Local and Seasonal Food
Eating local and seasonal, that is why we should prefer it. Of course, for some types of food we don’t have local alternative available, let’s think, for example, of coffee, cocoa and bananas. But we can make different choices for much of the fruit and vegetables that we usually bring to our tables.
Why, for example, choose peaches that come from afar when we can have at our disposal varieties of peaches grown in the right season? The same goes for tomatoes, strawberries, and numerous other fruits and vegetables. Having the good habit of preferring seasonal food also helps to have more easily available what is grown on regional or national level.
Here are 10 important reasons to prefer local and seasonal food.
The less food has to travel to reach the store and our tables, the better for the environment. Think of the amount of polluting emissions released by the transport of food products on airplanes, trucks and ships. We try to contribute to the reduction of pollution by choosing more often local and organic food grown by our trusted farmer.
Better Tasting Products
Conventional food for sale in the supermarket is often harvested when it is not yet ripe in the hope that when it reaches its final destination it will be ready for consumption. Sometimes, however, the fruit is still unripe and is treated with ethylene gas to accelerate ripening. Local food, on the other hand, can naturally ripen on plants and be harvested at the right point. Some farms directly allow customers to choose their favorite fruit and vegetables and collect them at the time of purchase.
Rich and Always Different Menu
Choosing local food means preferring seasonal products and being sure they are as they are grown right next to us. This good habit favors greater variety on the menu. If in winter we tried to give up the typical summer vegetables grown in greenhouses or that come from afar), we would discover world of new flavors.
Rediscovery of Typical Products
Some people are so used to their standard shopping at the supermarket that they no longer know what are the typical products that are grown nearby. Many farmers are rediscovering them and giving space to ancient and almost forgotten varieties on their land. If you are looking for something new for your table, don’t forget to take trip to the next farmer’s market.
Many small local farms are committed to biodiversity conservation and by buying from them we can help out so that this very important commitment continues. We choose, if we can, farms that do not exploit the monocultural model and that are attentive to the balance of the surrounding ecosystems.
More Nutritious Food
Vitamins present in fruits and vegetables begin to deteriorate as soon as these products are harvested. What remains of their nutritional value after long journey? Here’s one more reason to go looking for locally grown produce to buy locally.
Support the Local Economy
With our purchasing choices, if we want, we can try to support the farms in our area and small producers from an economic point of view. Especially in period of crisis like this, it is precisely the local realities still linked to traditions that suffer the most. With this type of purchases we will help the realities we want to recover and progress.
Agricultural Land Protection
In the last fifty years, most of the available agricultural land has been sealed by concrete. What if local farmer cannot run his business due to lack of funds? Sooner or later its fields will disappear to make way for new highway. Here then is one of the most important reasons for preferring local food and supporting small businesses with our way of shopping.
Respect for Animals
Buying local food means giving hand to those farmers who are not only concerned with cultivating the land but who also think about protecting the surrounding ecosystems and the wild animals that live in the area. For example, they could be involved in monitoring ecological corridors that favor the movement and migration of wild animals.
Lead by Example
If we want many people to change their way of shopping, we should be the first to lead by example. We show others, starting with family and friends, that good and healthy foods are grown in the area where we live and that we can do without most of the common products on sale in supermarkets to compose rich and varied daily menu to bring on the table.