No one wakes up and decides they want to eat as many preservatives and fillers as possible. Even though they’re in most food you can find at the grocery store, most people want to buy whatever’s best for them. You can spend all day reading labels, but not necessarily consider where the food actually comes from.
Companies can make a difference when it comes to healthy food. Some value using chemical additives that make food last longer and others want to give their customers healthy alternatives. It makes people wonder if they should keep buying food from factories and fields far away or if they should purchase things closer to home.
Read on to learn if local food is healthier than non-local food. It could change the way you look at your diet and encourage you to make more organic purchases in the future.
You Can Learn From Farmers
It isn’t always possible to reach big brands and get information from them. You can look at their websites to find out what they believe in, but you don’t get to know them personally. You never see how they grow their food or handle their production processes. It’s different when you’re around farmers who live nearby.
Get to know your nearby farmers and talk with them about how they operate. You can ask what kinds of fertilizers they use and how they grow their crops, so you’re reassured that you know what’s in your meals.
Nutrients Disappear When Shipped
You might think that food stays the same during transport from fields to stores, but that’s not always true. A Montclair State University study found that broccoli lost half of its vitamin C when shipped outside the country. Food can lose its nutrients before it reaches your grocery store, which keeps you from accessing the health benefits you’re looking for.
Avoid this problem by buying local and your food will be just as healthy when you bring it home.
Regional Food Helps The Environment
Corporations control the farms that grow their food, dictating every detail down to the last drop of water on their plants. Small farmers don’t have that kind of oversight, so they’re free to grow sustainable fields and crops without synthetic fertilizers. Supporting that kind of farming protects your local environment from chemical field runoff and pollution, which helps everyone live healthier lives.
Natural Food Lacks Preservatives
When there’s a farm right down the road from your town, that farmer doesn’t need to worry about adding preservatives to their crops after harvesting them. It’s only a few minutes to reach the nearest store, where customers are waiting to buy groceries. It won’t have to go through a week or more on the road, so you get fresh food without preservatives in the mix.
Local Farmers Support Natural Agriculture
Many farmers dream of keeping their fields as all-natural as possible, but that can get expensive. Supporting them with direct purchases at markets and in stores helps them afford necessary farming equipment to maintain their all-natural fields and produce the food that keeps you healthy. It’s a positive cycle that you can keep going by buying their organic food.
Transported Food Loses Growing Time
Time is critical when it comes to getting high-quality food to consumers. When products require shipment across the country or around the world, the companies often harvest food before it’s ripe. It can’t reach its maximum growth and nutrient capabilities when that happens.
Local farmers don’t worry about this because their customers are nearby. When you purchase from them, you’re getting fully-grown food.
Decide For Yourself
Everyone must decide for themselves whether they should depend more on local food or not. It can be healthier for you in many ways, but you may not have many farms where you live. Research local farmers to determine what you can buy locally and organically. You’ll get a better diet that doesn’t rely on additives or preservatives and unsustainable land-management techniques.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.