Why Eat Local Food
Eating local food not only contributes to our own well-being, but it also benefits the health of a community.
When you eat local food or produce within at least 100 miles of your home, you are aiding in restoring our communities as well as emphasizing the importance of eating right and depending on one another. When consumers eat local food, they recognize the importance of produce that provides nourishment to our bodies. People who focus on eating local food will find themselves more satisfied in the taste and nutrition of local food. When you buy local food at a market, you can directly speak with the person who grew your fruits or vegetables, rather than wondering which far away country your produce shipped from.
Switching to local food will help minimize the amount of pollution from transportation. Local food isn’t tossed around in transit, nor is it handled on the giant corporation scale. Local food cuts out chemicals that are used to enhance growth for mass production. The following article from the New York Times explains the benefits of making the switch to local food.
Boosting Health With Local Food
The local food movement typically has been about improving the health of the planet. Buying locally means less fuel burned to transport food, which means less pollution.
But now researchers are trying to find out if eating locally farmed food is also better for your health.
A team of researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has received a grant to study the public health impact of moving toward a local, sustainable food system. An increasingly vocal local food movement calls for consumers to try to buy and eat foods produced within 100 miles of their homes.
So far, there’s not real evidence that eating locally farmed food is better for you. But there are many reasons to think it might be. By definition, locally farmed food is not going to come from large commercial food companies, so people who eat locally aren’t going to consume as much processed food, which typically contains lots of refined carbohydrates, sugar, fat and preservatives.
By focusing your diet on products grown and raised within 100 miles of your home, you will likely end up eating more fruits and vegetables as well. Shopping for fruits and vegetables at farmers’ markets is also pleasurable and may lead to more variety in your diet. Eating local often means you can meet the people who produce your food, and you can also ask questions about pesticide use and farming methods.
The University of North Carolina study will last two years, and researchers say it will improve understanding of the health, environmental and economic issues associated with the local food trend. The study will look at the environmental benefits of transitioning to sustainable farming practices, determine whether there are nutritional and health benefits for consumers, and conduct an economic analysis of opportunities and barriers to local food systems.
“Among the most pressing public health problems in the U.S. today are obesity, environmental degradation and health disparities,” said Alice Ammerman, director of the U.N.C. Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. “Contributing in a big way to each of these problems is our current food system, with its heavy dependence on fossil fuels such as fertilizers, pesticides and gasoline for large-scale production and long distance transportation of often high-calorie, nutrient-poor food, from farm to processing facility to table.”
To read more about local food, read this post from last year called “A New Yorker Tries the 100-mile Diet.”’
There are many unforeseen benefits of eating local food. Buying local food creates a healthier community, livelier economy, and stronger society. Restoring the “local” value brings back small businesses, in turn creating a more prosperous economy. Buying local food stresses the importance of building a strong community. Our communities in America will become tighter knit because of our dependence on one another, generating an improved society and a forum for conversation of what we put in our bodies.
The best way to eat local food is by buying food at a farmer’s market or supporting other places that serve local food. Few restaurants use local food for their ingredients. At Salem Cross Inn, we emphasize the importance of eating local. Salem Cross Inn cherishes the concept of farm-to-table. We believe that when you know where your ingredients come from, it makes a better tasting and healthier meal.
For more information on eating local food at the Salem Cross Inn, feel free to contact us. We would love to answer questions that you may have.