The Advantages of Buying Locally

veggie basket Although the term “buying locally” can refer to a number of products, produce purchased from farmer’s markets, food co-ops, and local food stands is what usually comes to mind. And though it may be more convenient to have a one-stop-shop for all of your grocery needs, there are some definite benefits to buying your food from a local source, which includes:

Buying locally is fresher

Let’s face it: When we pick up a tomato, green pepper, or strawberry from the supermarket, we try to place in the back of our minds the number of days that the particular fruit or veggie in our hands has traveled to get from the vine to the market. When we buy locally, the produce has been picked within the past few days. That means that local growers can leave the fruits and vegetables in the garden or on the trees longer, giving them time to actually ripen — rather than having the food ripen in a box in transit, which can create blander produce. Farmer’s markets, food co-ops, and local food stands, provide the produce at its peak when it is in season. As the seasons change, so will the variety — but fresher food with better taste prevails.

Buying locally is healthier

vegetablesGrowing for Market magazine presents findings in their article WhyBuyLocalFoods?” that support this notion: Recent studies have shown that fresh produce begins losing nutrients as soon as it is harvested. Therefore, food that has been picked within a day or two will be much more nutrient-rich than its counterpart, which has been shipped over several days and then sits on the shelves for an indeterminable amount of time. Local food preserves more of the “good stuff” our bodies need.

Buying locally boosts the local economy

Judith D. Schwartz discusses this idea in her article BuyingLocal: HowitBooststheEconomy.”  When you hear the phrase “boosting the economy,” you generally think of your own community — however, it is not necessarily how much we spend within our own community, but rather how much that stays in the community that makes the difference. By purchasing locally, there is a much higher chance that the money you spent will be redistributed within the same community. Buying local keeps your money at home and working for you.

Buying locally is easy

vegetables Though it may not be the one-stop-shopping trip you are used to, there are over 3,100 farmer’s markets, food co-ops, and local food stands across the nation. Visit http://www.localharvest.org/ to find one near you. You can also check community bulletin boards, local newspapers, or listen to events announcements on your local radio station to find out where you can buy locally in your community.

When we shop for food, there are a number of qualities that may determine whether we place that food in our refrigerators or back on the shelves. If freshness and taste top your list, consider buying from your local provider. You will not only be getting some great food, but you will be helping out your community as well.

Related posts found in this blog:
Farmers Market
I love shopping local

About the Author: This post is written by Erica Moss, who is the community manager for the Online nursing masters programs at Georgetown University. Follow her on Twitter @ericajmoss.

7 thoughts on “The Advantages of Buying Locally

  1. Pingback: Shop Local this Holiday Season | this time – this space

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  4. Hey, I’ve met you before on wordpress, helping people out with blogging problems. Thanks for all your volunteer time and good advice :) Much appreciated. We have a wonderful farmer’s market near us, open on Sundays. I’ve even sold my book there. A great place to hang out!

    • Hi again,
      I’m sorry I didn’t reconize your gravatar from the forums. I answer a lot of questions there. But I visted your blog and “liked” the Canada day cake. :)

      My husband and I have shopped at the farm gate, at the Farmers Market and at the docks for over 30 years now. We live in a small community and know a large number of residents as well as summer folks. Here Farmers Market is a long standing Saturday morning event.

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