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Top 5 Reasons to Buy Local Food

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  • October 14, 2012
  • 10:00 am
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3. Local Food Promotes Community

A lot of good comes from knowing your farmer and other producers and interacting with them face-to-face. It promotes a sense of community, which is invaluable. But it also promotes a sense of shared responsibility. For the consumer, there’s a responsibility to understand where her food comes from and what goes into growing and making it and the more she understands, the more she’ll want to support her farmer. For the farmer, the responsibility is to grow the best food he can using the best practices possible. It’s a win-win scenario all around.

4. Local Food Promotes the Local Economy

Just as the consumer chooses to buy from a local farm rather than a big-box store, so the farmer is more likely to use the money he earns at local businesses. Brian Halweil, another panelist and author of “Eat Here, Reclaiming Homegrown Pleasures in a Global Supermarket,” writes that a study by the New Economics Foundation in London found that “a pound (or dollar, peso, or rupee) spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy… When these businesses are not owned locally, money leaves the community at every transaction.”

5. Because Local Food May Be More Nutritious

Or it may not be. Regardless, as many advocates of organic food argued during the Stanford study controversy, the fact that local food may be more nutritious than industrial food isn’t the main point of eating it anyway. And in any case, as Halweil said at the panel discussion, the science to support that hypothesis is “murky.”

Some studies do suggest that local food may have advantages, though. For example, it typically isn’t transported or stored for as long a period of time, during which nutrients may degrade. Also, older cultivars of some plants are higher in micronutrients than newer cultivars that have been selected for high yields in industrial agriculture.

What are your reasons for buying local food? What would it take to convince people you know to “go local”?

 

Related Stories:

Reinstating Local Food, Local Rules

Eating Local Food: The Movement, Locavores and More

Is Organic Agriculture Bad for the Environment? Another Reason to Eat Locally

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99 comments

+ add your own
2:53AM PDT on Apr 19, 2014

thanks

8:46AM PDT on Apr 24, 2013

Thank you for posting this article.

6:22AM PDT on Mar 14, 2013

Thank you for sharing.

5:55AM PST on Dec 12, 2012

Thank you Jan, for Sharing this!

2:34AM PST on Dec 3, 2012

Thank you for the info

2:05AM PDT on Oct 27, 2012

Thank you :)

8:04AM PDT on Oct 21, 2012

Just remember folks that if your local economy has customers elsewhere, those customers might take a dim view of you dismissing the products that they'll like to sell you just for not being made local.

5:03AM PDT on Oct 21, 2012

I agree with some of the others here...you should support your local economy. Plus, the south has yummy things! :P

4:12PM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

love farmers market & little stands in area

10:35AM PDT on Oct 20, 2012

ty

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