I'm sure you 've heard it a million times "Buy local". When buying something for consumption think about buying products with SOUL: Sustainable, Organic, Unprocessed and Local.
There are so many great reasons to buy as much of your food at a local grower or farmers market. What really are the benefits of buying from a local farmers market?
1. Local food tastes better. You are getting produce that was just recently picked and doesn't travel hundreds or even thousands of miles before reaching your area. Listen, you can't make this stuff up. I was in a grocery store last month and I noticed the produce guy unpacking a package of broccoli, the box was labeled from China. I don't know about you but I just can not fathom how broccoli from China can be better than broccoli grown in the U.S. Granted living in Florida I'm not going to find a grower with a field of broccoli nearby, but I can find some amazing, more local produce.
2. Local food is more nutritious. Like everything else the longer something is stored or the further something travels the less nutrients are retained. Local produce and fruit beyond a doubt will have more nutrients than something that is shipped from another country. Next time you pick up a peach or nectarine in the grocery look at the label, it is bound to say "product of Chile" or some other remote country.
3. Local food promotes energy conservation. The average distance our food travels is 1500 miles, mostly by air and truck, increasing our dependence on petroleum. By buying locally, you conserve the energy that’s used for transport.
4.Local food preserves genetic diversity. Large commercial farms grow a relatively small number of hybrid fruits and vegetables because they can tolerate the rigors of harvesting, packing, shipping and storage. This leaves little genetic diversity in the food supply. Family farms, on the other hand, grow a huge number of varieties to extend their growing season, provide eye-catching colors and great flavor. Many varieties are “heirlooms” passed down through the generations because of their excellent flavor. Older varieties contain the genetic structure of hundreds or thousands of years of human selection and may provide the diversity needed to thrive in a changing climate.
5. Local food supports local farmers. The American family farmer is a vanishing breed - fewer than 1,000,000 people (less than 1%) of Americans claim farming as a primary occupation. It’s no wonder: it’s hard to make a living when you get less than 10 cents of every retail food dollar. By buying locally, the middleman disappears and the farmer gets full retail price, in turn helping farmers continue to farm.
6. Local food preserves open space. Do you enjoy visiting the countryside where you see lush fields of crops, meadows of wildflowers, picturesque barns and rolling pastures? Well, this should also serve as a reminder that our treasured agricultural landscape survives only when farms are financially viable. By spending your money on locally grown food, you’re increasing the value of the land to the farmer and making development less likely.
7. Local food supports the environment and benefits wildlife. Family farmers tend to be good stewards of the land – they respect and value fertile soil and clean water. And their farms provide the fields, meadows, forests, ponds and buildings that are the habitat for many beloved and important species of wildlife. In addition, buying local also reduces the use of fossil fuels and helps to protect the environment from harmful exhaust fumes.
And finally the one that matters most to me:
8. I truly feel more comfortable buying directly from someone you actually meet in person. These people have a reason to provide you with the best product they can, they want your business. Big grocery stores want your business too but they are going about it by offering you the cheapest product available, which doesn't give me peace of mind. There are some amazing grocers out there, don't get me wrong, Whole Foods, Fresh Market, etc. are offering high quality products but they usually pack a heftier price tag than a Farmers Market, and again are probably not local.
Re: University of Vermont