Sustainable Living & Sustainable Lifestyle

eat local

What Are Good Reasons to Eat Local?

Of course, the most “eat local” spot you can choose is to grow your own vegetables. But let’s assume that’s not a realistic option for most you.

What Are Good Reasons to Eat Local?

What Is Eat Local?

Eating local has been a popular phrase for many years now. Part of the movement has grown out of a realization that much of what happens in the industrial food system is not all that appealing, much less appetizing.

 

That includes large feedlots where cattle are fed grains, rather than the grass they naturally consume. These leads to them having to be given antibiotics to fight off illness. They also are often given steroids that promote fast growth.

Given those facts, it’s not surprising that more people are turning to eating grass-fed, pasture finished beef from cattle raised by farmers in their area.

But that’s just one of many reasons. Here are others.

Fresher Food

Meat, dairy and vegetables shipped many miles as part of a large industrial food chain do not arrive fresh at your table. They are refrigerated for long cross-country trips, and then often stored at the grocery store before finally reaching the shelves. Buying from a local farmer’s market almost always means getting something that is fresh.

Seasonal Foods

When you eat local, you eat seasonal foods. This helps you avoid eating food that has been artificially freshened through the use of gases and other means. It also helps you avoid eating foods that have been shipped thousands of miles from where they are currently growing in season. An eating seasonally also leads to more variety in your diet.

Better for the Environment

As mentioned above, many foods are shipped thousands of miles, which leaves a gigantic carbon footprint. All that is avoided if you eat local. Also, local foods mean grassland and farmland gets preserved in your area, which is good for the overall environment of your community.

Support the Local Economy

One of the main reasons to eat local has not exploded across the country yet because it’s difficult for farmers and ranchers to make a profit without a steady stream of customers. The more people who buy local, the more local farms and ranches will spring up around the country. For many, putting money into the pocket of local operations is a better option that giving more money to a faraway corporation.

Some Food is Not Food

As made clear in the book, “In Defense of Food” by Michael Pollan, many items we think of as “food” on grocery store shelves are not food at all. Much of it is made up of chemicals that may be labeled as nutritious but are certainly not actual food. On the other hand, your local farmers’ market offers nothing but real food.

Those are some of the good reasons to eat local. Supporting your local farmers and ranchers does not than just help you eat better. It also allows helps the local economy and environment, making your community that much stronger.


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