for heart disease as well as diabetes.
3) Reduce pollution
If you live near a farm, chances are they’re using chemical fertilizers. Even organic farms aren’t immune to contributing to air pollution.The only way to ensure your food isn’t harming your local environment is by eating locally.
By reducing or eliminating transportation miles, you can help reduce greenhouse gases, carbon emissions and other pollutants that can end up being detrimental to your health as well as your community’s health.
It might be hard to tell how much your diet contributes, but it’s important not to underestimate its impact.
4) Taste better
You might not realize it, but fruits and vegetables that travel farther to get to you can actually lose flavor on their way.
That’s because they start losing vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as soon as they are picked. In addition, most produce is picked before it has reached peak ripeness.
A trip across country on a truck or plane greatly increases exposure to heat, which speeds up loss of flavor and nutrition.
Eat local food when possible! You’ll be surprised at how much more flavorful your meals are. In some cases you may even discover new favorites!
5) Support the local economy
Shopping locally grown foods doesn’t just support small business owners, it helps to keep money in your own community.
This helps to stimulate job growth and allows you to invest in your community by keeping hard-earned cash right where it belongs: in YOUR neighborhood.
Additionally, eating local means that you aren’t putting all of your eggs into one basket; should a crop fail or disease strike, you have more variety and supply options at hand.
When shopping for fruits and vegetables at your local farmers market, talk with growers about their practices and choose items from farms that use sustainable farming methods to grow healthy produce.
6) Supports the environment
We all know that buying local helps keep our cash in our communities. It’s not just good for your economy, though; it’s also great for your planet. Buying food from nearby farmers means no long-distance travel, meaning a decreased carbon footprint.
And because you’re buying produce at its peak season (when nutrients are highest), you’re helping reduce energy costs. Check out Edible Communities to find farmers’ markets near you!
7) Better for your health
The nutrient density and freshness in locally grown food makes it a much better choice. Studies suggest that pesticides and chemicals can build up in our bodies to harmful levels, so it’s best to eat organic as often as possible.
Locally grown foods also contain more phytonutrients (plant-based antioxidants) than conventional produce, which are important for keeping your body healthy.
If you’re able to buy local food year-round, consider yourself lucky! Buying local is one easy way to keep your immune system strong enough to fight off everyday viruses and bacteria like a champ.
8) People know where your food comes from
Buying local allows you to buy food that comes from farms nearby. That means you’re buying food that doesn’t have to travel as far and is fresher.
You also know where your food comes from because it was grown nearby—you might even know who grew it! Buying local supports your community:
By purchasing locally-produced foods, you are supporting a business right in your neighborhood, boosting your area’s economy and keeping more money circulating in the region.
Local foods don’t have any hidden ingredients: There is nothing lurking in a farmer’s market or grocery store tomato that can hurt you or make you sick.
9) Locally grown = more humane treatment for animals
You may have heard that animals raised in local farms are treated better than those raised in industrial ones. This is because they’re seen as part of a family rather than just one unit on a production line.
Small, local farms usually have to rely on natural systems—soil, water, sunlight—to grow their food rather than chemicals and hormones from factories.
Although farm-raised meat isn’t always healthier for you than locally grown vegetables, it does generally contain fewer pesticides and hormone-disrupting substances.
The same is true for produce grown in industrial plantations versus organically at small farms.
10) Great way to spend time with family/friends
By buying food from local farms, you can get a lot more bang for your buck. For example, if you plan to roast a chicken or bake potatoes for dinner, it’s fun to go out and collect fresh eggs or buy new potatoes at a local farm.
Not only will you get an amazing meal that’s healthier than anything in a grocery store, but you’ll have tons of fun while getting it!
Not to mention kids will love learning about how food is grown and eating healthy meals they helped create themselves. This can be a great way to spend time with family and friends–or even just yourself.