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8 Reasons to Support Local Farmers by Buying Local Food

Joe KnowsWhen it comes to shopping at the grocery store, you're presented with literally hundreds of options. The best choice, though, would be to buy food that was grown locally. There's many reasons to do so, but health improvement should be at the top of the list. Here's a few reasons why you should support local farmers by buying food locally.

Prevent Suburban Sprawl

Buying local food might not stop suburban sprawl completely, but it can delay it. If a farm is profitable, they're less likely to sell their land. We all want to help Earth, right? Having miles and miles of farmland can only produce more crops for more local consumption. Keeping farms in the community is extremely important, so buying local food today guarantees that farms will be there in the future. This can also play a part in helping to keep various ecosystems in tact. 

Buy with Confidence

When you're buying local food, you know exactly where the food is coming from. You know that there's nothing foreign added to your food, and everything is home grown. You have the option to talk to the person who grew the crop, so if you have any questions about the food, you can ask the person who knows the most. 

It Builds Community

Building on the last point, directly speaking with the person responsible for growing the food can build a relationship with them. They'll give you insights into your food. You can also request that they grow a certain type of food, and they may be able to accommodate your needs.

It Tastes Delicious

There's something about fresh, locally grown food that makes it more delicious than the alternative. Crops are picked at the perfect time. Livestock products are likely processed at nearby facilities and delivered extremely fresh. Since it's fresh, it won't lose as many nutrients. This means that, thanks to it getting to you so quickly, you'll be healthier and live longer, which is great. Just because you have a life insurance policy, that doesn't mean you should be in a rush to make use of it as quickly as possible!

It Helps the Environment

Did you know that, prior to reaching your plate, your food can travel more than a thousand miles? That's a lot of resources wasted on travel, which damages the environment. Not to mention the packaging that'll just be thrown out once the food is unpacked! By buying locally, you eliminate all of that. Food grown locally will usually be grown using a minimal amount of chemicals, and once they're picked, they don't have far to travel.

You're Promoting Humane Animal Treatment

Locally grown food comes from animals that are, more than likely, treated humanely. You're not supporting a company that outsources their food needs to a company that has animals in really cramped, uncomfortable and inhumane environments. Animals raised by local farmers have also likely been raised without hormones and with natural diets. 

You're Helping Farmers

Not only are you guaranteed fresh food when you buy locally, but you're supporting local food. If farmers decide to sell their food at wholesale prices, they'll make pennies on the dollar. By buying locally, you're cutting out the middle man and the corporate tycoon. This will help the farmers stay on the land and take care of their crops. You'll also be a personal favorite customer by the farmer just because you went to him instead of going to a retail store to get food that isn't nearly as fresh the farmer's food.

Buying Locally Allows You to Learn More About the Food You're Eating

Buying locally gives you the chance to talk to the farmer and ask for tips on the food. You can learn different cooking tips, as well as any delicious recipes involving the food that you're purchasing. They can then make suggestions of things you can make based on the food that you're getting. Buying food at a chain supermarket won't allow you to have that opportunity, and you'll likely spend hours searching for the perfect recipe on the Internet before giving up and just deciding on one that sounds good.

Buying fresh food locally helps in many ways, but first and foremost, it improves your health and creates a farm for tomorrow. Some grocery stores carry local food from farmers, but the majority of the food can be found on either personal property or at a farmers' market.

Farmers' markets provide you with the chance to see what food is grown locally and speak with various farmers. Do you support local food and farmers in your community? If so, where do you go to buy your food at, and what types of food do you buy? Did you notice a substantial difference in quality between locally bought food and store bought food?

nebraskadave
11/5/2013 6:33:54 AM

Joe, all good points for buying locally. In Nebraska the streets and roads are littered with roadside stands from local farmers during the summer months. Some are organic farmer but most are not. The produce is always good and does taste better than in the store. Farmer's markets are another avenue for local growers to sell their harvest and organic growers are identified by the certification displayed at the sellers booth. ***** To support the local farmers, it's a little more inconvenient than just driving to the store to pickup every thing at once. I must admit that I haven't really supported the local farmers much for that very reason. In today's culture time seems to be at a premium. Every year I vow to go to the farmer's markets more but just don't go. Price is another issue. Not everyone can pay the more expensive prices that local grown produce costs. With budgets tightening every paycheck, the food expensive seems to get cut the most. It's a dilemma for sure. ***** Have a great day at the local market.