An In-Depth Look at Why Buying Local Food Matters
In recent decades, big corporations have controlled U.S. food policy. Yet a growing body of research has substantiated what many of us have known for a long time: small-scale, locally-owned farms create communities that are more prosperous, entrepreneurial, connected, and nurturing.
Why Buying Local Food Matters
Who buys local food? Consumers who value fresh products, a working landscape, and investment in the planet buy local. And there are so many reasons why.
Offers taste and variety: Local foods are delicious because they are picked at their peak and have a shorter time between farm and table. As a result, few nutrients are lost from fresh food. Moreover, local food preserves genetic diversity. Small local farms grow many different varieties of crops to extend the harvest season, provide an abundance of selection, and offer the best flavors. Livestock diversity is also higher where there are many small farms rather than a few large farms.
Builds community: The transparency that comes with talking to a farmer at the local market or driving by the fields reinforces confidence in the growing and harvesting processes. Local farmers aren’t anonymous: their livelihoods depend on face-to-face contact with their customers.
Local food supports local families. The wholesale prices that farmers get for their products are low, often near the cost of production. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middle people and get full retail price for their food — which helps farm families stay on the land.