Posts Tagged ‘Eat Local’

Local Carrots from the Ozarks1. Unbeatable taste: Why do tomatoes from a farmers’ market taste so much better than most store-bought tomatoes? According to http://www.foodroutes.org, fruits and vegetables shipped from distant states and countries may spend a week or even two in transit before arriving at the supermarket. In contrast, most farmers’ market tomatoes have been off the vine for less than 24 hours when set out for sale. Local produce also tastes better because most shipped varieties are grown for their ability to withstand industrial harvesting equipment, extended travel and a long shelf life.

2. Better health and nutrition: Buying locally allows consumers to make selections based on the farmer’s use of pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and other additives. Currently, producers do not have to include this information on food labels. In addition, local foods — especially fruits and vegetables — have more nutritional value because they are allowed to ripen on the vine.

3. Greater variety: Local growers offer a tremendous selection.

4. Easier on the environment: Aside from the environmental concerns associated with industrial agriculture and confinement animal feeding operations, an industrial food supply requires transporting food items thousands of miles, which uses up fuel and creates pollution.

5. Support for family farms: The 2002 Census of Agriculture showed a steep drop in the percentage of principal farm operators 35 years old or younger, from 15.9 percent in 1982 to 5.8 percent 20 years later. Eating local helps create the demand necessary to motivate a new generation to enter this risky business.

6. Improved security: According to a 2007 report by Hendrickson and University of Missouri rural sociology professor emeritus William Heffernan, 11 large firms control 83.5 percent of all U.S. beef slaughter, 66 percent of pork packing, 58.5 percent of broiler chicken production and 55 percent of turkey production. The same report shows four large firms control 55 percent of all U.S. flour milling and soybean crushing. If something bad happened at one of this big companies — anything from a safety recall to terrorism — the effect would be severe.

7. Stronger relationships: For many “localvores,” this benefit is the reason they feel passionate about local food systems. They love knowing the stories behind their food, they love connecting to a particular place, and they love interacting with other people who are passionate about food and culture.

Why do you choose to eat local? Tell us why and leave us a comment.

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