5 Reasons to Eat Locally Grown Food
Locally grown food doesn't have to travel as far to arrive on your plate so it has more flavour, lasts longer and has more health benefits. Going local supports our farmers and the local economy. It reduces environmental impact by lowering greenhouse emissions, helps bring the community together, and gives people the opportunity to make a difference.
Locally grown produce is fresher and tastier
Fruit and veg that you get at the supermarket has often been in transit or cold-stored for days or weeks, while produce from your local farmers is picked and available to buy within 24 hours of leaving the farm. Fresh fruit and veg tastes better, and the nutritional value is much higher. Local fruits and vegetables are allowed longer to ripen on the tree or vine, because they do not have to stand up to the rigour of shipping and much more handling.
Eating locally grown means supporting our farmers
Buying locally grown food helps strengthen the community by investing food dollars close to home. When buying from supermarkets, a mere 18 cents in every dollar goes to the grower, and 82 cents goes to various unnecessary middlemen. When we cut them out of the picture our dollars go to the farmers and this in turn creates more economic opportunities.
Local food keeps us in touch with the seasons
By eating with the seasons, we are eating foods when they are at their most flavoursome, the most abundant, and the least expensive.
Locally grown food has stories to tell
Whether it’s the farmer who brings local apples to market or the baker who makes bread, learning about the story behind our food can be a powerful part of enjoying a meal.
Local food systems reduce environmental impact
In CERES ‘Food miles in Australia report, 2008’, an average shopping basket of 29 common food items traveled over 70,000 kms - that’s nearly two times the distance around the Earth. Just four imported items accounted for nearly 50,000 kms. Our present industrialised food system that transports food long distances is dependent on the artificially low energy prices that come with ‘cheap oil’. This can not last forever. Buying local food is an investment in our future.
According to some estimates, world oil production has already peaked, and while demand for energy continues to grow, supply will dwindle and send the price of energy (and food) through the roof. Why wait to re-evaluate our food choices when we can start to build resilient local economies now? That is, energy efficient agricultural methods, like smaller-scale organic agriculture, and local production.