Today, in the midst of fad diets, misleading nutrition information, and questionable food quality, there is no better time than now to reconnect with our local farmers. By cutting out wholesalers (middleman) and re-connecting with our optimum food source you gain the highest quality groceries and customer service, plus your money spent goes back into your community making a positive impact on the economy – it’s a win-win for everyone involved. Our health and the health of our environment is another benefit of buying locally, I am going to touch on what I think are the top reasons to make this decision and give you some options so you can decide how this can best fit into your life.
- You are eating food in your own environment, where it has perfectly-created nutrients for your specific climate and region.
- Industrial farming (both conventional and organic) is hard on the land, depletes the soil of nutrients, uses industrial chemical fertilizers and/or pesticides, and utilizes environmentally unfriendly practices that are not sustainable over the long-term.
- Science has discovered that the soil and microbes in the soil is to be included when evaluating how nutritious food.
- It is estimated that 95% of our food is directly or indirectly produced on our soils.
- Farm fresh often means picked that morning, we don’t see that at the supermarket.
- Many farmers participating in local farmers markets use organic methods to grow their produce.
- Most farmers markets offer a higher percentage of organic, non-GMO, bio-dynamic and wild-crafted foods, which are often much harder to find.
- Organic chicken and beef usually means they won’t be treated with antibiotics, growth hormones, or fed questionable food themselves (we eat what they eat!).
- Purchase seasonal produce, fermented foods, bee products, bread, eggs and dairy.
- The farming methods and products used affect the food, meeting the farmers face to face gives you the opportunity to ask questions.
- Several studies have shown that the average distance food travels from farm to plate is 1,500 miles.
- By reducing the usage of fossil fuels you are now contributing less to sprawl, congestion, habitat loss, and pollution.
- Unnecessary food packaging accounts for a high proportion of waste in both costs and materials.
- Ontario’s farmers have a long history of supporting food banks.
- Ontario’s producer groups generously ensure that the nearly 360,000 residents who visit food banks each month have access to perishable items.
- Farmers receive only 20 percent of the price of food.
- Costs such as retailing, wholesaling, distribution, marketing and processing account for 80 percent of retail cost.
- Research out of Brock University suggests three billion dollars would be added to the local economy if five million residents spent $10 of their grocery budget on local foods each week.
- If Ontario’s residents shifted $10 of their weekly grocery budget to local food, it would create hundreds of new jobs.
- The more we support our local farmers, the more we ensure local goods can be grown and raised for generations to come.
- There are no advertisements/junk food which encourages you to buy and later eat more fruits and vegetables.
- Experiencing the colors, smells, and taste will make it so easy to consume the recommended five servings a day.
- You will eat seasonally, fresh and ripe. This is a great way to increase your overall health.
- In supermarkets the food is picked before it has ripened decreasing the vitality and nutrients.
- Meeting your local community is an excellent way to feel connected to the world around you, increasing health for body, mind and spirit.
- You can learn so much about the area you live in: its native species, what varieties grow best, how to grow your own food, and so much more.
- It can also be a great place to teach your kids about connecting with food and community in an interactive space, and they love the fresh flowers and yummy berries!
- It is a chance to support and meet talented artisans and small business owners who take great pride in their work.
- Experience meaningful encounters and support your community.
Are you ready for seasonal local food?
Here is how you do it:
- Farmers Market: Check your newspaper, call your township office or simply google it and your location. In my hometown the market runs 9-2 on bay street in the summer and at the Huronia Museum in the winter.
- Farm/Farmer: Contact the farmers directly, by calling and going to the farm yourself you can buy in bulk saving even more money and time.
- CSA: Community Supported Agriculture is a system in which a farm operation is supported by shareholders within the community who share both the benefits and risks of food production.
- Food Box/Delivery Service: These are not always local but do still support farmers and local business. You pay weekly or biweekly to have a box of fresh organic produce delivered to your home.
Having access to healthy, nutrient dense foods to all should be the ultimate goal and I hope this helps you reach yours. I want to include that I believe subsidies should be given to the farms mimicking the natural ecosystem, planting a diversity of plants and implementing a permaculture model. An even better option would be to grow your own food by creating an organic garden in your yard or even on your balcony.
Why do you shop at your local farmers market? Let me hear your reasons.
As always I am sending you much love & positivity on your Elemental Growth journey.
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