Do you ever think about where your food comes from? Like where it was produced, grown, and harvested? It may matter more than you think. While the apples from halfway across the world may look similar to the ones grown in your community, the difference is often more than meets the eye. Those locally grown apples may actually offer a few significant advantages over their out-of-town counterparts, both for you and the environment. Indeed, there are a number of reasons why we should embrace sourcing food locally. Keep reading to learn more.
It’s Fresher - and Often Tastier It usually takes a while for imported food to make its way to your local grocery store. In fact, most produce in the US travels an average of 1500 miles before hitting store shelves - and that’s when it has been grown in the US! It may take even longer when you’re importing from another country, meaning your food maybe a week old or more by the time it hits your plate. While it's still perfectly edible at this point, it has often lost a lot of its freshness. Local produce, on the other hand, doesn’t have nearly as far to travel. Therefore, the produce you see at farmers’ markets and stands has often been freshly picked just a day or two before being sold to customers. The shorter travel time usually means that the produce is able to stay on the vine and ripen longer, which can make it significantly tastier. Once you’ve had fresh, perfectly ripened produce, you may never want to go back!
It’s Better for the Environment Purchasing from local producers doesn’t only result in fresher, tastier food, but it’s also better for the environment. Take a look at the benefits below.
Less Pollution and Carbon Emissions Sourcing food locally cuts down on the amount of time those gas-guzzling food delivery trucks spend on the road. Reducing those 1500-mile trips to even just 100 miles can result in significantly less driving-related pollution and carbon emissions, which can positively impact the surrounding ecosystem.
Less Plastic Waste Farmers selling their products at local markets don't often provide plastic bags with their produce, resulting in less waste. They may have cartons or paper bags on hand to give to customers, but more often than not, customers are expected to bring their own reusable bags or containers. Those who forget may have a hard time getting around with their arms full of loose produce!
Supports Sustainable Practices You may not be aware of it, but the farmers in your community may already be doing a lot of good for the environment. Those that are using sustainable practices to run their farms can benefit the surrounding ecosystem in many ways. For example, they protect pollinators, boost biodiversity, and contribute to clean water, soil, and air. By sourcing food locally, you can help support these farmers and their environmentally-friendly practices for years to come. Looking to support local businesses? Click here to check out our fresh, flavorful menu at Sõl Kitchen, and drop by or order online today!