Top 5 reasons to shop local and support farmers
More people than ever are interested in living a more sustainable lifestyle with less negative impact on the environment, and one of the best ways to do this is to shop local.
When we say ‘shop local’ we mean buying food and other necessities produced nearby, rather than depending on groceries and other items shipped from overseas or outside of our local area. While the exact definition of ‘local’ can vary, depending on the production ability of your local area, it is usually anything produced within a 150-mile radius.
Here are some great reasons to shop local:
Locally grown produce tastes better.
It makes sense – which would have more flavour, a tomato grown locally, or one harvested weeks ago, then packed, shipped, stored, and then distributed to supermarkets up and down the country? Produce bought locally at farmer’s markets or other local venues is often harvested just a day or two beforehand, ensuring fresher and more delicious fruit and vegetables for you.
Food grown locally is more nutritious.
For similar reasons, food that is harvested weeks or even months before it hits the supermarket shelves has fewer vitamins and nutrients than locally grown fruit and vegetables. Once you pick a vegetable, its nutritional value will slowly reduce over time, so it’s best eaten as soon as possible. Often, produce like avocados and bananas, which have to be shipped in from overseas, are picked well before they have ripened, whereas local produce can be grown to full ripeness before harvesting.
You will support your local economy.
Shopping locally supports local businesses, creates jobs, and strengthens your local economy. By buying directly from farmers, you cut out the middleman of distributors and big corporations, so your money goes directly to food producers.
Local produce has a smaller carbon footprint.
When you shop locally, the food has to travel a much shorter distance to get to the consumer, i.e. you. Food that has travelled thousands of miles from other countries or even other continents will have a much higher carbon footprint, contributing to climate change.
It supports biodiversity and soil health.
Locally grown food is more likely to be organic, and less likely to be grown using heavy pesticides and herbicides. These are not only a little questionable for human health but can lead to soil degradation, a reduction in essential pollinators, and potential contamination of water and air.
If you want to implement more sustainable farming practices and reduce reliance on chemical fertilisers and pesticides, ESUS Agri can help – get in touch with us here.