Buying local foods

Topics: Local food, Fossil fuel, Agriculture Pages: 5 (1158 words) Published: November 24, 2014
Mary Ellis
November 16, 2014
Buying Local Produce
Have you ever wondered why the produce you find in a grocery store comes from all over the country When there are local farms that sell the same produce grown in your backyard? My family buys our produce from our local C.S.A.(Community Supported Agriculture), farmers markets, and produce stands. There are thousands of places like these across the country that get overlooked by consumers every day. An individual’s choices regarding food purchases can positively influence our world house by supporting our local farmers, reducing fossil fuel emissions and promoting better farming practices. Supporting our local farmers is important, not only to the community that they belong to but in a larger sense. The food produced by the local farms is healthier for consumers. The nutritional value of produce declines after the initial harvest. Therefore, local food has the most nutritional value because it is so fresh. Local produce is harvested and sold more quickly so they do not contain the preservatives that are added to products shipped long distances and placed in storage. Supporting local farmers ensures future food security. Today less than 1 percent of Americans claim farming as their primary occupation (Demographics). Those who farm have very few benefits except that it is their passion. Small farmers are getting harder to find because it is so much work with little profit. Owning a farm is a business, to keep the business running you need to make a profit from your products. The average farmer only makes 10 cents on every retail food dollar (10 Reasons to Buy Local). With consumers buying directly from the farmers, they can cut out the middle man and farmers make a larger profit. This helps support the farms business and their families so they can continue to farm. Also we have to protect the land. Farmers who are not making any money are forced to sell their land giving them no control over what happens to it. The beautiful farm land becomes wasted, covered in housing developments, buildings, or strip malls. This is a reminder that the beauty of agricultural landscape survives only when farms are making profit. By spending your money on locally grown food, you are increasing the value of the land to the farmer and making development and urbanization more likely. Buying your produce from the source also gives the consumer insight into the actual processes that goes into the product. When you see where it is coming from you develop more of an appreciation for it, which is important for the next generation of farmers. Supporting local farms today helps keep those farms in your community but the next generation of farmer’s need to see that there dream of farming and working the land can be profitable for them and make a difference in their community. When people appreciate their food and where it comes from they will be less inclined to waste it. Food waste it a huge issue, when people do not understand where it comes from and how hard it is to produce it deprecates the value of the food so throwing it away does not seem like a waste. Buying locally grown food can reduce the fossil fuel emissions in our world house in more than just one way. Transporting the produce across country is a huge waste of fossil fuels. “The average bundle of spinach, head lettuce, and carrots travel an average of 1,500 miles to reach the consumers table. “ (Why by locally grown food?) This only increases our dependence on fossils fuels, since the consumers mainly rely on the produce, in our grocery stores, that was transported over hundreds of miles. Rich Pirog, senior associate director of the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems, found that conventional food distribution was responsible for 5 to 17 times more CO2 than locally produced food (Pirog). Not only are fossil fuels burned and wasted in the transporting of these products, but in the packaging of them too....
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