Why locally produced food should always be your first choice
Written by Jayde on November 25th 2020
In recent years, we have often heard how ‘good’ it is to buy local products and even national campaigns on such topics have not been uncommon across Europe.
In most cases, the message is that by choosing locally produced food, you are supporting your community and helping the business of local producers. But we should know that this is not the only reason why it is important and, wherever possible, we should choose food produced in our vicinity.
What does locally grown food actually mean? The easiest way to understand this is that the product isn’t being transported over long distances. This usually means that what you’re consuming isn’t coming from large, commercial farms.
During the biggest gourmet occasion of the year – the coming festive season – we tend to cook our favourite dishes, paired with our favourite drinks, all to celebrate the season and treat our loved ones. It’s throughout this time that it’s especially important to remember the reasons why we should reach out and source locally. Christmas is the perfect time to show gratitude and start supporting local producers.
Top 5 Reasons to Buy Locally Produced Food:
1. It Reduces the Distance That Food Travels
Much of the food on the supermarket shelves has travelled long distances to reach your plate. By shortening the food chain, consumers can reduce food miles and cut carbon emissions. Most of all, you are also reducing how much pollution you are causing indirectly through consumption. Buying locally can indeed help reduce your greenhouse gas emissions and your overall impact.
2. It’s Healthier
You’re more likely to get higher quality produce if you shop locally. When the source is local, you are guaranteed the full traceability back to the farm. Local food does not need to have any preservatives and other chemicals added to it in order to keep it fresh during transit. Fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutrients within 24 hours of being picked, so locally grown food, when it’s picked at its peak ripeness, is at its fullest with nutrients.
3. There is Less Packaging Involved
Shopping at local markets provides an opportunity to reduce food and packaging waste. Much of the food produced is wasted from seed to plate and waste occurs in every phase of the supply chain; from production and harvest to distribution and consumption (where the largest percentage of waste occurs in this phase).
4. It Helps the Local Economy
At the most basic level, when you buy local, more money stays in the community. In taking a closer look at how money flows, we can see the profound economic impact of keeping money in towns or regions, and how the fate of many communities around both the nation and the world increasingly depend on it. As local farmers do not have the same transportation and distribution costs as large agricultural businesses, they can retain more profits from their sales which helps small farming businesses become more successful.
5. Genetic Diversity Is Protected
Many types of farmed produce use modern commercial technologies from certain genetic strands. In small-scale farming, farmers can use a variety of produce types with lots of different colors, helping to preserve the genetic diversity of produce. Similarly, a variety of animals can be raised on a small-scale farm, which helps to enhance biodiversity and provide more options to the consumer.
Shopping at your local farmers market this Christmas is a wonderful way to support local growers, the local economy and the environment.