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Benefits of Eating Local

Locally grown food is full of flavor. When grown locally, the crops are picked at their peak of ripeness versus being harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to your local retail store. Many times produce at local markets has been picked within 24 hours of your purchase.

Eating local food is eating seasonally. Even though we wish certain items like strawberries were grown year round, the best time to eat them is when they can be purchased directly from a local grower. That's when the produce is full of flavor and tastes better than the ones available out of season that have traveled thousands of miles and were picked before they were ripe.

Local food has more nutrients. Local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table, therefore it is less likely that the nutrient value has decreased. Food imported from far-away states and countries is often older, has traveled and sits in distribution centers before it gets to your store.

Local food supports the local economy. The money that is spent with local farmers and growers all stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in your community. It is estimated that every dollar spent can recirculate as much as $1.30-$2.60 back into the local economy (Lynch, et al., 2015).

Local food benefits the environment. By purchasing locally grown foods you help maintain farmland and green and/or open space in your community. Local food also requires less travel, thus reducing carbon emissions.

Local foods promote a safer food supply. The more steps there are between you and your food’s source the more chances there are for contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping and distribution.Local growers can tell you how the food was grown. You can ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food.

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