It doesn’t take a genius to seee that eating local produce has implicit benefits. However, that doesn’t mean that eating locally is getting more popular. Or easier.
In today’s rapidly globalizing society, food has never been more widely accessible and abundant. In fact, with all the food delivery services, you can now order food from just about any cuisine in the entire world, instantaneously.
And for the most part, this is a good thing, perhaps even one of the best by-products of a globalizing world. But that doesn’t mean it doesn’t come at a cost. While we are seeing a rise in food diversity, we are also seeing a rise in GMOs, additives and preservatives.
With great options, come great responsibility. Now, more than ever, it is important for consumers to wake up and start asking questions — distracted as you may be washing down your lamb tikki masala with a Taiwanese bubble tea.
Fortunately, many consumers are already beginning to wake up and as the right questions: How was the beef raised? Is there genetic engineering involved? Is it organic? Like, 100% organic? What does organic really mean? Free range? Gluten free? What is your relationship with the producers? Is it local produce? Like, really local? Let me ask again, is it really, truly local produce?
The reality is that local produce is still easy to come by – if only you know where to look. So, before you dive into that next bowl of spicy tonkotsu ramen or savagely devour that Jamaican jerked chicken, take a second to read the following benefits of eating local produce. That way, maybe you can reconsider where you order from.
The Benefits of Local Produce
Knowing what animals eat means knowing what you eat.
Many people like to complain about commercial farmers giving antibiotics to animals with fears that those antibiotics will not work for them. However, this concern just scratches the surface when it concerns what animals are being fed. Do I really need to remind anyone of how mad cow disease was caused by cows given feed mixed with diseased animal parts?
Spending less now, may mean spending more later.
Spending less of our income on food may make economical sense in the short term but usually not the long term. In fact, the less we spend on food, the more we spend on health care. Today, 9.5% of our income goes to food, the cheapest it’s ever been for us in the U.S. — a proud achievement of government-backed commercial agribusiness, but we’re not any healthier from eating cheap, over-processed, packaged foods. The cheap food perhaps, tragically correlating to the health care crises we are facing as a nation.
Multinational corporations are not concerned about your health.
Many of the corporate giants in the food industry pour salt, sugar and fat in our diet because it is cheap, fast, easy, oh, and addicting. Does this make it healthy? Absolutely not, and if you saw what it takes to add salt, fat and sugar into ‘food’, you probably wouldn’t even want to eat it. Watch: Food, Inc. by Robert Kenner
The US government does not subsidize healthy food.
The American food system is by the corn, of the corn and for the corn. This abundance of corn stems from subsidy system that pays farmers to maximize production. What this means is that the government is more interested in catering to the demands of the corn lobby, aka the food lobby, than protecting your health. When it comes to processed foods, corn and soybeans are the bricks and mortar of the stuff. Both of them happen to be extremely efficient at being broken down into their most basic parts, and then reassembled into an endless array of marketable commodities (to call the finished products food is asking a little too much, I think).
Local produce bridges the gap between farm and table.
As the economy continues to to grow in complexity, this this gap has grown extensively vast. Kids don’t even understand that cheese comes from cows anymore . When we ask why you should know where your food comes from, it’s aimed at helping you develop healthy relationship between you and food. This allows you to appreciate and respect that food, and to understand that not only is it not indispensable but also that it is a precious gift from the earth. It allows for the understanding of how vegetables are grown, how cows are raised, or how whole wheat flour is produced and accentuates that eating shouldn’t be a fast mindless action but rather an experience which also nourishes the body. Improving the relationship people have with food can in turn improve the way people eat and their overall health.
Eating local produce means a smaller carbon footprint.
Eating locally means your food doesn’t have to be packaged and shipped, often from the other side of the world, to get to your plate. This of course means both less waste and less carbon emissions. How big is the difference? Some of you skeptics out there may be wondering. Well, according to a study done at the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, a local carrot has to travel only 27 miles while a conventionally sourced carrot has to travel 1,838 miles to get to your plate. Eating local produce also means money stays in your local economy and businesses in your neighborhood can thrive and offer products and services that fit your community’s needs and wants as opposed to feeding the profits of the food industry that clearly doing you any favors.
Educate Yourself on Local Produce
Starting to understand the value of using a bit of discretion when selecting the food you eat? Discovering the origins of your food should never be difficult. Think about it, all you have to do is ask. If any of the restaurant or supermarket owners hesitate to respond, well then you can go ahead and take that as a giant red flag.
With nothing to hide, any food provider should be able to share the details about the origins of your meal. Learning about nutrition may seem intimidating at first, but if you take the time to educate yourself, and eat better accordingly, it can change your life in profound ways.
Small Axe Peppers: Hot Sauce Made Locally
Small Axe Peppers Hot Sauce is made with peppers grown in community gardens throughout the United States. With the help of local non-profits, we distribute pepper seeds and seedlings to participating gardens free of charge. Over the course of the growing season, the gardens harvest, and we collect their pepper crop. By sourcing our peppers from gardens at premium prices, we help them generate revenue.
Therefore, not only are we providing local produce to our customers but also supporting community gardens making locally sourced food. Remember, it is the consumer that has the power in this economic system, so by supporting local produce, you can really make a difference. So join us in supporting local produce consumption by purchasing one of these delicious hot sauces!