Getting locally grown fresh produce has so many benefits, not just for the environment, but for your health as well, including:
- Fewer chemicals and preservatives since many small farms use organic methods to grow their produce.
- Preservation of crop diversity. In industrial farming fields are often used only to grow one type of produce, which depleats the soil of essential nutrients, leaving it barren and more prone to disease and pests.
- Reduced miles traveled/ emissions created to get the produce to you.
- Creation of jobs and support for small businesses/ farms.
- Eating seasonally, which has been shown to be better for our health.
- Better, fresher taste, often because the produce is picked at peak ripeness versus too early to ensure it will last several days in transit or on store shelves.
My favorite way to shop local is at farmer’s markets! Don’t forget to bring your reusable bags to load up on all the fresh fruits and veggies, plus yummy samples and other locally made goods. Pro tip: show up towards the end of the farmer’s market and many vendors will start offering discounts to sell everything before it’s over!
You can also check out Community Supported Agriculture programs (CSAs), which allow you to “subscribe” to buy a share of harvested produce, eggs and meats from a local farm each week or month, so you’ll always have fresh, seasonal ingredients.
One day I’d love to have a garden to grow some of my own produce, but for now I’ve made it a goal to shop locally as much as possible! Plus, I’ve loved discovering new and interesting fruits and veggies at farmers markets that I’ve never seen in stores! What has been your favorite farmers market find?