Investing in locally sourced foods has many benefits for you and your family. Locally sourced foods tend to be produced with fewer preservatives, and are also grown to make the most of the seasons. In this way, it is possible to eat healthily through fresh food during the year, while also ensuring that local farms receive support. Families can benefit from fresh grown produce like root vegetables and fruit, and can begin to grow their own food in gardens and allotments. Stores can be made up for the winter, and food can even be sold on at farmers’ markets. Some of the more specific strengths of locally sourced foods can be found below:
1 – Better For You
Local food is generally better for your health because it is fresher. Picked soon before being sent out for sale, local produce is less likely to be treated with preservatives, which can work against the healthy advantages of fruit and vegetables. In the same way, locally grown produce tends to taste a lot better than food that is sent over a larger distance, due to its seasonal ripening and quick distribution from fields and growing plots. A regular supply of locally grown food can consequently help to increase you and your family’s intake of vitamins and minerals, and can be used alongside a rich and healthy diet and exercise for wellbeing.
2 – Helps Local Farmers
Locally sourced foods are also recommended as a way to help out local farmers to fight off competition from cheaper, internationally sourced food. Supermarkets may buy this in bulk, cutting out farmers’ markets. Farmers that sell their produce often struggle to match the low prices provided by supermarkets. While this may mean that you have to spend more on your produce, the benefits to the local economy, and the health advantages of the food bought, arguably outweigh these costs. Children can also learn more about where their food is bought from, and about the natural growing cycle of what they eat, setting up good habits for life.
3 – Improving the Environment
Food sourced from local farms and growers is generally not designed for industrial scale harvesting and treatment. As a result, farmers will use less preservatives and pesticides on their crops, which when used to excess result in soil erosion and the release of toxic chemicals into the atmosphere. Farming methods that focus on seasonal produce are particularly strong in this regard for being able to avoid preserving out of season fruit and vegetables for an extended period of time. In the same way, reducing the amount of international distribution of food can cut down on the buildup of packaging and food waste.
Small commitments to local food can consequently add up to a major contribution to improving environmental damage caused by over farming and artificial growth and preservation of food. Getting children to link what they eat to these benefits can, again, promote an outlook on food and the environment that can serve them well in terms of building habits, and for taking more care over their diet and wellbeing over time.
About the Author
Sophia works with co-operative food as a freelance copywriter. In her spare time she is also an avid blogger for various other subjects such as health and fitness.