What You Miss When You Choose Not To Buy Local Produce
Summertime brings many options to buy local produce from a variety of sources such as farmers’ markets, produce stands, home delivery services, and co-ops. Although you may think that what can be found at the farmers’ markets is no different than what is found in the grocery store, they are not nearly the same at all. Local fruits and veggies are not only fresher, more nutritious, and healthier, but buying locally can actually help save you money.
Local produce is fresher and more nutritious.
Grocery store food travels an average of 1500 miles from farm to table so it’s often days, if not weeks, old before you even purchase it. Shipped produce can spend as many as fourteen days in transit via trucks, planes, and warehouses before it even reaches your local store! This means loss of flavour, freshness, and nutrients.
On the other hand, local produce doesn’t have to travel very far and is often picked hours, or a day or two before you have the opportunity to purchase it. It’s picked at the peak of freshness, which means it contains more vitamins, minerals, and nutrients.
Local produce has more flavour.
Freshly-picked fruits and veggies have so much more flavour. Try comparing locally grown produce to the same item at the store- you may be surprised at how much sweeter, tastier, and richer the flavour of the locally grown item is in comparison to what can be bought at the grocery store. You may even find it more difficult to go back to eating store-bought produce after you’ve had a taste from the local farmers’ market!
Local produce is healthier.
Knowing where your food comes from and how it’s processed is an important factor in healthy nutrition. Most produce found in the grocery store has been sprayed with chemicals or pesticides. Due to the fact that certain chemicals don’t have to be disclosed on packaging or labels, you’ll never know what your food has come into contact with.
On the other hand, you can easily talk to local farmers about their products and find out if they use chemicals, pesticides, or GMO seeds. Many will be very open with you and pride themselves on using more organic and natural methods of growing their crops.
Local produce saves you money.
One of the best perks of buying locally grown produce is that you will often save money. Locally grown items don’t require the added cost of transport and packaging, allowing you to find items cheaper than you would at the store. At my local market, I’m able to buy many organic items for the same price as conventionally grown produce from the grocery store. The savings and added flavour are definitely worth the trip to the market!