Friday, November 13, 2015

The Benefits of Buying and Eating Locally

At communEATi, we’re pretty big advocates of eating locally grown foods. That probably could have gone without saying, considering our program is all about connecting buyers and sellers of locally grown foods, but it really is important to your health, the economy, and our world that people start buying and eating local. Keep reading to see why!

Health Benefits
Fresh food, overall, is better for you. Eating local and organic food means you are eating fresh food that is rich in a wide variety of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes. Foods that need to be transported long distances are often harvested prematurely to increase shelf life, which sacrifices their nutritional value. And the more steps between you and your food’s source, the more chances there are for contamination.

Foods grown and harvested by corporations can also be genetically modified and/or contain chemicals and residual pesticides to ensure their crop is grown according to their regulations and will remain fresh when it’s sent to far off places. Local and organic foods, on the other hand, offer you a wide variety of fresh, nutritional food without any modifications or additives.

Taking care of yourself by becoming consciously aware of where your food comes from and what’s put in it can empower you to continue to make healthier decisions and improve your overall health.

Help the Environment
Not only are they harmful to human health, but GMOs and pesticides dramatically impact the environment. In commercial farming, the use of pesticides and GMOs obliterates biodiversity which contributes to major issues like bee colony collapse disorder. Well-managed family farms are places where the resources of fertile soil and clean water are valued; according to some estimates, farmers who practice conservation tillage could sequester 12-14% of the carbon emitted by vehicles and industry. Commercial farms, however, follow a commercial monoculture when it comes to agriculture, which is a major contributor to soil degradation as well as air and water pollution. Save the environment, eat local.

Protect Future Generations
Nearly all of the processes in the modern food system are reliant on oil, which, if we’re not careful, could be exhausted by 2040. If we don’t change our ways, our planet will not be able to sustain future generations. Norman J. Church says in his article on food and oil dependency, “One shopping basket of 26 imported organic products could have travelled 241,000 km and released as much CO2 into the atmosphere as an average 4 bedroom household does through cooking meals over eight months.” Agriculture is also considered the thirstiest industry on the planet, consuming 72% of all global freshwater.

By supporting local farmers, you can help decrease the use of oil, water, and carbon emissions in our food system, as well as help ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow and that future generations will have access to nourishing, flavorful, and abundant food.

Build a CommunEATi
When we buy locally, we have an amazing opportunity to support our neighbors and nourish our bodies at the same time. Today’s farmer receives less than 10 cents of the retail food dollar. Buying locally and using communEATi to eliminate the middleman ensures a higher profit for the farmer, who will then circulate his/her profits throughout the community with local merchants, creating a cycle that helps to build a strong local economy. Community gardens, farm shares, work exchange, and other co-operatives allow us to connect with one another and perpetuate sustainability. When we buy directly from farmers, we’re engaging in a time-honored connection between eater and grower, and working together to improve the world in which we live.

Become a part of our communEATi, and watch your community flourish! Give us a like on Facebook and follow us on Twitter for updates on our launch and to learn how you can #GrowYourThanksgiving!

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