Challenge #34: Buy local food

Buy local food

Buy local food

“Local food is about getting the freshest and best-testing food. It’s also about connecting to and strengthening your local community.”

-Anna Lappe

Hey, folks!

Another week has passed and a new one is here. Which means we have a new challenge for you. This week we want you to buy as much local food as possible. That doesn’t mean we want you to buy more food than you usually buy, just go to the local market and buy your food there.

We’ll point out some of the most important benefits of buying local. By the end of this post, you’ll see that buying local food is good for everyone in your community. So let’s take a closer look at those benefits.

Benefits of buying local food

As consumers, most of us rarely think about the source of the food we buy. Normally, we just go to the nearest store or supermarket and simply buy the groceries on our list. Some of us put some extra thought into buying healthier food, but there are only few people who actually think about the origin of the food.

We’ll give you 10 reasons that will hopefully make you want to buy local food the next time you go shopping. Many of them are good for the environment.

  • Local food is often more organically produced:

Local farms are often smaller and they tend to do their best to cultivate their land as organically as possible. By supporting them, the overall usage of chemical fertilizers, herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides is decreased.

  • Eating local reduces your carbon footprint:

When you buy local food you automatically contribute to the overall CO2 reduction, since the food doesn’t travel long distance. That way you are reducing pollution, promoting better air quality, and helping reduce the enhanced greenhouse effect.

“Serve the kind of food you know the story behind.”

-Michael Pollan

  • Buying local food is good for the soil:

By buying local food you encourage diversification of local agriculture, meaning there will be less reliance on monoculture which is bad for the soil. (monoculture – single crops grown over a wide area to the detriment of soil).

local food

  • By buying local food you reduce waste:

Since the distribution chains for local food are much shorter, less food is wasted. Usually, there are tons of food that turn into waste during the transportation on long distances.

  • Buying local food helps preserve open space:

By buying local food you help local farms to survive and thrive, which prevents land from being turned into suburban sprawl. As such you help preserve local wildlife and ecosystem.

  • Local food is fresher:

Local food is fresher, healthier, and it tastes better. It takes way less time for it to come from the farm to your plate (it is usually sold within 24 hours of being picked). Therefore, it doesn’t lose many nutrients and incurs less spoilage.

  • By buying local food you support the local community:

Buying local food creates local job opportunities and helps local families.

“Local and regional food systems are about opportunity.”

-Tom Vilsack

  • Buying local food helps the local economy:

When you spend your money on local food, that money stays in your local economy system. That way it can boost the local economy, which creates more jobs in local businesses.

  • Local food is riper:

When food is locally produced it actually ripens on the vines, giving plants enough time to develop good taste and nutritional value. On the other hand, the food that needs to travel a long way is picked unripe.

  • Local food is seasonal:

Not every type of food is available all year round, which means that the food available at the local market is the most abundant, least expensive and at its peak. As such it helps us stay in touch with seasons.

local food

There are other benefits of buying local food, but we think we’ve covered the most important ones. Hopefully, those will be enough to make you realize that buying local is super important and that you’ll be more than happy to take on this challenge.

And try not to forget about it as soon as the week is over.  😉

Also, do your best not to be consumed by thoughts like:”How can I possibly make a difference since the food is already here, it has already been transported …” Remember, each and every one of us holds the responsibility and the power as a consumer. (read more: Challenge #28: Spend your money wisely)

Moreover, do the best you can to focus your attention on veggies – you’ll do yourself and the environment a huge favor. (read more: Challenge #9: Why do people eat meat?)

“Great food with real local flavors is just a short cab ride away.”

-Tim Zagat

Take-home points:
  • Buy local food.
  • By buying local food you are helping your community.
  • By buying local food you’re helping the environment.
  • By buying local food you’ll eat better food.

Have a nice week and enjoy all of your meals as much as possible. Hopefully, there will be at least one local ingredient in each of them. 😉

With love and care,

Good Earthlings

 

6 comments

  1. Vincent says:

    Something new for me to learn about. I am from Singapore we don’t have many farmlands to plant food and most of our food imported from Malaysia or Thailand. Currently, we have some hydroponics farmed vegetable which is usually very expensive. They definitely look fresher and more organic than the imported stuff. Here in Singapore, we do support our local economy by buying local products, the non-food items.

    • Good Earthling says:

      That can be the case – local food can be a bit more expensive, but if you can afford it, it is usually worth paying a few extra bucks for much better quality and freshness. 🙂

  2. Egon Sarv says:

    To Vincent:

    I’ve been in Singapore and so I understand you well. You have only a big city and no farmland so it’s difficult to grow a local food indeed.

    But that’s always the problem of big cities (and those who are used with huge megamalls). We lived (for years) in Indonesia, and over there it was a bit easier. At least bananas, fruits, and most of the veggies were grown locally. And also chickens, ducks, etc.

    I remember that apples came from the United States and dairy products from Australia and New Zealand.

    To Good Earthling:

    Hey! Great article and great challenge. I take the challenge and see how it goes (at least here in the Northen Europe and in a relatively small town it is possible to buy local food.)

    I am just curious, what do you recommend to those living in a huge metropolis?

    • Good Earthling says:

      Hi, there!

      Big cities where we’ve been so far they all had local market where you could get fresh local food. It sure is a bit more tricky in cities that don’t have those. There it is probably the best option to take a short trip once a week to the nearest farm and buy some fresh ingredients there.

  3. LindaB says:

    What a beautiful image and eye-opening article. I liked to buy local when I can, but I did not realize there was so much difference I could make by doing it. I almost missed your page, All About You. That page needs a better title. You have a gem there and it needs to be shown of more. Wealthy Affiliate University is something I only recently discovered when I was researching scams. This one is not a scam. It is the real deal. I look forward to future blogs.

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