Thinking Out Loud

4 Benefits of Eating Local

By Keryn Nicolson

Shocking, I know. The resident "hippy" is going to talk to you about eating local and buying your fruits and veggies from farmers markets. Yep, that's exactly what we're going to do! We've touched on the importance of eating local before but not for a while. This topic came to mind this week in particular because the Central Valley farmers markets are starting to pop up again and it's making me ridiculously happy. Chances are I am usually at one per week.

Eating locally grown food has significant benefits for the grower, consumer and the community in which they serve. Some of these benefits may be news or some may just be simple reminders. Nonetheless, the importance of living as local as possible is always a good thing.

  • Eating Local Is Eating Seasonally: Even though we live in the Central Valley and have some of the biggest selection of produce throughout the year in the entire country, there are still obvious seasons for certain crops. Services like OOOOBY and Food Commons Fresno offer a great CSA box delivered weekly which enables you to eat exactly what's in season that month (or even week).
  • Local Food Supports Local Economy: Chances are, if you're supporting a local farmer he/she will also invest in local businesses and continue the cycle. It's all about generating local revenue!
  • Eating Local Benefits the Environment: By choosing to buy local produce you are also helping to maintain local farmland and thus allowing more green space. Not to mention the decrease in the carbon footprint.
  • It's Probably Safer: If you think about it, how many more steps does your food have to go through if it's coming from South America or across the country vs right down the road? The less steps and hands your food goes through, chances are the better it will be for you and maybe even less likely to be contaminated.

I am not saying that everything you buy should be from a farmers market. After all, they're usually only offered certain days during the week. If you could incorporate even just a couple times per month to stock up on some locally grown produce, you'll be actively investng in your own community. Now that's gotta feel good.

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