Imagine biting into a ripe, juicy strawberry that a farmer grew just miles from your home. Thanks to a variety of different options that are available today, you can get your hands on fresh, seasonal produce that farmers grow in your community.
Here are just a few benefits to buying local:
1. Buying local food is often less expensive: the cost of food accounts for factors such as transportation and seasonality. The prices of foods that have been transported hundreds or thousands of miles across the nation factor in the fuel costs for transportation and storage. When paying for a local apple, you’re saving yourself gas money!
2. Buying local is better for the environment: saving gas doesn’t only save you money. Local food overall has a lower carbon footprint because it only has to travel a few miles instead of a few hundred miles to get from farm to fork.
3. Local food tastes better: a tomato straight from the vine tastes significantly more delicious than one picked days or weeks prior and set to ripen in a chemically-controlled warehouse.
4. Local food is more nutritious: the same study mentioned above not only found higher levels of flavor compounds in freshly picked, local food, but also higher levels of nutrients like vitamin C.
5. Local food supports farmers: when you buy something, your money is paid to the person who made it, right? Would you rather your food money go to a farm in another state or country, or to your local farmer? Buying locally gives your money back to your own community, supporting the more than 245,000 people employed in agriculture in Indiana.
6. Local food is cleaner: since food is picked at peak ripeness and sold right away, far fewer preservatives are needed, as well as less packaging. This helps keep the food free from toxic chemicals like BHT, nitrates and more.
Learn more about local farmers markets in the area.
* The Purdue University Extension Office contributed to this article.
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