What is a locavore you ask? A locavore is someone who attempts to fulfill their nutritional needs by buying food that is produced in their local area. Some locavores try to eat products grown within 100 miles of their homes. Some are more informal in their attempts to eat local (I’m one of those). At any rate, here are my top ten reasons for eating locally:
1. Local food tastes better. Actually, for me, that would be enough in and of itself!
2. It’s safer. Every time I read another article about salmonella outbreaks or e coli, I become recommitted to knowing who exactly produces the food I put in my body.
3. It helps the local economy. Money spent on local foods and artisans stays in the community.
4. It’s better for the environment. Locally produced products don’t need to be shipped via trucks that pollute the air and use valuable fossil fuels (sorry long haul truckers, but it’s true!) Industrial farming puts large amounts of pesticides and herbicides in the soil and in our watersheds.
5. You help assure that your grandchildren will have the opportunity to eat a vine ripened heirloom tomato. By supporting small local farms you help the people who grow food that tastes good to stay in business (as opposed to the people who grow food because it can be shipped easier)
6. You can cut down on the amount of pesticides and herbicides your family consumes. Typically small farmers use less of these poisons than industrial farms use.
7. It’s a gift to future generations. Sustainable farming can help make sure that they will be able to produce healthy food for their families.
8. You can help alleviate world hunger. Yes, it’s true! Industrial farms use large tracts of land to feed people far away. That land could be sustainably farmed by local farmers to feed their families.
9. You can help preserve open spaces. Family farms that stay in production won’t be sold to developers.
10. It’s just the right thing to do. You can feel it in your heart and see it in the smiles of the farmers and artisans you support.