Eating locally sourced produce has many advantages. Primarily, it’s a healthier option due to the local farming methods and lack of preservatives used to prevent fruit and vegetables from rotting over long journeys. Local produce is also able to encourage better business and customer relationships with local farmers and rowers, and can have a significant effect on reducing environmental damage. By using locally sourced produce in these ways, it is possible to improve our diets and help local community economies. These strengths are expanded on in the following list:

1 – Shorter Supply Chains

As opposed to the lengthy amount of time that it takes to transport unseasonable food from overseas, local farmers can provide a predictable delivery to stores and markets. This delivery can often be within a few days. Supply chain costs are consequently lowered, and demand can be met for produce in much faster ways.

2 – Close Customer Relationships

Working with local farmers, and building a relationship with them, means that shoppers are more likely to feel connected to their communities. By understanding where their food comes from, it is arguable that they can appreciate it on a deeper level than just picking up packaged food from the supermarket.

3 – Fresher Produce

Local food that is picked within a few days of being put out for sale tends to be fresher than pre packaged produce, and consequently more likely not to contain dangerous preservatives and additives.

4 – Better Taste

Due to these quicker picking times, local produce tends to taste better, as it is experiencing a natural ripening cycle when grown for natural seasons.

5 – Environmental Benefits

Local farming is often on a smaller scale, and less dependent on having to mass farm areas of land for transportation. Less preservatives and pesticides can be used to reduce the risk of contamination for transportation, while farming methods can make the most of seasonal crops to maintain a balanced ecosystem for an area.

6 – Seasonal Strengths

Food grown within its natural season is better than those sent from abroad, at least in terms of taste and freshness. Demand for this food also means that areas are not over harvested.

7 – Less Genetic Modification
Local produce tends to not be genetically modified because of the rapid transition it experiences from growth through to being picked and sold. Fewer preservatives are needed, in this way, to maintain freshness and taste.

8 – Connection to the Land

It’s important to view locally grown produce as displaying a better understanding of the land and the importance of ethical conservation and select growing. Farming cooperatives can prevent over harvesting, and can lead to better options for removing pests without having to resort to pollutants.

9 – Cuts Down on Packaging

Food that can be easily transferred from a farmers’ fields to markets and shops is not going to require as many plastic casings and boxes as produce that is imported from abroad. Reduced packaging results in less waste overall.

10 – Encourages Healthy Eating Habits

Committing to locally sourced produce means that people can make the most their local environment, and can eat more fruit and vegetables that are cheap and readily available. Making this produce available in schools can also boost its value, and build long term healthy eating habits.

Serena Grant

Email: serenatheseo@gmail.com

Website: http://www.eastofengland.coop/

Author Bio
Serena works for the East of England Co-operative, the largest independent retailer in East Anglia. Why not visit your local cooperative food store today.