When you go shopping you probably don’t often think about where your produce is coming from and how it is impacting the environment. The truth is that most of your groceries will have had to travel thousands of miles to get to your plate! Of course this has environmental consequences. Choosing to shop locally is not only more sustainable for the planet, but it also provides us with more nutritious food, keeps toxins out of the environment, and brings money into the local economy.
Shockingly, approximately 30% of all global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture. Combine this with the number of food miles it takes for the food to be flown and shipped around the globe from producer to consumer and you begin to fully appreciate the benefits of a lifestyle which supports buying locally.
Continue reading to find out the top reasons why you should make the switch to buying local foods.
Reduces Your Food Miles
Reducing your food miles is one of the most important environmental benefits of buying locally. When you buy food from a supermarket your items have often had to travel thousands of miles. The long distance travel produces a massive carbon footprint and contributes heavily towards global warming. Local production reduces fuel consumption and therefore greenhouse gas emission and air pollution. It also has the added benefits of not requiring packing facilities or refrigeration- it can be harvested and then sold straight away.
Everyone wants to eat fresher produce- it is healthier and tastier! When you buy locally you will be doing just that because it is easy to buy very fresh produce. The food is also normally organic, hormone and pesticide free because there is no need to use chemicals to ensure they have a long shelf life or survive the rough transit between countries. Of course this is beneficial to us, but is also healthier for the environment. It keeps harmful toxins out of the soil, waters and air leaving land more fertile and productive.
Less waste is produced when you shop locally as the food is brought straight from the farm to the table (not quite completely, but all the extra travel is eliminated!). Imported foods often go off before they are purchased which creates a lot of waste. Buying locally avoids this, so food waste is significantly less. Less waste means less greenhouse gases are produced and a healthier environment is maintained.
Supports the Local Economy
Every time you buy produce from someone other than a local producer your money leaves the local economy. By shopping locally you keep money in your area, which helps to support local producers and create local jobs. By shopping locally today, you’re helping to ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow. This is vital for long-term food security and environmental sustainability.
Protect Local land and Wildlife
When you buy food locally you are helping to support local businesses which in turn ensures that farmers are able to keep running their farm. Keeping farms running is important because it saves the land from being developed on, protecting all the wildlife that lives on it.
Are You Ready to Make the Switch to Buying Locally?
The most environmentally friendly and sustainable way to buy food is close to home. Making this switch will also provide you with so many other benefits. You will know exactly where your food is coming from and it will be organic and toxin free. Furthermore, you will be supporting local businesses, bringing money into the local economy and protecting nature.
Start off small and gradually increase your efforts. If we all work together we can make a big impact and help to look after our environment for future generations.