Have you ever wondered about the benefits of locally grown food? If so, you’re not alone. Demand for local food is rising. However, you may not know why locally grown food is better for you, your community and the environment. This article highlights 10 benefits of locally grown food. Let’s get started!
10 Benefits of Locally Grown Food
1. Locally Grown Food Benefits Local Businesses
Buying local food supports the local economy. You support neighborhood farmers by buying locally grown food instead of giving your hard-earned money to a multinational corporation. By shopping local, you keep your money within your local economy, promoting higher living standards, better health, and a more vibrant community.
When you buy food from a supermarket chain, there are many parties involved in getting that produce to your grocer. Before that money returns to the farmer, everyone else along the chain gets their cut. Shortening that distribution chain helps local farmers put money back into their operations.
2. It is a Safer Food Supply
A safer food supply is another one of the benefits of locally grown food. If you’ve been paying attention to the news over the last few years, you know that food safety is a growing concern. As recently as August 2022, E. coli from infected lettuce in the Midwest sickened residents of at least four states. Buying locally grown food promotes safer food supply chains and insulates you from buying contaminated food.
When you know exactly where your food comes from, you can have more confidence that you’re eating food that will make you and your community happy and healthy.
3. You Know How It’s Grown
Local growers can tell you how the food was grown. If you are what you eat, shouldn’t you know as much as possible about the food you’re putting in your body? Another benefit of buying locally grown food is that you can speak with the people who grew the food you and your family will eat. You can learn everything from the amount of water used to grow your food to the composition of the soil.
4. Locally Grown Food Creates Less Waste
One of the benefits of locally grown food is that it contributes less waste to the environment. Buying local shortens the distribution chain, meaning less is wasted across every stage. Buying local food means spoiling fewer goods in trucks and warehouses or going unpurchased in supermarkets. Grocery stores and restaurants tend to toss less food when they get their products closer to harvest.
5. It’s Fresher
Local food is fresher. When you buy produce at a supermarket, it’s often weeks old. This means you must eat it almost as soon as you bring it home. If you’ve ever cut open an avocado and left it alone for a few minutes only to return to it turning brown before your eyes, you know what we’re saying. When you buy local foods, you get them at the height of freshness, leading to better-tasting, longer-lasting produce.
6. No Herbicides or Pesticides
Most local producers don’t use the same pesticides and herbicides commercial farmers use. Additionally, because locally grown foods are sold in the same community they were harvested in, they don’t need to be treated with preservatives and other chemicals that commercial farmers use to preserve the lifespan of their produce. Ask your local growers if they use organic or natural pest repellents.
7. It’s More Nutritious
Buying local food is more nutritious. There are three simple reasons why locally grown food is more nutritious. First, there is a lack of chemicals like pesticides, herbicides and preservatives that we mentioned earlier. Removing those potentially cancer-causing chemicals from your food will make it more nutritious.
The second reason local food is more nutritious is that it’s fresher than food trucked in from across the country or flown in from the other side of the world. The third and final reason is that local food is seasonal. When you eat food that is grown and harvested within its natural season, it tastes better and is better for you.
8. Locally Grown Food Benefits Your Diet
Because local food is not stored or transported with other foods, there is less chance of allergens contaminating the food. Buying locally grown food is also an excellent way for people with sensitivities to hormones, preservatives and other chemicals to eat delicious, nutritious food without sacrificing health.
9. It Promotes Genetic Diversity
Buying local food promotes genetic diversity. Many types of large-scale farm-grown produce use identical genetic strands. Much like Dalmatians have congenital disabilities due to a lack of genetic diversity, the same happens with crops leading to weaker, less robust strands. With local farming, farmers can use various genetic strands on their farms. Using these different strands promotes greater genetic diversity and more robust crops. Additionally, local farmers can raise a wide variety of animals on a small farm, enhancing biodiversity and providing more options to consumers.
10. Locally Grown Food Benefits the Environment
Locally grown food helps to preserve small farmland from overdevelopment. Overdevelopment is a significant problem in urban areas. On every other block, there is a Starbucks or CVS, but investing in local farming helps to protect farmland. Those green spaces would be turned into another CVS or a parking lot if not for these local farms. Additionally, green spaces provide homes for various plant and animal life that could otherwise be kicked out of their natural habitat.
There are a lot of excellent benefits that come with eating locally grown foods. If you want to learn how you can start your local farm, check out our Pure Greens container farms. Our container farms are fully assembled vertical hydroponic grow systems built-in 40ft insulated shipping containers. Pure Greens can customize our container farms to the user’s specifications. Contact us and learn more today!