Buying local helps your community and the environment in so many ways. Every little bit helps.
(Originally posted on March 28, 2013)
As a well-known produce fanatic, I received several messages this morning about the grand opening of Sprouts Market. I do plan on checking out what they have to offer, but I’m less than ecstatic for a multitude of reasons.
I had a chance to talk with a few of Sprout’s opening team members. I asked where their produce came from and was told “a warehouse is in Dallas” before that it comes from California. While cheap prices and great deals are something most people get excited about, I personally, prefer to buy local for many reasons.
The Importance of Buying Local
First of all Norman lost an amazing local grocer, Native Roots Market, that provided a wonderful variety of local and seasonal produce. As they opened a new store in the Deep Deuce area of downtown Oklahoma City they made the decision to close their store in Norman when confronted with the increased competition by Natural Grocers and Sprouts Market.
Buying locally grown food is important for so many reasons. The average piece of produce travels 5,000 miles to get to your supermarket. Choosing food that has traveled fewer miles (and therefore used less fuel) is good for the environment.
The Harvard Medical School Center for Health and the Global Environment notes that food transported long distances is not likely to be as nutritious as food grown and consumed locally.
Eating food that was grown organically and without harmful pesticides does your body good. Plus, buying directly from your local farmers ensures that they’ll stay in business for years to come.
When you buy direct, your dollars stay within your community and strengthen the local economy. More than 90¢ of every dollar you spend goes to the farmer. This is important because as mergers in the food industry have increased, the portion of your food dollar paid to farmers has decreased. Vegetable farmers earn only 21¢ of your dollar; the other 79¢ goes to pay for marketing, distribution, and other costs.
7 Ways Eat More Local Food
- Shop weekly at your local farmers market
- Join a CSA or a Co-op
- Buy from local grocers that stock local food
- Support restaurants and grocers that buy locally produced food
- Preserve food from the season by freezing or canning to eat later in the year
- Grow your own food!
- Visit local farms
I recently joined the Oklahoma Food Co-op. I’m much more excited about all the local, fresh meat, and vegetables that are offered at very reasonable prices. I love the fact that I’m supporting my community by buying local and receiving organic, fresh food. It’s an amazing thing to know where your food comes from, who are growing and raising it and how.
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