Want to be good to the environment? Buy local food. It’s a tangible thing you can do today to make a difference. Vegetables, fruits, eggs, meat and other items produced on local farms create fewer “petroleum miles” than products trucked from far away. Buying locally grown and produced food reduces greenhouse gas emissions and other pollutants from food transportation.
More reasons to buy local food...
- For Freshness and Flavour - Foods are at their best when fresh and most local produce has been picked inside of 24 hours. It comes to you ripe and full flavor, unlike supermarket food that may have been picked weeks or months before. Close-to-home foods can also be bred for taste, rather than withstanding the abuse of shipping or industrial harvesting.
- To Reduce Fossil Fuel Consumption – What we eat is responsible for 20 – 25 % of Canada’s greenhouse gases. Only 10% of the fossil fuel used is actually used on the farm – the other 90% goes into packaging, transportation and marketing. For example, it takes 400 times more energy to ship lamb from New Zealand than to buy local lamb.
- To Prevent Urban Sprawl – Supporting local farmers encourages responsible land development. Don’t like urban sprawl? When you buy local, you give the owners of picturesque rolling farmlands an economic reason to avoid selling to developers.
- Eating locally if good for the local economy – Every dollar spent on local farms generates more than two dollars in other local business.
- To Maintain a Healthy Local Food System – During the power black-out a few years ago, the whole fresh food system had shut down. When 9/11 happened – the border was closed for 2 days, that meant no food was coming across the boarder, and local grocery stores were one day away from running out, because of “just-in-time” delivery. Because our food system has become so dependent on a foreign food supply, and if a disaster happens, there could be serious problems. Do we really want to depend on global markets for our food supply?
- When you eat locally, you can savour what’s in season in Simcoe County. You’ll remember that strawberries are the taste of summer. Even in winter, comfort foods like squash soup just make sense–a lot more sense than flavorless strawberries from the other side of the world.
- Explore your local cuisine. Visiting local farms is a way to be a tourist on your own home turf, with plenty of interesting stops to buy foods for meals and snacks.