It’s Not Just About Hitting the Local Farmers Market
Remember, we can all do our part to save the planet, and it doesn’t just come down to utilizing the magical powers of alternative energy resources such as solar power panels and green lightbulbs. Another often overlooked way that you can go green and help save the planet is by shopping for and eating local produce, wherever you may be living.
In recent years, the local farm to table (or farm to fork) movement has pushed local farmers and producers into the limelight. The movement began as a backlash against the increase of genetically modified foods, and took on greater momentum as eating locally produced food just makes sense to a wide spectrum of people. After all, local, fresh foods are also just better for your health. Here are a few more of the wonderful benefits that eating locally grown produce has.
Local Produce Supports the Local Economy
By purchasing local produce, you ensure the continued financial success of small farms and businesses. Local foods also help preserve green space and farmland by buying foods grown and raised closer to where they are purchased.
Produce from your area usually has less of an environmental impact, because the foods are not shipped for thousands of miles. This reduces your carbon footprint. Supporting small farmers and agriculture businesses also encourage farmers to increase and maintain sustainable food growing practices.
And little to no plastic packaging is needed for those yams you buy at the Saturday market, versus the excessive plastic packaging used on the finely chopped broccoli florets.
Eat Seasonally and Locally
Buying food produced locally also encourages the consumption of foods that are in season – which is a far cry from the mass produced produce that we are lulled into buying out of season due to the fluorescent lighting and the fact that we are so removed from nature. Most packaging is also petroleum based and unhealthy as well.
If you really want to go green through the consumption of local produce, you could grow your own. Seasonal vegetables such as zucchini, squash, pumpkin, and beets all make for a hearty winter stew, while tomatoes, eggplant, and corn all are excellent components of a backyard shish kabob.
Start Eating More Local Produce Today
Local foods also encourage more numerous and strong connections with farmers and small agriculture, versus the tenuous connections you build with giant mega-corporations. It also creates community by encouraging you to carpool to the farmer’s market rather than drive your SUV alone to the supermarket.[Photo Via: Chris De Dier]