When we speak about shopping local, one of the major focuses is on the local economy, and that is true when it comes to buying things such as local produce. There are, however, many other benefits to purchasing food from local growers. Let’s consider the benefits of eating locally produced food.
You really don’t know how long it has been since produce you buy at a grocery store was picked. It could have spent time in a warehouse. It may have been shipped long distances. On the other hand, local produce is fresh. For that reason, it often tastes better and may even be healthier for you, since the vitamins have not had time to deteriorate. Additionally, since you are buying directly from the farmer, the grower has the incentive to provide high quality as opposed to a corporate grower who will never meet the eater face to face. You can also ask what has been done to treat what you are consuming. Thus, you can confirm if something is truly organic.
Locally grown honey may also have health benefits. Some use local honey as a dietary supplement to fight against seasonal and other environmental allergies. The understanding is that the bees pick up tiny amounts of pollen from many different types of vegetation. Those tiny amounts of potential allergens may serve to “inoculate” the eater against such local allergies. Of course, this theory would only apply to local honey where the bees would come in contact with local allergens. Whether or not the local honey actually helps allergies, it will still be fresh and delicious.
Buying local meat also allows you to get a glimpse into what has been done with the animals that you are about to eat. Knowing that the animals have not been treated with antibiotics is important to many. Also, local livestock may be grass fed. There are many practices that improve the quality of meat, both for taste and health that may be adopted by a local seller.
Those are just the health benefits. District32 also believes that supporting local farms is a way of investing in the future of our crops, and it promotes genetic diversity rather than the genetically modified food that comes from large growers. Locally-owned grocers such as Supa Value, Farmer Jack’s as well as the farmers and suburban markets support locally-grown produce.