Here’s some food for thought: on average, the food on your plate traveled 1500 miles before it reached you. This unnecessary mileage has a detrimental effect on our environment, personal health, and vibrancy of local economies across America. Because of this situation, there has been a movement in recent years to shift food purchases from chain stores to local farms, farmers’ markets and locally owned grocery stores. This Labor Day, we would like to encourage you to buy local food for your holiday barbeque and beyond.
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So, why should you go “local for Labor Day?” Here are five benefits to buying local:
1. Local food has a lower carbon footprint
When you buy local, you reduce the miles food has traveled from farm to plate. Many food products have unnecessary packaging and are trucked far away, making it is more eco-friendly to buy local.
2. Local food is more nutritious
Local food is picked at the peak of flavor and nutrition because it doesn’t have to travel far to get to your plate. Choosing local, organic food has been shown to be more nutritious than conventional.
3. Local food supports your local economy
When you buy local, you are putting your dollars directly back into your local community and thus the local economy.
4. Local food is safer
In 2011, we saw a listeria outbreak in cantaloupe on a larger, conventional farm. Buying food directly from the farmer means a far less risk of contamination and thus is a safer choice for your health.
5. Local food is an investment in the future of our food system
Buying local supports the notion of a more transparent, safer, and healthier food system for everyone.
Now you know why eating local is good for you and the planet. But you may be wondering, where do I go to buy that delicious and nutritious local food? Find a local CSA or your neighborhood farmers’ market using LocalHarvest.