Next time you're at the grocery store, flip over a box of processed food and look at the ingredient list. See anything you can't pronounce? So many foods today have become over-processed and over-pumped with alien-sounding ingredients that have little to no nutritional value.
How did it get this way? We used to get our food from small-time diversified family farms, but now many of our foods get mass-produced and shipped from huge farms that concentrate on growing one thing at a time. Pesticides and herbicides got tossed in with the scientifically altered mix of additives and ingredients, and then we wonder why people in our nation are heavier and sicker than ever.
Thankfully, things have steadily been changing. People want to know what they're eating, thus resulting in a resurgence in consumers seeking out local sources for their veggies, fruits, dairy and meat.
So, instead of heading to the grocery store and picking out something with flashy packaging from the frozen foods section, why not opt for fresher, healthier, local foods? Local foods from reputable producers provide greater health benefits because generally, they're riper, fresher and are more nutrient-dense as a result.
But the benefits don't stop there. Buying locally-grown products keeps money in the pockets of your local communities. Plus, the distance from farm to plate is greatly reduced, resulting in fresher foods on your table, lower transportation costs and reduced impact on the environment.
With these great reasons to go local, let's take a stand against overly processed foods that our bodies can't even properly digest and turn to local producers for quality foods grown with care and without all the unnecessary junk.
Think fresh. Think local. Happy eating!
Find fresh local foods at farmer's markets, local farms and through CSA (community supported agriculture), where you can buy a share and get the seasonal veggies of the week each week to pick up.
Small mom-and-pop grocers and many large grocery chains, such as Whole Foods Market, carry locally grown foods. Just ask someone in the produce section or look for labels that say grown local. If you aren't seeing many local choices, ask your grocer to supply them.
4 Reasons To Go Local
- Foods are Healthier and Fresher
- You Know What You're Getting
- Supports Local Farmers and Economy
- Cuts Down the Carbon Print on the Earth
On the Web
EatWellGuide.org – Type in your zip code and find sustainable, organic hand-picked locally grown foods.
Foodprint.org – Get educated about shopping, dining and cooking sustainably. Learn more about the issues facing our foods today (additives, air pollution, antibiotics and more).
PickYourOwn.org – Find out where to buy the freshest foods when they're in season.
FarmerDirect2You.com – A registry of farms in various states across the nation.
USDA.gov – Find an extensive farmer's market directory, as well as information on Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, a project started in 2009 to help strengthen the connection between farms and consumers.