Most produce in the U.S. is picked four to seven days before being placed on supermarket shelves and is shipped for an average of 1,500 miles before being sold. Buying locally grown food means you’re getting fresher products, cutting down on energy use and supporting local business.
- Eat seasonally. This takes out the need for distance shipping, and more dollars go directly to the farmer. Plus, you can try new foods.
- Know the difference between local and sustainable. Just because something is grown locally does not mean that pesticides and chemical fertilizers have not been used. Ask questions and make sure you’re supporting farmers who use sustainable methods.
- Try different local restaurants and businesses. According to a Civic Economies study, if the average American patronized a local business one out of 10 times, there could be nearly $140 million in new economic activity and more than 1,600 new jobs.
Become a Pro
- Look into Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. Consumers buy small “shares” from local farmers before the season begins, allowing farmers to rely less on banks and worry less about marketing. During harvest, members get delicious local produce delivered to them each week.
- Go the ultimate local food route and grow your own produce. Whether you have a small plot of land or simply a windowsill planter, you can enjoy growing your own food. If you do garden, close the loop and compost.
- Get others involved. Make a pact with friends and neighbors to buy locally and keep each other informed on good finds. Exchange recipes for unusual in-season produce.