There are so many great reasons to eat local. Eating local supports the local economy, keeps us in touch with the seasons and reduces our carbon footprint. And, if you’re still stretching for a reason to make local food a priority in your life, there’s also the fact that nothing is more important than your health!
Here are FOUR reasons your BODY will thank you for eating local:
1. Local food has longer to ripen.
Because it is handled far less than conventional produce, local fruits and veggies don’t have to stand up to the tests of cross-country shipping. This means that the produce you consume was allowed to ripen until the last possible moment – increasing its nutrient concentration (and enhancing its taste). When’s the last time you had a tomato that was picked off the vine in the last 24 hours? Try one; it’s proof enough that local food is the way to go!
2. Local food promotes food safety.
The smaller the distance and the fewer the middlemen between the earth and your fork, the less opportunity there is for any kind of food contamination. When you know exactly who is growing the food you feed your family, you can be more certain of its safety.
3. Local food promotes variety.
Have you ever heard of “eating the rainbow”? The more variety of colorful foods you eat, the greater number of nutrients you eat – it’s that simple! Farmers who grow for farmers’ markets, CSAs or companies like ours have the demand and economic support to grow more diverse and interesting types of produce. This means a greater selection for you, and a greater selection means a healthy variety of vitamins and nutrients for your family! (Remember those candy-striped beets from last year, delicious collard greens, beautiful yellow summer squash… and on and on!)
4. Local food is fresher.
From the moment a tomato is picked from the vine or lettuce is plucked from the ground – produce begins to lose its nutrients. The longer it takes for food to get from farm to fork, the less nutritional value that food has when you take a bite. When you purchase food from a local grower, it’s had less time to lose essential vitamins, nutrients, and flavor. So eat local and reap all the wonderful health benefits that fresh food has to offer!