Why is buying local important?
Local foods systems provide several advantages over conventional and global markets. Buying locally strengthens regional economies, supports family farms, provides delicious, "fresh-from-the-field" foods for consumers, preserves the local landscape, and can help foster a sense of community.
Buying local food strengthens your regional economy
Purchasing food that was grown and harvested locally keeps your money circulating within your community, keeping wealth in your region.
Buying local food supports family farmers in your community, some of whom have farmed the land for generations.
Supporting local farms can help to create jobs for your region.
A strong local economy insulates your region from national and global recessions.
Buying local food provides high-quality, fresh foods
Locally-produced food is often fresher than conventional products grown far away and shipped in trucks for several days.
You can give local farmers feedback on the quality and freshness of their produce.
Buying local food fosters community growth
Family farms are part of the American tradition of self-sufficiency and serve as the basis of local communities.
Local farmers markets and CSA farms provide places for community members to meet, socialize, and discuss issues.
Local farmers markets and farms bring together individuals who share concerns about the future, promoting organization and cooperation toward common goals.
By helping family farms financially, you sustain your family and community with delicious, healthy local foods.
Buying local lets you connect with your food producer concerning the safety and nutrition of your foods
Locally-grown foods can be high in nutrients, often reaching you within 24 hours of harvest, whereas produce shipped from out of state may be up to a week old and has often suffered from severe nutrient loss.
When you buy locally, you can ask whether the farmers use safe farming practices, what they spray on their crops, and what they feed to their animals.
Buying local preserves the natural environment
By supporting local agriculture, you help to protect your region's farmland from urban sprawl and development.
Protection of local farmland means protection of open spaces, natural ecosystems, and biodiversity.
Buying local food helps to reduce dependence on foreign oil needed to ship food thousands of miles, thus cutting back on greenhouse gas emissions.
Last updated June 24, 2015