What is Local Food
The term ‘local food’ is a generic term and has several connotations. It can be used to define the food that is grown and sold in the same town. On the other hand, it can also mean the food that is directly sold by the farmer to the consumer (not necessarily grown in the same place); rather than it being processed and packaged in between. In either of the cases, local food is the food that is grown in a proximity of the consumer and sold directly to him. It is as good as growing food in your own garden and consuming it fresh. The foodstuffs that are included under local food are fruits and vegetables that are grown locally; or even bakery products and other foodstuff like jams and cheese that are prepared using local ingredients, and served fresh. You must have come across foods in market tagged as ‘local’ or will even get local food in the smaller food markets. But, what are the advantages of choosing local food over processed food?
Local Food Benefits
When you go to the local market to buy food, you can interact with the farmer who has grown the food that you will be consuming. There are health, economic as well as environmental benefits of local food. Let us take a look at them in detail.
One of the biggest advantage of going for local food is that the food is fresh. As it is grown at a close distance and sold immediately, there are no preservatives added to it. Secondly, as the food is fresh, it has a longer shelf life and will last longer in your refrigerator.
Another health benefit associated with local food is that it is more nutritious and contains all the essential nutrients. As the time in between the farm and table is very less, the nutrients in the food do not get washed off. Therefore, it is always beneficial to go for local food.
Your small contribution in buying only local food can help reduce global warming. As no transportation is required for transporting food, there will be decrease in the use of fossil fuel. Secondly, as few chemicals are used for these products, the environment is protected.
When talking about the economic benefits of local food, note that buying local products can boost the local economy. The farmers who sell products directly to the consumers will receive the full retail value for the products.
The local food movement, as it is called, also helps in retaining the local food traditions and customs. Therefore, the place will retain its individuality through this.
Lastly, local food tastes a lot better as it is fresh and does not contain any unwanted ingredients like preservatives, flavor enhancers, etc. Secondly, buying seasonal foods is also a good option as they are inexpensive.
If you wish to make healthy food choices, then local food is the best thing. As there are several economic, environmental as well as health benefits of local food, opting for local food is definitely a good idea. So, contribute in reducing global warming and prevention of diseases by making a start right now. Good luck!