Wednesday, October 24, 2012

5 Reasons to Eat Local - A Guest Post By Dana Viktor

Somebody once stated, "they‘d rather be lucky than good any day.” I‘ve applied this bit of wisdom to poker on more than one occasion, but recently I‘ve learned it applies to blogging as well. Not 24 hours after I posted my blog on organically grow/produced foods, in which I concluded that eating farm fresh foods is what’s actually important, Dana Viktor sent me this guest piece, which serves as the perfect follow up.

Dana Viktor is the senior researcher and writer for Her most recent accomplishments include graduating from Ohio State University with a degree in communications and sociology. Her current focus for the site involves pregnant women.
5 Reasons to Eat Local, by Dana Viktor

The local foods movement has grown in the last several years, as more and more people are looking to eat healthy food and to be more responsible global citizens by reducing their consumption of natural resources. If you still aren't sure what this movement is all about, consider these 5 reasons to eat more locally sourced food as a means of eating healthier and choosing a more environmentally friendly lifestyle:

Fresh Food
When your food is grown locally, it does not need to be infused with preservatives to keep it from going bad too quickly -- or with artificial colors or flavors to mask its lack of freshness. Food that is locally grown can be produced without all these chemicals, ensuring that you are getting a fresher, healthier product.

Food Grown in Season
If you live in Wisconsin, you shouldn't be able to buy strawberries in December. If you don't know why that is, chances are you have been buying your produce from a large chain grocery store where the produce is shipped in from around the world.

When food is made available out of season, it is either shipped in from half way across the globe where it can be grown, using a vast amount of natural resources for packaging and transportation, or it is grown using artificial methods like chemicals. Neither are good for you or the environment.

Relationship with the Farmer
When you purchase your food from local sources, you have the opportunity to develop a relationship with the farmer who grows it. You can either purchase your produce directly from the farmer at local markets, or you can take the time to visit the farmer to get to know about the facilities and methods used to grow the food.

Either way, forming relationships with local farmers helps you to ensure that your food comes from a reliable source, and that it is grown in a healthy and environmentally responsible manner.

Stronger Local Economy
Why buy from Guatemala what you can buy from across town? When you buy your food from local sources, you are supporting jobs in your local economy. You are supporting the farmer who grows it, the workers who harvest it and prepare it for sale, the vendors who manage the markets where the food is grown, and so on.

If you were to purchase that same produce from Guatemala -- or any other place where your food is grown -- you would be investing in jobs and the economy in those communities instead of your own.

Fewer Resources
When you buy food from other states and other countries, it doesn't magically teleport itself to your table. It has to be packaged for freshness and shipped to your local markets. Every step of that process consumes natural resources such as trees for packaging (or worse, chemicals), coal for energy, and gas for transportation -- to name only a few.

Buying foods locally reduces the need for many steps in this process, helping to reduce the number of resources that are consumed. The fewer resources are consumed, the better the health of our environment.

Eating local is not just a trendy thing to do. It helps you to eat healthier food, to support your local economy and farmers, and to reduce your consumption of natural resources. Not only are you making a good choice for your body, but you're also making a good choice for the environment.

Do you buy your foods local when you can? Tell us why you started buying local in the comments!

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