When it comes to supporting local farmers, there are both environmental and economic benefits. Supporting local businesses and farmers allows you to connect with your community and fuel its economy. When farmers sell their harvest to big corporations, much of the profit goes to the packaging, marketing, and transportation, and not the food item itself.
By shopping directly from your farmers at markets or even right from the farm, you eliminate the middleman, which helps grow your local economy instead. Another great benefit of supporting local farming is the tremendous nutritional benefits. “Farm to table” is a common saying which promotes health and nutrition.
Many food items that are packaged and sold at corporations often include pesticides. By shopping at farmers markets instead, you can enjoy the fresh taste and nutritional benefits associated with farm fruits and vegetables. The five main food groups that make for healthy eating patterns are fruit, vegetables, protein, grains, and dairy – which are all harvested from farms near you. This is important to keep in mind when grocery shopping and looking to make changes for a healthier lifestyle.
Aside from the personal benefits we see from shopping locally for fresh food, we can also see huge environmental benefits that provide us sustainable options. The packaging and transportation of food to corporations contribute to a huge amount of carbon emissions.
Oftentimes, food travels thousands of kilometers before being placed on a shelf at the store. Although much of the food in Canada is produced domestically, there is still a lot of transportation that negatively impacts our carbon footprint. By shopping locally at farmers markets instead, we can help reduce the fossil fuels used to transport food and enjoy nutrient-filled local foods instead.
The packaging involved in protecting and preserving food for the shelf is often single-use plastic. When we throw it into the waste bin, it often ends up in a big pile at the landfill – and later polluting our oceans.
Image Credit: Pixa Bay
By shopping locally, you can use reusable bags or baskets to transport your fresh fruits and veggies back to your house for storage. Eliminating the plastic bags used at the grocery store, as well as the plastic packages the food is often stored in. By shopping local, you also help support the farmers who have sometimes harvested their land for generations. Through purchasing their goods, you help allow them to continue to work and increase the value of their land for years to come.
As we see happening in many farm areas today – businesses and developers look to purchase farmland for the construction of buildings and homes instead. If farmers are not profiting from their hard work, they are more likely to sell the land.
We will continue to see a splurge of neighborhoods and plazas, instead of the open fields of green hills that we love to see on back country roads. By shopping at your local farms, you ensure a future for both farmers and families to enjoy local produce. We often hear horror stories of large corporations using hormones and antibiotics to get the most out of their stock – especially on meat and dairy products.
Help fight the problem by supporting small farmers who are more ethical and considerate regarding the process of growing animals while providing them the space and resources for the healthy and stress-free growth of animals.
In conclusion, there are many reasons why you should support local farmers. The benefits include economic growth by keeping money in our country and community, the health and nutritional benefits for our own bodies, as well as the environmental benefits by reducing fossil fuel consumption and pollution.
Shop at your local farmers market and taste the difference!
Blog Image Credit: Ghenadie Cebanu from Unsplash
Written By: Cassandra Briscoe