#eatlocal has 7,135,332 posts on Instagram! You’ve heard it before, and I’m sure you’ll hear it again and again, especially now as we move forward from a situation that has the potential to change the way many of us eat. The truth is, eating local is more than just a trendy hashtag on social media. Eating local is and always has been a sustainable way to support the businesses and farmers right here in our own community, and a sustainable way to a healthier you. When we eat local, we are shortening the distribution chain, reducing the transportation needed to get the fingerling potatoes to our plates, the arugula to our bowls, and the apples to our crispers (if you like yours cold that is!). Eating local helps our farmers keep the crops growing, and as we embark upon our Spring/Summer seasons in Western New York, we know what amazing vegetables are yet to come.
There are many benefits to eating local, but here are a few of our favorites:
Local food is fresher and healthier!
Fruits and vegetables offer the most nutrients and health benefits when they are eaten at their peak maturity. This means when the squash is picked at the farm, it’s picked close to its peak maturity and delivered to your door within just a few days. To the contrary, squash you find at the grocery store may be imported from a location thousands of miles from here, which means it has a transit time longer than few days. By the time it reaches our table, it’s been more than just a few days since it was picked. Not to mention, much of the produce brought into grocery stores from outside our region has the potential to contain added chemicals and pesticide levels used to help prolong the life of the produce. Thus, eating local allows us to reap the nutritional benefits of what we are eating!
It’s good for our environment!
By choosing fruits and vegetables grown by local farms, we’re not only helping to maintain our region’s farmlands, but we’re reducing our contribution to the transportation chain that’s chugging fuel.
You know where its coming from and where it has been!
When you choose to select vegetables grown by our local Western NY farms, you know where the farms are, how the food is grown, and if you don’t, you can ask them! Our local farmers in Western NY are awesome neighbors that are always more than willing to talk to us about how they grow their food.
You get to try new foods by eating what’s in season!
Before I learned the benefits of eating local, I would buy the same veggies week after week at the grocery store. Rarely would I buy something different, like Romanesco broccoli, patty pan squash, or even a butterhead lettuce. Once I transitioned to supporting our local farmers though, I quickly learned of the amazing variety of fruits and vegetables that we have right here in our own backyard. Also, becoming familiar with the true taste of a fresh fruit or veggie that is in season brings eating local to a whole new level. The taste of something fresh and in season far outweighs anything that travels thousands of miles to get here.
So, yes, it’s a trendy term online right now... “eat local”... and it’s being used in many ways. These are our own truths, from FreshFix to the table, about eating local!