Have you heard of the term “locavore”?  This term was coined to describe people who have become strong advocates for consuming and supporting local farms.  This has become an increasingly popular movement in recent times and here are 5 compelling reasons as to why.

Save the Environment

British Columbia’s “get local” organization summarizes the shockingly foreign nature of our current food supply with the following statement.  “The average North American meal travels 2,400 km to get from field to plate and contains ingredients from 5 countries in addition to our own – that’s a lot of food miles… food is now also the largest component of airfreight, the most polluting form of transportation.”  When food is produced locally it uses less transportation which in turn leads to less environmental impacts & pollution.  This includes emissions and pollution that contribute to smog, acid rain and global warming!  By consuming local foods we significantly reduce our carbon footprint on the world by supporting a clean environment.

Time is Money… No, it’s Nutrients 

Due to the fact that local produce is the freshest you can buy, it is also the most nutritious option as it eliminates transport time which causes loss of nutrients. Local growers pick their crops when fully ripe and deliver them to market far quicker than imported goods.  When it comes to local goods, the possibility of having it on your plate within 24 hours of being picked is real!
Nelson Narsisco, holistic nutritionist, reinforces this in stating that “studies have shown that local fruits and vegetables consistently are higher in nutrients than their imported counterparts.”
Get Local BC agrees by saying “when it comes to fresh food, local is most often a much more nutritious choice. For example, 24 to 48 hours after harvest, 50%—89% of vitamin C is lost from leafy vegetables. Bagged spinach loses about half its folate and carotenoids after being stored in refrigeration for just four days. Think about the nutrients in produce that is imported from other countries or continents.”  Other related benefits that come with consuming freshly picked local food are better taste, more variety, seasonal options and longer storage time.  Shopping local means eating local.

Get Re-Connected To Your Food

Local food is also often considered a safer alternative as consumers have a direct connection to the source.  It is possible to have a relationship with and contact local growers who can give you information on how their products are grown and what resources are used. 
BC Get Local points out another safety concern in produce that has been shipped from a distance. “Imported produce is picked weeks before it is ripe, and often, the nutrients, taste, texture, and colour have not fully developed, which can result in the produce being gassed to create a pleasing, healthy appearance to the consumer.” As a rule, the more steps in between the field and the dinner table means the more chances for contamination and safety issues at various phases of harvesting, washing, shipping, packaging, distribution.

Supports Local Economy

When you buy local, you support the local economy, which in turn contributes to our community. When we buy local, the producer receives a higher percentage of the dollar and that money is then re-invested and circulated throughout the community making it stronger, more self-sufficient and keeping taxes in check.  Another thing to remember is that small business owners are more likely to support non-profit organizations than mass corporations.  Therefore, spending local, means enjoying local.  

It’ About the Future - Sustainability

In his book, “The End of Food”, Thomas F. Pawlick describes traditional farming as mixed, family-based and labour intensive.  These types of farms contain both animals and multiple crops and are continuously rotated in a strategic way in order to naturally nourish the soil and provide pest control.  These farms are based on community and sustainability. 

He continues on to explain that the development of mass farming however, has led to the huge development of farmland into highly mechanized monocrops that are continuously planted year after year in order to maximize profit.  This has led to soil mineral depletion and the use of synthetic fertilizers (which only replace few of many essential ingredients) as well as the need for herbicides and pesticides to control the abundance of pests/weeds that return yearly to an unchanging crop.  Thomas continues to state that wastes are not always responsibly recycled and water is often overused.  This type of unsustainable farming has led to pollution, loss of biodiversity as well as habitat destruction.

Many family farms have been bought out due to their inability to compete, leading to a loss of jobs and separation from their land. When we buy imported foods from mass corporations we support these practices.  Choosing to shop local however, helps sustain a diverse, resilient food system. Essentially, local food sales preserves genetic diversity & maintains farmland in the community, protecting it from being developed for future generations.

If you are interested in becoming a “locavore” in any way shape or form, aim to consume foods that are produced and harvested within 100 miles of where you live!

About Good n’ Natural

Good n Natural

Good n’ Natural started as a small-family owned business in 1994. Our team has grown and diversified to include Certified Natural Product Advisers, a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, and a part-time Naturopathic Doctor. Our mission is to educate, inspire, and empower our customers to pursue a healthy lifestyle in order to achieve their wellness goals and in turn build a stronger community.

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