Local Foods Promote Variety. More and more people want to know where their food comes from and the farming practices of the farmers that grow and produce it. Infographic: 19 Foods You Can Regrow from Scraps, How to Wash Vegetables and Fruits to Remove Pesticides, Vinegar Facts: What is It — And How to Use it for Your Health. To opt-out of ever having your info sold to 3rd parties under any circumstances, click here. Even if they aren’t organic, small farmers tend to use fewer chemicals than large, industrialized farms. It began to make its way to North America in the mid-1980s. There are many definitions of "local food", but the concept is based primarily on distance. You become more aware of what you’re putting in your body. Are you a locavore? Buying locally grown food allows us to know more of its story. Farmers have to pay an extra fee to become certified organic. In addition, locally grown produce may be safer. To find a farmers market in your area, you can visit: Community supported agriculture programs (CSAs) allow people to purchase seasonal produce directly from local farmers. The average piece of produce in the U.S. travels 1,500 miles, while local food may only travel 100 miles (or less), according to researcher Rich Pirog at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. When they are imported and out of season, fruits like tomatoes, bananas, and pears are often picked unripe. We might be biased, but we think eating local just tastes better. If you purchase products from one of these partners, FRN may at times receive a portion of the proceeds. Here’s some of the reasons we think you should keep it local and eat seasonal. It encourages sustainable agriculture, and facilitates tracking the supply chain back to the point of origin to evaluate ecological practices. Healthy, ethical, sustainable food for all. But by choosing to eat seasonal, local and organic or pasture-raised produce, eggs, dairy, fish and meat, we can curb global warming and pollution, avoid toxic pesticides, support local farmers and enjoy fresh, tasty food. The consumption of vegetables such as asparagus, eggplants, kohlrabi and sweet potatoes are slowly but steadily increasing on the menu. Standard text message rates apply. If you want to eat a more sustainable diet, look for foods that are local, organic, and low on the food chain. While it’s hard to know exactly how many CSAs there are, the USDA’s last official estimate was that there were 12,549 farms participating in the program in the United States alone. But it’s up to you to decide what buying local food means to you. You can unsubscribe at any time by replying to a text with the word “Stop”. And I’m absolutely into your point that eating local food … Healthy Holiday Recipes and Meal Planning Tips That Work for Everyone (and Will Make Your Gathering A Success! Food co-ops often carry food from local farmers, as well as other food items from local producers. Its vitamin and mineral content depends on the practices of people all along the line, from the seed to the table, whether or not produce is local or transported from a distance. Locally owned grocery stores and natural food stores are often more likely to stock local foods. But one common definition of “local” food is food grown within 100 miles of its point of sale or consumption. Here are our full terms & conditions. Food is one of the leading drivers of climate change. It ensures that food has passed some of the highest safety standards in the world. Many people like to purchase food locally by starting within their own community, then moving out to the region, province, country and so on. It benefits the local economy, including supporting local farmers and other producers. In support of our educational mission, we sometimes share resources offered by trusted partners. Local food helps preserve green space. And you can ask which foods are local. As an Amazon Associate FRN earns from qualifying purchases. And be sure to wash your produce thoroughly to reduce your exposure to pesticides — which is especially important for pregnant women and children. If you can, talk to your farmers at your local market and ask them what (if any) pesticides they use. Choosing more plant-based foods is an important part of the equation as well. Members receive a weekly or biweekly share of the farm’s harvest. But with growing consumer demand in local and organic foods, the number of farmers markets in the U.S. has quadrupled in the past two decades — from almost 2,000 in 1994 to more than 8,700 in 2014. It will reduce your environmental impact A co-op is an organization that may look and feel like a conventional grocery store or natural foods store, but it’s owned by customers. And this is important for many reasons: Local food can be better for your health for a few reasons. And at many of them, local musicians often play while you walk around. It’s fresher and cooked properly, whereas chances of getting food poison if you order something “foreign” (like a steak in India ) rise to 99%. The impact our food choices have on the environment includes many factors. Here are some surprising, and not-so-surprising, benefits: Depending on your area and the time of year, farmer’s markets may offer everything from fresh produce and flowers to freshly baked bread, as well as fresh-pressed juices and even specialty items like homemade cashew-based gelato. You will receive up to one SMS message per week containing important updates. Customers can purchase a share of the store. Whether it’s the farmer who brings local apples to market or the baker who makes local bread, knowing part of the story about your food is such a powerful part of enjoying a meal. Information and resources shared by FRN are for informational purposes only and are not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any type of disease or condition. Typically, a CSA-participating farm will offer a certain number of “shares” to the public. This type of food consumption is the basis for the popular 100-mile diet, which promotes buying and eating food that's grown, manufactured or produced within a 100-mile radius of the consumer’s home. And then the farm will commit to growing food for participating members. CSAs are also spreading rapidly throughout Europe — with thousands of initiatives now feeding more than a million eaters. Local foods tend to create a greater variety of foods. Farmers markets have been around for thousands of years. ), Healthy Starters and Appetizers for All Occasions. And there is no time better than Local Food Month to begin changing the way we eat. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. How big of an impact does eating local food have on your health and the planet? It benefits the local economy, including supporting local farmers and other producers. Dr. Harry Watkins, PLNU professor of sustainability, defines local eating this way: “To eat local would be to live off your means, not at the expense of others.” However eating locally is interpreted, one thing is clear—local food, home gardens, and community-supported agriculture have recently exploded in interest and popularity. Some small-scale farmers use organic methods but aren’t certified because they simply aren’t big enough to be able to afford the certification fees.