Eat Local Food. I started to go political with this one.
After some thought, I decided I had better not, and deleted three paragraphs!
It’s just that sometimes, well, this gets a little personal for me.
It’s so easy to go into my local grocery or Walmart and buy whatever I need. I struggle with this. I know there is little “local” to be found in Walmart.
I know it’s worth buying local because there are a lot of great small businesses in my community. Every time I buy something at Walmart or Lowes that I could purchase at Abbott’s, Good’s Lawn and Garden, or Yancey’s, I hurt those small businesses.
And then there are the restaurants! I can really eat local at Molasses Grill (my favorite!), Southern Plenty, Packhouse Cafe, and Bistro 1888. Every one of them beats a chain restaurant hands down every time!
I can’t forget the farmer’s markets, where I can buy local to eat local: Town of Halifax, South Boston, Caswell County at Semora, Yanceyville, and Danville.
At each one of these places I get to know the owners, the chefs, or the farmers. I also get to know my community and our farm’s customers.
These places are the heart of our community. When I shop at these places, I get personalized service with a smile. I feel good about my purchases. I am a part of our community.
I can’t find that at Walmart and other big chain stores.
Ok – Read the list
12 Reasons to Eat Local Food
- You have the opportunity to meet your farmer and other food producers, to get to know how your food is produced, to visit farms and educate your family about food.
- Locally grown foods are picked at their peak for superior flavor and nutrition, rather than before they are ripe to prevent damage in transit.
- Transit time is shorter making local foods fresher and tastier! The shorter time in transit also means that fewer nutrients are lost. Imported food is less fresh having spent much time in transit and warehouses before making it to the grocery store.
- Money spent locally at farms and other food producing businesses means that more of your money stays in your community.
- Small farmers are able to grow many different varieties, which can increase the harvest season, while resulting in interesting flavors and an array of colors. The many varieties represent genetic diversity. In our modern agricultural system, plants are often chosen for their ability to ripen uniformly, withstand harvesting, survive packing and shipping, and last a long time on the shelf. This has resulted in a dependence on monoculture (single crops of one variety grown over a wide area). Monocultures are at much greater risk of disease (remember the potato famine?).
- I have to include the fantastic slow grown flavors of heritage breed livestock to include American Milking Devon and Red Devon cattle and Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs. Here again, by buying local, you contribute to conservation of rare breed livestock genetics. Did I mention that they taste great?
- Instead of fighting nature, small farms often work with it, picking produce and weeding by hand, using less fertilizer, herbicide and pesticide.
- Local foods encourage agri-tourism – through farmer’s markets, farm tours, farm stays and more.
- Local food preserves open space. In urban areas this means that farm land is not becoming a part of urban sprawl.
- Local purchases support local families. The price farmers are paid for wholesale production is very often little more than the cost of production. By selling direct to consumer, farmer cut the middle man, and receive retail price for the foods they produce.
- Keep more jobs in the local economy.
- Through a patchwork of forest, fields, creeks, and ponds, well managed farms provide and protect wildlife habitats in our communities.
- Buying from local farmers today ensures that our communities will have farms tomorrow. Buying local helps local farms not only survive, but thrive.
What defines local?
According to Sustainabletable.org, “local food” refers to food produced near the consumer (i.e., food grown or raised within X miles of a consumer). However, because there is no universally agreed-upon definition for the geographic component of what “local” or “regional” means, consumers are left to decide what local and regional food means to them.
Is our farm “local” to you? I suppose that not only depends on where you live, it is certainly a matter of opinion. Our delivery route certainly takes us some distance from home.
Our delivery route takes us through North Carolina from Roxboro to Greensboro and through Virginia from South Boston to Newport News.
We hope to get to know you and be a part of your “local.”