Getting your daily servings of fruits and vegetables is an essential part of a healthy diet, but did you know you can go one step further by eating locally grown food? "Locally grown food" is food that was grown near the area it is being sold. There are many benefits to eating locally grown food, including benefits to the environment and local economy; however, the health benefits to eating locally are reason enough to give it a try.
Did you know...
- Locally grown foods may contain fewer chemicals. The mass production of foods seen at factory farms often comes with an increase in chemical use (i.e. pesticides and fertilizers). Smaller, local farmers tend to use much less chemicals.
- Food tastes better and is fresher when locally grown. Locally grown food is picked at the peak of their freshness. When you purchase food that was grown far away, you can expect that it has traveled long distances on trucks or planes and stored at a warehouse before going to the supermarket where it is finally purchased. Have you ever compared a locally grown tomato to one that was grown at a faraway location? The difference is like night and day!
- Locally grown foods have more nutritional value. The less time that passes between farm and table, the fewer nutrients fresh produce will lose. Locally grown fruits and vegetables contain more nutrients because they are picked at their peak freshness, transported shorter distances and sold directly to you.
- Locally grown foods have less environmental impact. Foods often travel thousands of miles from the point of production to final sale, and require excess packaging to make the journey. Eating locally saves energy and wasteful packaging. Additionally, buying locally helps maintain farmland and green space in the local area.
- Eating local contributes to the local economy. By reducing transportation, packaging, and other costs, more of the money goes to the grower and supports the local economy.