The average produce grown in North America spends anywhere from 5 days to several weeks in transit after harvest. According to Michael Pollan, author of the best selling book, Food Rules: An Eaters Manual, the average food item travels approximately 1500 miles and comes from 5 countries to get to your table. Buying local means you eliminate all of the fuel needed for transport.
I’m a huge fan of the Holistic Squid and was a patient of the Squid herself for a time about a year and a half ago. She turned me on to the amazing Mar Vista Farmers Market and introduced me to some of the Paleo concepts that I incorporate into my family’s lifestyle still today.
Courtesy of the Squid, I now hit the Mar Vista market every Sunday without fail, and increasingly, the Manhattan Beach market on Tuesdays. I’ve become so spoiled, I can barely stand for what passes as healthy produce at a conventional grocery store.
This week, the Squid is out with a guest post on her blog titled “8 Reasons To Eat Local.” The article is a great reminder about all the reasons it makes sense to shop our local farmers markets.
The Squid’s list:
- Local food is safer because it doesn’t travel through our overly complicated food distribution system and get exposed to food problems in that system.
- The consumer has more power and control over food choices when s/he can question the farmer directly, as is the case with a farmers market.
- The quality of local food is better because it comes to market faster.
- Eating from local sources allows you to eat with the seasons, preventing burn out from eating the same thing for months on end.
- Local food is fresh and tastes better for it.
- Buying local food helps the local economy and develops food community. Personally, I’m on a first name basis with my favorite meat and produce purveyors at the Mar Vista market. That doesn’t happen at Ralphs.
- Helping out a farmer by supporting his efforts to sell local means his transportation and distribution costs are less, allowing him to “plow” profits back in to his business.
- Local food means a smaller environmental footprint by avoiding the national food distribution system.
Are you sold? See you on Sunday? Drop a note in the comments and I’ll spill on all my favorite vendors. 😀