Trying to eat healthy can feel like a full-time job. You’re constantly reading food labels, Googling “is __ bad for you?” and feeling guilty every time you indulge in something unhealthy. But there’s one simple way to make healthier eating easier: buy local.
Here are four reasons to make the switch to local foods.
1. You know exactly where your food comes from.
Have you ever seen those videos of chickens crammed into tiny cages or cattle standing waist-deep in their own waste? When you buy local, you can be sure your food isn’t coming from one of those places. Knowing your food comes from happy, healthy animals is not only good for your conscience—it’s good for your health, too. Studies have shown that stress hormones like cortisol can build up in the meat of animals who have been treated poorly, and no one wants to ingest that.
2. It’s fresher—and tastes better.
Local fruits and vegetables haven’t had to travel as far to get to your plate, so they’re fresher and contain more nutrients than their store-bought counterparts. Produce begins to lose vitamins and minerals as soon as it’s picked, so the shorter the trip from farm to table, the more nutrients it will retain. Local fruits and vegetables also tend to taste better because they’re allowed to ripen on the vine or tree before they’re picked, rather than being picked early and ripened with ethylene gas (yes, that’s a thing!).
3) It’s better for the environment.
When you buy local, you cut down on emissions from transportation trucks — plus, you’re supporting farmers who use sustainable growing practices. Sustainable agriculture is vital to preserving our environment for future generations, and small family farms are more likely than large factory farms to employ these types of practices.
4) It supports your community—and its economy.
When you buy local, you keep your dollars in your community instead of giving them to huge corporations. That money then circulates within the community, benefiting businesses and families alike. And although it might cost a few extra dollars upfront, over time you’ll actually save money by buying seasonal produce and food that doesn’t need to be shipped across the country or stored in a giant warehouse.
The next time you’re at the store trying to decide between the organic bananas from Chile and the regular ones from Florida, consider this: buying local is not only good for your health—it’s good for your community and the environment, too. So next time you’re at the farmers market or local grocery store, fill up your bags with delicious seasonal produce knowing that you’re doing good by yourself and others when you do!
This is the ethos that motivates Small Axe Peppers. We started our company back in 2015 with the goal of empowering local community gardens and urban farms. Urban farms are incredible resources to grow healthy and local food right in communities that need them most. Trust us, it is incredible thing to see fresh produce being grown and distributed to areas in The Bronx, Chicago, Detroit, Oakland, and many more. Our mission is to empower community gardens and urban farms to earn income doing what they do best: growing fresh, local, and healthy produce for their neighborhoods. We donate pepper seeds and purchase back 100% of what our garden partners are willing to sell us. As a result, they are able to offset the cost of running and operating these urban farms. It’s a win-win! Not only do our customers get a great tasting hot sauce, they also get the good feeling of knowing that they are supporting local producers right in their neighborhood. So what are you waiting for? Pick up a bottle (or three) today!