The Benefits of Eating Locally Grown Produce
What could be more exciting than buying fresh local produce loaded with nutrients and free of chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, and genetic manipulation?
Eating fresh fruits and vegetables is an essential part of our health. Many people are rapidly shifting from packaged food to local produce because of its enormous health and diet benefits. Now, choosing locally grown produce is not only an option but rather a necessity.
Unappetizing, out of season foods inundated with additives does little for our health and excess of it can actually contribute to poor health. In as much as the produce is grown locally, it is fresh and fresh food means more nutritious.
Are you looking to change diet? Does the food in your refrigerator lack sufficient nutrients for your health? Then you are up for a treat. Eating locally produced foods could be the solution you are looking for. Here are some benefits of eating locally grown produce.
Health benefits of fresh, local produce are enormous. Nutritionists have advised that eating fruits and vegetables daily, increases the number of co-enzymes, repairs dead cells, and helps in the excretion of unwanted materials in our systems, thereby keeping us healthy. Fruits and vegetables produced locally are free from additives and have more vitamins, minerals, and even sugars, due to the time between harvest and eating. Eating fresh local produce also improves body relaxation and digestion.
Many of our current environmental and health problems are due to modern agriculture, and if we engage with our local, natural food sources, we not only help out local producers but help our own health. Engaging with what has traditionally been grown in your area is becoming increasingly popular.
When you think about food, think of it as medicine; not just for the body, but for the soul as well. Scientists recently discovered that ability of indigenous diets to fight modern diseases. This explains that many micro-nutrients have been lost in the modern, processed way of eating, which is still remain present in locally grown foods. Above and beyond the health benefits, such a shift could help bring humans closer to the Earth and foster a more concrete link between consumers and producers.
Fresh produce is packed with more flavors than processed food. Generally, fresh foods are tasty compared to processed foods; this largely depends on storage time. Food stored for long period of time tend to lose sugar and starch which greatly affect. Animals, for example, that are reared outdoors in good conditions, and when they feed on these fresh foods, generally produce more flavorful meats.
Foods bought at the grocery store or supermarket have traveled a long distance which makes our food system vulnerable and also reduces nutrients that remain after long periods of time. Local food has a short time from harvest to table, which conserves those nutrients. Handling, processing, and transportation also play a key role in the nutritional quality of fruits and vegetables. Careless handling, mechanical harvesting methods, storage at improper temperatures, and lengthy or rough transport can all reduce the quality and nutritional value of fresh produce. Locally grown fruits and vegetables rarely suffer such nutrient losses from exposure to these conditions. Learning about the harvesting methods and handling procedures of the farmers in your area can help you to choose the highest quality produce for your family.
BETTER FOR LOCAL ECONOMY
Buying from local farmers and grocers helps your local economy. Money revolves within your local economy for longer, and generally, your money will stay within your local market as it moves from the farmer to the machine store or local feed manufacturer etc, for example. However, buying from a supermarket or grocery store, your money leaves your local economy as soon as it leaves your hands. In addition, buying local produce directly from farmers greatly improves your economy through agriculture and thereby generates a means of livelihood for local farmers and businesses related to local agriculture. It’s a win-win for everyone in your area, including yourself and your family.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A GREAT FARMER
A great farmer is someone who is sincerely interested in his/her customers and their lives. Take a second to chat with them at the farmers market or when they deliver produce to your door. This not only gives you a personal connection to the person that grows your food, but also to the produce and where it comes from. It’s also a great way to exchange recipes and learn more about the health benefits of the produce you’re buying.
Many times, local consumers would buy seasonal locally grown foods more often if they only knew how to eat it or prepare it. Who is a better resource than the person that actually grows it?
LOCAL TO PREVENT DISEASE
There are only a few steps exist between your food source and your table, which drastically reduces the chances of food contamination. Moreover, when you know where your food comes from, you know a lot more about that food.
Many locals have stated that during the E. COLI outbreak in spinach in 2006, the spinach that they had in their refrigerator was safe because they knew it was grown in their county by a farmer that they knew, and, more importantly, that it did not come from Salinas County, where the outbreak was.
Check out Farmer Steve’s current schedule to see where you can find him this week. You can also use the contact form to start getting locally grown produce delivered directly to your door, office or business.
We always welcome feedback. If you would like to share some of your own experiences with growing, buying, eating locally grown produce, or if you have any questions or comments, or just wanted to say hi, please use the comment form below. We generally reply to questions within 24 hours.