By: Lindsay Leduc, Dietetic Intern
There are many reasons why buying local produce is important and beneficial. Here are my top five reasons that will hopefully inspire you to eat more locally sourced foods!
- Know Your Producers: There’s nothing better than roaming your local farmer’s market on Saturday morning and having the ability to chat with the farmers and producers. It’s a reassuring feeling to be able to ask questions and discuss their growing methods, their pesticide/insecticide use, the scope of their farm, and their history. Most local farmers are proud of their work and are more than willing to chat with you. This is something you can never do when shopping at a grocery store!
- Support Local Economy: Invest in your hardworking neighbours. When you spend money on local producers the money is more likely to stay in the local economy, which helps perpetuate growth in your own community. When you spend $100 dollars at a big grocery store, it goes unnoticed. But, when you spend the same amount of money on local producers for the same (or higher quality) produce, this money can help them pay their mortgages, and buy new farming equipment and input for their farms. It is money you can feel good about spending.
- Taste the Freshness: When you buy freshly picked, seasonal produce you can’t deny that it tastes DELICIOUS. You know your food hasn’t spent the last week in transport from a far away country and you can really taste the difference. When you buy local, producers are able to pick produce at peak ripeness, and you reap the benefits in a nutritional and tasty way.
- Better for the Environment: As stated in Reason #3, the further the food needs to travel, the more fossil fuel energy consumed for transportation. Therefore, increasing the carbon footprint of the product. The closer you buy to home, the less impact it has on the environment.
- Cheaper Than You Think: Because you pay less for transportation and are buying directly from the producer, buying local produce can be much cheaper than at the big chain grocery store. If you are on a tight budget, a great tip is to shop the farmer’s market in the last 30 minute before it closes. Producers are likely to reduce their prices and give 2-for-1 deals on their remaining produce as they do not want to bring it home with them.
Overall, buying local and visiting your farmer’s market is a winning situation, for everybody. Make it into a fun weekend activity for you and your family. There are so many things to discover and you will be surprised by the amount of hard work the producers put into their products.