Eating Closer To The Farm
I don’t tend to get swept up in fad diets or movements of any kind. I try to eat as clean as possible, eliminating unnecessary chemicals and pesticides as much as possible. However, I don’t eat exclusively Organic, or Grass Fed, or anything else. But, the “Eat Local” movement is one I can get behind. Eating Local essentially means that you, the consumer, could meet the farmer to find out the details of how the food you are buying is raised, grown, and/or harvested. Eating primarily food that has been grown or harvested within 150 to 200 miles of where you live ensures your food is as fresh and nutrient dense as possible.
The closer you are to where your food is grown and harvested, the higher the quality you will receive. It is not only healthier for you…it also helps your local community. Let’s take a look at some of the nutritional advantages of Eating Closer to the Farm.
- Freshness and Flavor – Due to the close proximity of local farms, local food can have been harvested within the last 24 to 48 hours! This ensures that any produce was picked at the peak of its ripeness. Fruit and Vegetables that are trucked in from far away, are often harvested early and then allowed to ripen artificially. Likewise, local meat can be butchered and on the shelves ready for purchase in matters of hours, not days.
- Nutritional Value – When produce is picked, it stops receiving nutrients from the earth. Often, produce that is trucked in over long distances is picked too early so it will survive the trip to your grocery store. Produce that is picked early doesn’t have nutrient levels as high as those harvested locally.
- Resources – Transporting food over long distances uses way more energy for refrigeration, storage, and fuel. It is said that by eating local, one can reduce their carbon footprint by as much as 10%.
Eating locally also improves your community in a number of ways that you may have not even thought of.
- It Eliminates the Middle Man – Eating local may not be cheaper, but it does eliminate a lot of unnecessary spending on packaging, transportation, advertising, and storage costs. Your local farming doesn’t usually spend money on these things, so more money goes directly to improving the quality of your food.
- It Preserves Farmland – This may shock you, but over 1 million acres of farmland are lost every year in the U.S. due to residential and commercial development. Eating local increases a demand for farmers and the land they need in order to farm.
- Eating Local Contributes to the Local Economy – Did you know that most retail farmers in the U.S. only receive 20 cents of every dollar spent on the food they produce. The rest of that money goes to things like transportation, marketing, processing, and packaging. If a farmer sells his food directly to local buyers, they can eliminate all of the costs associated with transporting their crops out of town. The money stays in the local community. That’s a win for everyone.
- Eating Local Helps People Connect to Their Community – Most people have no meaningful connection or understanding of where their food comes from. By eating local, people can reconnect with their local farmers…and essentially reconnect with the earth and the process of getting their food. Many local farms have fairs, festivals, and workshops designed to get their neighbors more involved in understanding where their food comes from.
Now that you understand how importantly eating locally can improve your health and your community, you may be asking how you can get started supporting local food. I would suggest looking online for local farmers markets to shop at. This is probably the easiest way to connect with local farmers in your area, and sample their products. You can also search out restaurants in your area that specialize in using local ingredients. This is a great way to support your local community, and have some good eats at the same time.
And, take your kids to a local farm! They will LOVE IT! Get them in touch with where their food comes from at an early age.
If you don’t know where to start, I’m here for you. Each and every week I set aside times for what I call Success Strategy Sessions. These short (and FREE!) coaching calls are designed to get you moving toward your goals and reaching them at lightening speed. During the call we’ll talk about where you currently are, where you’d like to be, and come up with some quick actionable steps you can take right away.
These calls are FREE, but I only have a limited amount of time to do them each and every week. They are “first-come-first-serve”. If you’d like to schedule a free Success Strategy Session CLICK HERE!