As I have written about numerous times here on Care2, there are many benefits to buying and eating locally grown food.
These include the simple fact that fresh fruits and vegetables just taste better. They are crunchier, juicier, sweeter and more flavorful. Another important benefit is that it is better for the environment because it reduces the need for transportation.
Since I am a farm writer, for me, the biggest benefit is that buying locally supports our local farmers, ranchers and preserves farmland. Buying local helps farmers and ranchers be profitable and this is what allows them to keep their land in farming.
As more and more people go in search of healthy food grown on local farms, there will be an increased need for local farmers and more farmland. American Farmland Trust is working to help build sustainable food and farming systems.
They not only work to preserve farmland but, to promote community and small family farms, protect local food systems, promote sound stewardship, and preserve water and soil quality.
So think about keeping it local whenever you shop. You don’t have to live in a farming community or even have a farmers’ market nearby, many grocery stories, restaurants, and even school cafeterias are now purchasing and/or selling locally grown food. To find local food near you, check Local Harvest or the Eat Well Guide.
You can support the work of American Farmland Trust by making a donation and in return, get some of their cool “No Farms No Food” merchandise in the process, and you can also show your support of local eating by taking the “Keep It Local Pledge”.