Practicing Gratitude on Thanksgiving is a Powerful Action for Health & Happiness, All About Raw Foods + 7 Raw Food Recipes & No-Cook Meals, 7 Plant-Based Dinner Recipes That are Easy Enough for Beginners. The consumption of vegetables such as asparagus, eggplants, kohlrabi and sweet potatoes are slowly but steadily increasing on the menu. When researchers at Montclair State University compared the vitamin C content of broccoli grown in season with broccoli imported out of season, they found the latter had only half the vitamin C. Another study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that the levels of health-promoting anthocyanin pigments more than quadrupled as blackberries became fully ripe. But by choosing to eat seasonal, local and organic or pasture-raised produce, eggs, dairy, fish and meat, we can curb global warming and pollution, avoid toxic pesticides, support local farmers and enjoy fresh, tasty food. But, local is not the whole picture of food sustainability. Here are our full terms & conditions. You can also ask your local grocery store to carry more fresh, local, organic produce and other foods from local vendors. To opt-out of ever having your info sold to 3rd parties under any circumstances, click here. Buying local, raw honey is a particularly powerful way to boost … By entering your information here, you are agreeing to receive messages from Food Revolution Network. Local food doesn’t have to travel as far to arrive on your plate, so it helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to improving our carbon footprint. Typically, a CSA-participating farm will offer a certain number of “shares” to the public. Very strict regulations regarding additives, pesticides, herbicides, etc. At some farms, members get to choose what kinds of produce they want in their share each week, while other farms let the week’s harvest dictate what will be included. And food picked fresh and in season doesn’t have far to travel before being sold. Local food has more nutrients. While it’s hard to know exactly how many CSAs there are, the USDA’s last official estimate was that there were 12,549 farms participating in the program in the United States alone. Here are some surprising, and not-so-surprising, benefits: Depending on your area and the time of year, farmer’s markets may offer everything from fresh produce and flowers to freshly baked bread, as well as fresh-pressed juices and even specialty items like homemade cashew-based gelato. The higher the percentage of your protein intake that comes from plant foods, the more earth-friendly and healthful your diet will be. Discover why it’s important to buy local food, the health benefits of eating locally grown produce, and why choosing local food benefits the environment. We want to hear from you in the comments below! 10 Reasons to Buy Local Food. Introducing more locally grown and seasonal foods into your diet has loads of benefits for you, your community and our environment. Buying local promotes agriculture. CSAs are also spreading rapidly throughout Europe — with thousands of initiatives now feeding more than a million eaters. This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged. Healthy, ethical, and sustainable food for all. CSAs can operate on very different scales, with some serving only a dozen families while others provide food for more than a thousand households. Local food is now a mainstream trend, with more and more people seeking out fresh, local options for produce and other foods. Infographic: 19 Foods You Can Regrow from Scraps, How to Wash Vegetables and Fruits to Remove Pesticides, Vinegar Facts: What is It — And How to Use it for Your Health. That is a matter of importance for food security, especially in light of an uncertain energy future and our current reliance on fossil fuels to produce, package, distribute and store food. Local foods tend to create a greater variety of foods. At Food Revolution Network (FRN), our mission is healthy, ethical, sustainable food for all. Likewise, with growing consumer demand, young farmers are increasingly likely to enter the marketplace by developing unused space, such as empty lots, into thriving urban gardens — many of which are grown organically. And at many of them, local musicians often play while you walk around. There’s no formal definition of the term local food. Locavores are people who try to choose locally grown or locally produced food that is in season. Whether it’s the farmer who brings local apples to market or the baker who makes local bread, knowing part of the story about your food is such a powerful part of enjoying a meal. 10) Local food is an investment in the future. And this is important for many reasons: It helps you develop a connection with food. They were in decline during the development of the supermarket in the middle of the twentieth century. If you can, talk to your farmers at your local market and ask them what (if any) pesticides they use. If your area doesn’t have a local co-op, seek out fresh, local produce options from your local grocery store. But it’s up to you to decide what buying local food means to you. The average piece of produce in the U.S. travels 1,500 miles, while local food may only travel 100 miles (or less), according to researcher Rich Pirog at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University. To learn more on the topic, please consult this great reference by Harvard Medical School entitled Healthy and Sustainable Food. Standard text message rates apply. And you can ask which foods are local. It encourages sustainable agriculture, and facilitates tracking the supply chain back to the point of origin to evaluate ecological practices. Other type of farms include: beef (27%), dairy (6%) and fruits and vegetables (5%). Since we, as consumers, have the ability to make important choices with where we spend and how we spend our money, supporting local businesses financially is a no-brainer. Health and sustainability are two excellent reasons to eat more local food. The concept of a CSA began in Japan in the mid-1960s and 1970s, in response to consumer concern about the increasing use of pesticides in industrial farming. What is Sulforaphane — And Why Is It so Good for You? It ensures that food has passed some of the highest safety standards in the world. It began to make its way to North America in the mid-1980s. Eating more local food reduces CO2 emissions by reducing food miles — the distance food travels from farm to consumer. ), Healthy Starters and Appetizers for All Occasions. Food is one of the leading drivers of climate change. You may want to seek out a local food co-op. Here’s some of the reasons we think you should keep it local and eat seasonal. How can you find local foods near you? Many people like to purchase food locally by starting within their own community, then moving out to the region, province, country and so on. Even if they aren’t organic, small farmers tend to use fewer chemicals than large, industrialized farms. You vote every time you shop, and with knowledge comes the ability to support foods and growers you believe in. Field crop farms, which include wheat, barley, corn, oats, rye, canola, flaxseed, soybeans and other specialty crops represent 40% of the farms in Canada.