Buying your food locally is good for your local economy, good for family farmers, good for your family’s health, and good for the environment. Not to mention how good fresh, local food tastes! Following are a few of the many good reasons to buy locally grown food.
You’ll strengthen your local economy. Buying local food keeps your dollars circulating in your community. Getting to know the farmers who grow your food builds relationships based on understanding and trust, the foundation of strong communities.
You’ll safeguard your family’s health. Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to choose safe food from farmers who avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified seed in their operations. Buy food from local farmers you trust.
You’ll protect the environment. Local food doesn’t have to travel far. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions and packing materials. Buying local food also helps to make farming more profitable and selling farmland for development less attractive. When you buy local food, you vote with your food dollar. This ensures that family farms in your community will continue to thrive and that healthy, flavorful, plentiful food will be available for future generations.
THE FRESHEST, MOST FLAVORFUL FOOD IS JUST AROUND THE CORNER
FOOD TRAVELS ON AVERAGE 1,300 MILES FROM FARM TO TABLE.
- Most fresh fruits and vegetables produced in the U.S. are shipped from California, Florida, and Washington.
- Fruits and vegetables shipped from distant states and countries can spend as many as seven to fourteen days in transit before they arrive in the supermarket.
- Most fruit and vegetable varieties sold in supermarkets are chosen for their ability to withstand industrial harvesting equipment and extended travel not taste. This results in little variety in the plants grown.
TASTE THE DIFFERENCE IN FRESH, LOCAL FOOD AND JUDGE FOR YOURSELF!
- Premium Taste. Locally grown fruits and vegetables are usually sold within 24 hours of being harvested. Produce picked and eaten at the height of ripeness has exceptional flavor and, when handled properly, is packed with nutrients.
- Maximum Freshness. By choosing local produce at farm stands, farmers markets, pick-your-own farms and grocery stores, you pay for taste, not transportation and packaging.
- Unique Varieties. Local farmers often grow a large assortment of unique varieties of products to provide the most flavorful choices throughout the season.
BUYING LOCAL IS THIS EASY:
- Find a farmer, farmers’ market, farm stand, or local food outlet near you.
- Shop at your local farmers’ market or farm stand for the freshest, best tasting food available. It’s easy to find local food. There are over 3,100 farmers’ markets in the U.S.—one is probably near you!
- Encourage your local grocery stores and area restaurants to purchase more of their products from local farmers.
SUPPORT YOUR COMMUNITY BY SUPPORTING YOUR COMMUNITY’S FARMERS
- Family farms are an important part of the American tradition of self-sufficiency, forming the bedrock for communities across the U.S.
- Since 1935, the U.S. has lost 4.7 million farms. Fewer than one million Americans now claim farming as a primary occupation.
- Farmers in 2002 earned their lowest real net cash income since 1940.3 Meanwhile corporate agribusiness profits have nearly doubled (increased 98%) since 1990.
- Large corporations increasingly dominate U.S. food production. Four large firms control over 80% of beef slaughter, 59% of pork packing, and 50% of broiler chicken production.
FAMILY FARMERS ARE THE HEART OF AMERICA’S RURAL COMMUNITIES.
- Local family farmers spend their money with local merchants. The money stays in town where it benefits everyone and builds a stronger local economy. Independent, family-owned farms supply more local jobs and contribute to the local economy at higher rates than do large, corporate-owned farms.
- Eating locally grown, healthy food strengthens your family and community.
- Local farmers who sell direct to consumers receive a larger share of the profit for their food.