The Importance of Eating Local
You may have heard the phrase “eat local” countless times. Those two words are plastered all across social media, news channels, and even our very own website but what does it mean and why is it important. The reality of it is when most of us look at a tomato we simply see a tomato no matter whether it was grown in a large industrial farm in California or in your very own backyard. So why should you invest a couple extra dollars to get the same product from a different source?
Here are just a handful of the numerous reasons to eat local:
- Research in Seattle finds that for every $100 spent at an average grocery store, $25 is re-spent locally; for every $100 spent at a farmers market, $62 is re-spent locally. (North Carolina state Cooperative Extension study 2014)
- A recent pilot study finds that consuming local foods with fewer additives might reduce abdominal fat, blood pressure, and diabetes risk (Newman 2019)
- Local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table, and it is less likely that the nutrient value has decreased. (Michigan State University 2021)
- It’s good for the environment. 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. (McGill 2021)
- When you eat locally, you eat with the seasons, and the cycle of seasonal produce is perfectly designed to support your health. Local seasons provide the ideal foods for our body’s natural needs based on our geographic location. (kay nutrition 2021)
- In two national U.S. studies, researchers found that the level of direct farm sales was associated with lower levels of mortality and obesity (Ahern et al. 2011), and lower levels of mortality, obesity, and diabetes (Salois 2011).