Historically, purchasing local food produce has been the most economical option, however in the current market buying imported goods can often prove to be less expensive despite the added costs of transportation and packaging. Although this may often make the most financial sense it is important to remember the benefits of buying food locally, not only for the local community, but also for our health and the environment.
Buying locally provides sustainable community business. Research shows that every £10 spent locally creates £24 for the local economy, which is £10 more than created by larger supermarkets. With an estimated 25 local shops closing every week due to the impact of supermarkets it is clear that not buying locally has devastating implications.
If produce is locally sourced it has to travel fewer miles, which is better for the environment. It is estimated that groceries travel an average of 1,500 miles before they reach the consumer’s table. Since transportation uses an unnecessary amount of valuable energy avoiding non-local products also helps to lower your carbon footprint.
Local purchasing allows the consumer to possess all the facts about where their food comes from, instead of relying on potentially misleading or fallacious packaging and branding. When you are able to trace who produces the food it is possible to understand how it is produced. This means that you can be confident about exactly what, if any, additives and preservatives are in your food and its overall nutritional value.
And let’s not forget the compelling reason that fresh food has not been sat in a lorry and then on a self for days and so it simply tastes better. If the food was grown in your own community, it was probably picked within one or two days of purchase, which means it will still be crisp and flavourful. The packaging and transportation of many supermarket items results in lost vitality and nutrients and stops them from tasting as they should.
It is impossible to buy and produce everything locally, however there are perhaps more local options available than most consumers realise. For example this Christmas are you going to buy a supermarket turkey or visit your local farm to purchase the free range farm fresh alternative? If you visit the farmer direct not only are you supporting your local community, cutting out the middle man, helping the environment and lowering your carbon footprint, but you are also able to see the conditions under which the turkeys have been reared and above all enjoy the tastiest, most flavoursome Christmas turkey possible. We believe there’s nothing like the personal touch, and the effects of buying locally will be seen globally.
ARTICLE SOURCE: http://www.articlesbase.com/food-and-beverage-articles/the-importance-of-buying-local-1423505.html