Looking to make your diet more sustainable? Try eating more local foods! In recent years, the movement towards buying local food has gained significant momentum. Whether it’s shopping at farmers’ markets, joining a community-supported agriculture (CSA) program, or choosing locally sourced options at grocery stores, there are numerous benefits to choosing local food. And you don’t even need to switch to a plant based diet! Keep reading for all the benefits of local eating – here’s why you should always buy local food!

1. Support local small business in your community

Buying local food keeps money within the community and supports local farmers/growers. This economic support helps to sustain small farms and businesses, contributing to a healthier local economy overall. When these businesses thrive, they can create more jobs and contribute to your community in various ways (such as sponsoring local events, contributing to local charities, etc.). My favorite way to shop local is at the farmer’s market – it is such an easy place for low waste shopping!

2. A more eco-friendly option

Local food doesn’t travel far, significantly reducing carbon dioxide emissions and packaging waste associated with transportation. By minimizing the distance food travels, we reduce the environmental footprint of our meals. In addition, small local farms often use more sustainable farming practices compared to industrial farms, which can help maintain soil health and reduce pesticide use.

3. Freshness and nutrient density

Local food is often fresher than its store-bought counterparts, which have to travel long distances before reaching supermarket shelves. Local produce is usually picked at its peak ripeness, a time when it’s most flavorful and nutritious. Freshness not only affects the taste but also the nutritional content of food—fresher produce retains more vitamins and minerals, making local food a healthier (and more delicious!) choice.

4. Promotes biodiversity and preserves local farmland

Local farms are more likely to grow a wide variety of crops to meet community needs and adapt to local growing conditions. This diversity stands in contrast to larger farms that often grow only one crop to maximize yield and profit. By supporting local farms, consumers help sustain and encourage agricultural diversity, which is crucial for maintaining healthy ecosystems.

5. Helps with seasonal eating

Seasonal eating is a great way to be more sustainable with your eating… And it’s delicious too! Buying local encourages eating foods that are in season. Seasonal eating not only tastes better but also offers higher nutritional benefits and variety in your diet. This connection to the natural growing seasons can enhance your appreciation for food and its sources, fostering a deeper connection with your environment.

6. Growing community connections

Purchasing local food often involves direct interactions with farmers and food producers, such as at farmers’ markets or through community-supported agriculture (CSA) programs. These interactions can lead to stronger community connections and a better understanding of where your food comes from, how it’s grown, and the challenges local farmers face. Staying informed and learning is a great way to continue on your eco journey!

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The choice to buy local food offers a multitude of benefits, from enhancing your health and taste buds to supporting economic growth and sustainability in your community. While it might not always be possible to buy everything locally, incorporating more local foods into your diet when available can make a significant positive impact. How do you like to enjoy local foods??

Jenna ♥

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