Buy Local: It Matters
8 Benefits of Buying at Local Farms
1. Local food tastes better.
When you buy from local farm, like Colby Farm, you’re getting the freshest possible produce in season. Produce that travels long distances is days older. Sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink, and produce loses its vitality and flavor.
2. Local food is more nutritious.
Once harvested, produce quickly loses nutrients. Like most local farms, we sell our fruits and vegetables right after picking, so they retains more nutrients.
3. Local food preserves genetic diversity.
Large commercial farms grow a relatively small number of hybrid fruits and vegetables because they can tolerate the rigors of harvesting, packing, shipping and storage. This leaves little genetic diversity in the food supply. Family farms, on the other hand, grow a huge number of varieties to extend their growing season. Many varieties are “heirlooms” passed down through the generations because of their excellent flavor.
4. Local food promotes conservation.
The average distance our food travels is 1500 miles, mostly by air and truck, increasing our dependence on oil. By buying locally, you conserve the energy that’s otherwise used for transport.
5. Local food supports local farmers.
The American family farmer is a vanishing breed - fewer than 1,000,000 people (less than 1% of Americans) claim farming as a primary occupation. It’s hard to make a living when you get less than 10 cents of every retail food dollar. By buying locally, the middleman disappears and the farmer gets full retail price, in turn helping farmers continue to farm.
6. Local food preserves open space.
Our agricultural landscape survives only when farms are financially viable. By spending your money on locally grown food, you’re increasing the value of the land to the farmer and making development less likely.
7. Local food keeps taxes in check.
For every $1 in revenue raised by residential development, governments spend $1.17 on services, which increases taxes. For every $1 in revenue raised by a farm, a forest or open space, governments spend $0.34 cents on services. You do the math.
8. Local food is about the future.
Supporting local farms today helps keep those farms in your community, ensuring that your children and grandchildren have access to nourishing and abundant food. When you choose to buy locally, and make your choices known, you raise the awareness of your family, friends and neighbors.
Sources: Local Harvest, Sustainable Table, The New York Times, Community Alliance with Family Farmers