Fresher More Nutritious Food Is Available Locally
Once picked, produce loses nutrients, so we want to pick and eat as quickly as possible, right? Sadly, much of our produce is shipped long distances which requires picking before it’s ripe, and before it has reached its full nutrition potential, then that produce begins to lose the nutrients it has the to moment it is picked.
Next, that produce is forced to ripen using ethylene gas. Local produce is packed with nutrition because it was picked just hours before delivery after being allowed to ripen naturally.
Local Produce is more diverse which equals eating with the Seasons
Large industrialized farms grow a small number of fruits and vegetables (many of them genetically modified) because they can tolerate the process of being picked before they are ripe, packing, shipping, and storage. Local farms are more likely to grow with the season providing a broader range variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the year.
Researchers at Montclair State University compared the vitamin C content of broccoli grown in season with broccoli imported out of season. The broccoli imported out of season had half the vitamin content.
Buying Local Helps the Local Economy
Studies have shown that for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 remained in the city compared to only $43 of each $100 at a chain retailer.
Buying Local Supports Your Neighbors
Staying engaged with local farms and businesses means a greater sense of community. Humans are social, it is healthy for us to create lasting friendships with our local farmers and business owners. It also gives us the opportunity to ask our farmers to grow our favorites.
Buying Local Is Better for the Planet
Less Co2 emissions are created by local farms because there are no packing facilities, shipping facilities, long truck trips, or extra refrigeration needed. Small farms tend to grow more organically even if they aren’t certified by the USDA which keeps harmful toxins and pesticides out of our air, and out of the water table.
Cut down on waste
Buying produce farm to table results in is less waste. Industrial farms have food waste due to things like packing facility issues, shipping delays, and going bad before they are bought. On a smaller scale with a more direct farm to table approach food waste is reduced. Local farms also do not have issues with food contamination which result in recalls like the industrialized farms.
Entrepreneurship and Innovation
By giving people everywhere access to healthier food, the urban farming movement is improving lives by changing the way people eat. Vertical farming uses less land so farms can be grown in urban settings as well as on small plots of land close to any town. For example: A Tower Farm can grow up to 250,000 plants on 1 acre of land. New innovative forms of farming use less water, have a reduced carbon footprint, and open up farming to more people opening up the opportunity for economic benefits as well as the environmental benefits.