mModern agribusiness is a huge energy consumer, environmental polluter and resource abuser, dependant on fossil fuels. According to most research, most food products on the grocery shelf travel well over 1500 miles before they reach your table, with 80% of the total energy going toward transportation, packaging, storing and chemical fertilizers and pesticides. This is not sustainable agriculture.

Local sustainable agriculture is a prcatice in resource management, protecting the environment, building up the soil and minimizing the large energy output that goes to transportation, packaging and processing. By utilizing farmer’s markets, local food markets and restaurants, farmers, from small sustainable farms, contribute to a healhty food community while reducing the negative impact on the environment through a much smaller carbon footprint.

How do you benefit from buying local?

Several benefits are evident right up front:

    • More nutritious: Less travel time from farm to table

 

    • Less impact on the environment: A smaller carbon footprint due to less transportation, packaging, chemical fertilizers and pesticides.

 

  • Money stays in the local economy

On a more wider scale we see many more important benfits:

    • Support of the local farmer: Farmers are laboring in the elements; the hot sun, the cold, the rain, insects, etc. They are long hours and often stressful hours. As a grower I know what it is like to see crops fail due to the weather, diseases or insect attack. There is stress in the timetables and making sure the sowing and planting is done on time and likewise the harvesting. Farming is labor intensive. The rewards are there as well. Looking out over the farm, there is a feeling that you know you are contributing something very good to the benefit your community and to nature. When you purchase from a farmer, whether at a Farmer’s Market or grocery store, or visit a restaurant that supports your farmer, you reward the hard work and help support a local member of your community.

The opportunity to meet the person who grows your food is certainly valuable. You can ask questions about farming practices used or about the crops grown and find out more about harvesting dates, subscription services and more. You are meeting and making friends with the person growing your food, that’s totally cool!

  • Food Safety: How many times over the years have we read about or heard about food recalls due to Salmonella or other bacteria? Too often! Not only that but we are faced with foods on our shelves grown with unsafe pesticides, fungicides, hormones, genetic engeneering and artificial fertilizers and as we watch year after year, the crops need more and more of these to grow while the yields decline. Many of the major foods like corn, soybeans, wheat and others have the herbicides and/or insectcides genetically engineered into the seed from the start! This can not be good for you. Buying local lets you ask the farmer how they handle these problems in a safe way.