The distance between where food is produced and where it is sold or eaten can be used to describe what is considered local food.
The United States Congress introduced this term in the 2008 Food and Drug Administration Act.
The total distance that a commodity can be transported and still be considered a “locally grown agricultural food product” is less than 400 miles.
The distance is from its origin or within the State in which it is produced, according to the Conservation and Energy Act.
However, the general public considers food to be “local” either it was grown within a 100-mile radius or the state.
Locally produced food, such as fruits and vegetables, dairy products and eggs, and even locally raised meat, are all possible.
The food you purchase from local farmers will almost always be seasonal, such as seasonal fruits and vegetables.
Other local food producers can grow those types of food in greenhouses or orchards all year long. This has a major impact on your local environment and culture.
Locally produced milk products, such as milk and cheese from cows or goats, are also common.
Difference between locally grown foods and other foods
Although organic and locally grown food are both better for the environment and our health than conventionally grown food, they both have drawbacks.
Whether to purchase organic or locally grown food is a personal decision based on health issues as well as environmental and social responsibility.
Organic foods are grown on farms that are environmentally sustainable and use apple-safe farming practices.
To be labeled as organic, these farms must meet government requirements.
Locally grown produce, on the other hand, is new and in season. If you’ve ever grown vegetables, you’ll know that foods with a limited shelf life are the best.
Purchasing locally grown food also benefits the community’s economy. It contributes to lowering the environmental costs associated with food miles.
Local produce, on the other hand, isn’t always grown using organic methods.
When we consider the various benefits of purchasing locally grown food, it’s easy to see why individuals and families make organic a staple part of their diet.
Benefits of locally grown food
Locally grown food provides several benefits:
1. Has a safe food supply chain
Local foods contribute to a more secure food supply. If you’ve been watching the news over the past few years, you’re aware that food safety has become a big concern.
An E. coli outbreak related to Romaine Lettuce from Salina, California was investigated as recently as November 2019.
Purchasing locally grown produce helps to maintain a healthy food supply chain and prevents you from purchasing poisoned food.
2. Local foods are fresher
Produce purchased from a store is sometimes weeks old. This means you can eat it almost immediately after you get it in.
You know what I’m talking about if you’ve ever sliced open an avocado and left it alone for a few minutes only to return to find it turning brown in front of your eyes.
Local foods are purchased at their peak of freshness, resulting in better-tasting, longer-lasting produce.
3. Locally grown foods are safer
The majority of small-scale farmers do not use the same harmful pesticides and herbicides that commercial farmers do.
Furthermore, locally grown foods are sold in the same community where they were grown.
They do not need the use of preservatives or other chemicals that industrial farmers use to extend the shelf life of their products.
Check with your local farmers to see whether they use conventional or natural pesticides.
4. Supports Community’s Economy
Purchasing locally enhances the culture. There are other community-related advantages in addition to keeping your money in the local community.
By purchasing locally, you are assisting small local farming businesses in their development.
Supporting a small local farm also leads to the development of new jobs in your neighborhood. You also assist any companies who receive food from the local farm.
5. Has more nutrition value
Purchasing locally is healthier. Locally grown food is more nutritious for three basic reasons.
For starters, there aren’t enough chemicals like pesticides, herbicides, and preservatives, as we previously stated.
Simply eliminating certain cancer-causing chemicals from your diet would improve its nutritional value.
The second reason local food is more nutritious is that it is fresher than food trucked in from around the country or shipped in from across the globe.
The third and final explanation is that local food is only available during those seasons.
It tastes better and is better for you to consume food that is grown and harvested during its normal season.
6. Reduces the risks of diseases
Purchasing locally grown foods helps to improve diet-related conditions.
Since local food is not processed or shipped with other foods, there is a lower risk of allergen contamination.
Buying local food is also a perfect way for people with hormones, preservatives, and other chemical sensitivities to consume delicious, nutritious food without compromising their wellbeing.
7. Promotes farm to folk interaction
Local farmers will be able to tell you how they make the food. Shouldn’t you know as much as possible about the food you’re putting into your body if you are what you eat?
Another advantage of shopping locally is that you can talk with the people who grew the food that you and your family will be consuming
Anything from the amount of water used to grow your food to the soil composition can be discovered.
Buying locally grown food is an effective way to support your local economy, contribute to your community, improve your health, and help protect the environment.
Participating in the local food system allows us to reclaim the distinction that we have produced between humans and food production.
Consumers who buy locally grown food and other products help to boost the regional economy.
Also, it creates and maintains valuable employment, sustain families, and reinforce community and culture.
If you make small weekly purchases from local food suppliers, your money and help will go a long way toward improving your local food system.