What are the benefits of eating locally and seasonally, or at least incorporating more local foods onto your family’s table?
,Locally grown food is more flavorful!
When grown locally, fruits and vegetables are picked at peak ripeness, as opposed to being harvested earlier for shipment and delivery. Most of the time, when you buy produce at your local farmer’s market, it has been picked within the past 24 hours of purchase!
Local produce is more nutritious!
With local produce, there is less time between harvest and your hands. Therefore, the nutrient value of your fruits and vegetables has not decreased as much as it would if it was sitting in a grocery store for several days, or being shipped across the country.
Eating local also means supporting the local economy.
The money you’re spending on purchases at the local market goes directly into the hands and businesses of local farmers and growers and is reinvested in business close to your community.
Local food benefits the environment.
By putting money back into the hands of local growers, you are also maintaining green space in your immediate environment.
Local food = safer food supply.
The less steps there are between harvest and your table, the less chances there are for contamination in shipment, washing, harvest and distribution.
Know how your food was raised!
When you purchase from a local farmer, you can ask them about their practices, and how they raise and harvest their crops. The more you know about the food you are putting in your mouth, the better!
It’s not always easy to eat 100% local. Maybe your schedule doesn’t allow you to visit the farmers market on the weekend, or you want to use some ingredients that aren’t grown nearby. Aim to incorporate more local food in your life, instead of aiming for perfection! Shop one week at the farmers' market instead of going to the grocery store - or join a local co-op to get a weekly delivery of local and seasonal fruits and veggies.
Here’s a list of what’s in season at the local farmers market in August. We love the Grand Army Plaza Greenmarket! Keep an eye on our Instagram for more ideas for how to buy and cook local produce.