Three Reasons to Eat Local

By Ashley May, N.D.

It’s better for your health. 

     Small farms tend to be less aggressive than large factory farms about dousing their crops/animals with harmful pesticides, chemicals, antibiotics, hormones, and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Eating locally also allows you to eat seasonally, which keeps your diet diverse and prepares your body for each season. For instance, fall brings more consumption of squash, pumpkins and sweet potatoes, all of which are high in vitamin C and beta carotene. These are essential for preparing your body for winter’s cold and flu season.

It’s better for your local community.

     Small farms are more likely to grow a variety, which protects biodiversity and preserves a wider agricultural gene pool, an important factor in long-term food security. Farmers, on average, receive only 20 cents for every dollar spent. The rest goes to processing, packaging, transportation, refrigeration and marketing. Eating locally supports your local farmers and keeps your money invested in the community.

It’s better for your world. 

     A Canadian Waterloo Region study investigated the food miles associated with 58 commonly eaten, imported foods. The study found that each food item traveled an average of 4,497 kilometers or 2,811 miles, producing 51,709 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.  They estimated that sourcing these 58 food items locally could reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 49,485 tons annually, the equivalent of removing 16,191 vehicles from the road.
The food industry accounts for 10% of all fossil fuel use in the United States.