|BUY LOCAL FOOD
Help save the world.
Join the local food revolution.
Ten Ways A Local Food Economy Can Improve
- Buying local food keeps your money in your local economy. Supporting your
local economy helps support your neighbors and the quality of life in your area is more likely to
be good if your local economy is strong.
- Local Food produced by small family farms is more environmentally
responsible because small farms are more likely to use humane animal management
practices and sustainable growing practices. That means they aren't just looking at the quick
and easy buck. They have a vested interest in the long term well being of their land.
- A local food economy helps to ensure food safety. If you know the people who
know your food chances are you can feel secure about its handling. It goes both ways, if a
farmer knows his customers, he is going to feel more responsible for the customers well
being. Also Local food is less susceptible to any kind of tampering. You also don't have to
worry so much a break in the food delivery system if their is a natural disaster, as the food is
already close by.
- A local food economy builds community. There is a relationship built between the
producers and consumers and neighbors are more likely to get to know each other in the
purchasing process. Often times people go to the farm to see where their food is grown. You
begin to feel like it is your farm too, because that's where your food comes from. Social
scientists have done studies which show that people who have developed a strong sense of
community are healthier, happier and live longer.
- Food sources from local farms is often more environmentally
responsible, not only because of production methods, but because of transportation
associated with conventional food sources. If all other things are equal (production methods),
locally raised corn, which was raised 50 miles away, vs conventionally raised corn raised
1000 miles away has a much smaller environmental impact. Al locally produced organic ear
of corn has even more environmentally responsible, for many reasons, one being because
they are dumping less chemicals in to our environment.
- Large mono-culture based farms are not sustainable. A mono-culture
based farms is a farm that only produces one thing. The more diversity in a n ecosystem the
more stable the ecosystem. Farms that produce vast acreages of one product reduce the
biodiversity of that ecosystem. Small family farms often increase biodiversity. Once again, an
organic farm is the most environmentally responsible, but even natural food is better than
conventionally raised food from large mono-culture based farms.
- Supporting local food producers helps save family farms, especially if you
purchase directly from the he producer. In Kentucky where I farm, family farms are trying to
transition out of tobacco production. Often farms have farmed tobacco for generations.
Tobacco farmers knew they had a ready market for their hight quality product; that market was
cigarette manufacturers. The tobacco quota buying system has collapsed and now farmers
are searching for a new, dependable market. At the same time the public wants the freshest,
tastiest, healthiest products available. The two just need to find each other.
- You can broaden your horizons. You may be more likely to purchase a new variety of
vegetable if you can get tips on how to prepare it. heirloom and rare vegetables are often
available through local growers. Many of these more rare vegetables are not available in
larger stores because they do not transport well. For example, heirloom tomatoes don't have
thick skin and don't transport well, so those are given up for the ones with thicker skins, even
they don't taste as good. Also better tasting tomato growing is sacrificed for the higher
yielding. Farmers can often make preparation suggestions and many provide recipes.
Sometimes you can request that your farmer grown something that you can find no where
- Building and supporting a local food system sends a message. Change may
need to come from the ground up in this case. The message to our political leaders and to the
rest of the world is this: Americans care about the earth. We care about our children. We
want to take personal responsibility for our health and well being and help to ensure the same
for future generations. Although he United States has finally agreed that climate change exists,
we are late coming to the table. I have always feared that by not participating in action against
climate change we appear arrogant and spoiled to our worlds other citizens. Like a child
unwilling to share its favorite plaything. To ignore the needs of others is selfish and that is how
we could be perceived. If our citizens actions show a different stance I think it could have an
affect on world wide public opinion. It won't matter what name is used for God if the
ecosystems of the world collapse. We shall have failed the Almighty by failing to be good
stewards of creation.
- Local food doesn't have to travel very far. You benefit by getting food as its
freshest. Locally produced food tastes better. Your producer can harvest things at the peak of
ripeness. Often food being shipped from far away must be harvested before being fully ripe
so It ripens in a box, not on its stem. Also we lose the health benefits of the food the longer
the time between picking and consumption.
This column was brought to you by:
Sandee Corlett of Earth's Promise Farm,
a family owned organic farm in Shelbyville, Kentucky.
People are finding that seeking out and buying
locally produced food is well worth the extra effort.
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