One of the major keys to getting high-quality, affordable produce is to buy it local. And here’s why!
- Let’s start with your taste buds: local produce tastes better and is more nutritious than the produce that is sold in gocery stores. Almost all of the produce sold in grocery stores (and even in health food stores) has been picked while unripe, stored for 1+ weeks, and shipped thousands of miles. In contrast, the fruits and vegetables sold by your local farmer have been picked while ripe and sold soon after it’s harvested! Considering that produce has a higher nutrient profile when it is ripe than when it is not ripe, buying local gives you more nutrition (and flavor) for your money!
- Local produce is always in season, which means you don’t have to memorize seasonal charts! Plus, in-season produce tastes better than the produce that has been shipped thousands of miles. I mean, who wants to eat an expensive, crappy strawberry in January when they can eat an afforable, juicy one in June?
- The local produce that you purchase at farmers’ markets or directly on farms tends to be cheaper than what’s sold at local grocery stores. Why? Because the produce is in season and you are cutting out the middle man. Plus, the farmer gets to keep more of profits, which means that you are not only feeding you…you are feeding your local economy.
Keep in mind that what’s local doesn’t always involve a farm. It can include indoor and outdoor gardening, sprouting, and raising microgreens. The benefit of these food sources is that are they so close to you (i.e. easy to access). Plus, they provide the highest level of nutrition because you can pick them when you are ready to eat them. Growing food at home is a wonderful way to get more nutrition from your food at a low price.
Eating local can also mean foraging (i.e. picking your food in the wild)! And this is a great time of year to forage! The summer is here and the berries are out. Find a friend who knows how to forage for berries and go pick free berries. They are waiting for you!
Here are some fantastic online resources for eating local, including how to find what’s in season, and how to locate your local farms and farmers’ markets:
Go and explore a local farm or farmers’ market today (or this weekend)!