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Eat Local, Shop Local

Eat Local, Shop Local

 

I’ve had a few excellent conversations lately about the true meaning of “food security.” In the past, the conversation has centered around the need to bring grocery stores into low-income neighborhoods whose residents either had to travel far distances to purchase their groceries – not easy for those relying upon public transportation — or depend on local corner stores and liquor stores for their groceries. This means that, in may low-income neighborhoods, residents have little access to fresh, healthy foods. This set of circumstances has traditionally been referred to as “food insecurity.”

However, more recently, the conversation has shifted. There is now an awareness that true food security requires more than the presence of a large, corporate grocery store. The healthy food available should also be culturally relevant. And it should be provided by locally owned and operated businesses whose profits stay within the community and help boost the local economy.

With the popularity of this past weekend’s Small Business Saturday, it is clear that there are important connections between the desire for true food security and the desire to promote local businesses. It comes down to two factors: ethics and culture. We want to support local businesses because they tend to have high ethical standards. And their practices are often more transparent. In addition, we support them because they help to maintain local culture. Whereas the presence of chain stores makes one town look just like the next, unique local businesses spring from the local cultural ethos and help that culture continue to thrive. What’s more, locally owned and operated businesses support local economies, rather than funneling their profits back to distant corporations.

This holiday season, those choosing local ingredients for their celebratory meals and those purchasing gifts from local vendors are really working to promote the same idea. That is, the notion that residents are best served when their local cultures are thriving.

Related:
Holiday Shopping: Choose Meaning Over Materialism
Food Justice and the Occupy Movement
The Political is Personal

Read more: Christmas, Community, Community Service, Do Good, Food, Green, Hanukkah, Holidays, Home, Life, Make a Difference, New Year, Other Holidays, , , ,

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Sarah Cooke

Sarah Cooke is a writer living in California. She is interested in organic food and green living. Sarah holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Naropa University, an M.A. in Humanities from NYU, and a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University. She has written for a number of publications, and she studied Pastry Arts at the Institute for Culinary Education. Her interests include running, yoga, baking, and poetry. Read more on her blog.

27 comments

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8:24AM PDT on Jul 31, 2012

Local is fabulous, especially during the growing season. Canada is the world's second largest country in geographic mass but has thirty three million people. Very long distances involved in shipping food during the winter when the southern part of the country is too cold to grow veggies.

Love to grow my own veggies and herbs on the balcony, along with catnip (a year's supply) for Her Grandness. There are Farmer's Markets as well as organic farms with produce or meat nearby rural areas close to town. Everything is fresh, local and marvellous!

5:03AM PDT on Mar 20, 2012

Thanks for sharing

7:48PM PST on Dec 10, 2011

thanks

12:57PM PST on Dec 4, 2011

I love local businesses. The prices are a little higher, but small businesses are the future. I shop there as much as I can, but sometimes I have to go to Walmart or HEB.

12:56AM PST on Dec 4, 2011

Local is fresher, tastes better, more likely to be organic and be seasonal, and less shipping. Sounds like a win win!

10:41PM PST on Nov 30, 2011

some people are finally starting to make a point of supporting our local farmers. Even the larger grocery stores are starting to offer a little bit more local produce, but still not as much as I'd like to see.

9:15PM PST on Nov 30, 2011

OK!

8:23PM PST on Nov 30, 2011

Some local places have nothing.

4:08PM PST on Nov 30, 2011

Greed of those like big ole mister Walmart. They are still pushing us out, but we as certified organic farmers are pushing back.

2:23PM PST on Nov 30, 2011

Thanks for this.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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