What's the big deal about local food? Why is fresh food better than fast food?
There are so many benefits to fresh, local food that it's hard to know where to start.
Here is a quick look at some of those benefits.
- Fresh food tastes better!
- Fresh food is healthier. Eating fresh, local food gives you more vitamins and, in the case of organic food, less exposure to preservatives, pesticides, hormones and antibiotics. Typically it has been handled by fewer machines and fewer people. (This article in eatingwellguide explains how light and heat cause delicate vitamins to degrade.)
- Local food travels less distance, which means it consumes less resources in its journey to your plate. Less transportation fuel burned means local food has a better carbon footprint. (This infographic produced by the Environmental Working Group illustrates average food miles of common food types.
- Local food equals local jobs. More of your money stays with the local farmer and the shops that support his or her work.
- Local food is more seasonal food, and eating local supports more diverse crops. Foods that travel long distances are bred from a limited number of varieties that emphasize durability rather than taste. This is the so-called monoculture problem.
- That also means local eating supports biodiversity, which is more sustainable in the long term.
- And last but not least, local food chains support social connections with your town or community.