Why Should We Support Local Farmers
There are so many reasons to support local farmers, for instance our health, economy and way of life would be some of the many areas impacted by loss of farmers. In the following paragraphs, I will go into more detail about how these areas are impacted.
Benefits of Buying Local Food
Local Food Tastes Better
It’s been said (and I agree) nothing is better than a fresh tomato just picked from the garden, but my favorite is peaches. When I ask people, if they like peaches and then they tell me they get them from the supermarket, I about lose it. Those are not peaches and you have not lived until you have a peach fresh of the tree or one from Livesay Orchards in Oklahoma (Or where ever your famous peach city is).
You know why it tastes better? Not only is it fresh, but the more fresh produce is, the more nutrients it has. The produce at the store has often been picked before it was ripe, so it can get to the store before it goes bad. With fresh produce is picked and eaten at the peak when it’s the freshest and full of nutrients, therefore being the best tasting.
Local Food Supports Small Business
Farming is a business just like other small businesses. You’re not supporting a millionaire using your money to buy his third home, but you’re helping them keep their way of life alive. Today’s farmer receives less than 10 cents of the retail food dollar.
When farmers sell directly to the consumer, the middleman is cut out thus producing a higher profit for the farmer. To support local farmers means the money they make circulates throughout the community. Large agribusinesses run the marketplace because they can afford to sell food cheaper, which makes it hard for the family farms to compete. dominates food production in the U.S. Small family farms have a hard time competing in the food marketplace. Buying directly from farmers gives them a better return for their produce and gives them a fighting chance in today’s globalized economy.
Local Food is Better for the Environment
Food sold in the US travels any where from 1,500 to 3,000 miles to get to our homes, sometimes expiring before it gets there or we have a chance to use it. All this shipping uses large amounts of natural resources (especially fossil fuels), contributes to pollution, and creates trash with extra packaging. Food at the farmers market is transported shorter distances and is generally grown using methods that minimize the impact on the earth.
To Know Where Your Food Comes From
You know your doctor’s name, but do you know your farmer’s name? You are what you eat is more than a saying because more and more we are finding out that many illnesses are caused from poor eating habits or eating things that are grown in unsustainable ways. Support local farmers and meet your farmer face to face, to make them accountable. A farmer you never meet, who grows thousands of acres doesn’t know you or care about you. A farmer who invites you to come see their farm, sees you every Saturday knows you and wants the best for your health.
To Learn Tips, Tricks and Meal Ideas
Few grocery store cashiers or produce stockers will give you tips on how to cook the ingredients you buy. But if you support local farmers passionate about their produce, you will see they have an abundance of knowledge. They have to learn to cook it a million ways when they have too many leftovers. Also, many farmers come from a long line of family farmers, so their family has also been cooking it for years. They have tons of knowledge and experience related to farming. If you’re having problems growing your tomatoes just so, ask a farmer.
To Build Connections
Would you rather get lost in the see of faces at the supermarket, straining your eyes in the artificial lights, seeing the glum faces of the people who work there? Or would you rather support local farmers, stroll amidst outdoor stalls of fresh produce on a sunny day? The farmers market is a community hub—a place to meet up with your friends, or bring your children to try new things.
To Preserve Diversity
Local farms grow a huge number of varieties to provide a long season of harvest. They have an array of eye-catching colors and the best flavors. Many of these are heirlooms, passed down through the generations. In the supermarket, you see a small collection of produce. This produce is it’s the best of the best. They are favorited for its ability to ripen, withstand harvesting equipment, the ability to have a long shelf life or tough skin that can survive long enough to get to the store.
When foods are not in season, they are shipped from even farther away than when they are in season for that area. This results in loss of taste and nutrients, also contributing to mileage for that meal. Support local farmers and get the freshest, most nutrient dense and tastiest food money can buy.
Although, small farms aren’t always organic producers, they still are generally safer than foods at the supermarket. When you hear about E. Coli outbreaks they are generally from large industrial settings. The food in these settings have passed through many machines and hands before finally reaching the store.
Local Food is About the Future
If you support local farmers today, it ensures farms in your community tomorrow and future generations. These farms will provide nourishing, flavorful and abundant food.