Imagine summer days picking ripe, red strawberries in the garden, or plucking sweet-tart raspberries straight from the bush. Think about autumn afternoons in an orchard, choosing the crispest, juiciest apples. Why does fresh-picked produce taste so much better than the stuff you can get at the store? Why do fruits and veggies that are in-season have so much more flavour? Read more for the answer, as well as reasons you should think about buying fresh, local, and organic food.
1. Local Produce Gets More Time on the Vine, Plant, or Tree
Produce you purchase from a farmer’s market that’s locally grown doesn’t have to travel far to get to you. It’s usually picked at the peak of ripeness and then is available for sale right away. This is in stark contrast to grocery store produce, which most likely travels hundreds of miles and is picked well before it’s ripe. In comparison, local, organic fruits and veggies picked at their peak have advantages over store produce that has been sitting for weeks on the shelf:
- More Nutrients
Since local produce has more time to ripen, and you get it as soon as it’s ripe, it retains more nutrients than food that has been shipped from far-away locales and sits in warehouses.
- Better Flavour
Produce that gets longer to ripen before it is picked tastes better. For instance, you’ll notice the difference between an organic, local peach and a store-bought peach right when you take that first bite. One is bursting with flavour; the other is, in a word, lacklustre. Better flavour in locally grown produce equals better-tasting recipes, too.
2. Local, Real Food is Better for Growers and the Community
Buying local means putting money back into the local community and its growers – not into the already stuffed pockets of industrial farming operations. When you buy local, you support local small businesses that depend on community support to stay alive, not to mention organic gardening and farming practices.
3. It’s Better for the Environment
Food that travels hundreds of miles to your plate is expensive, and not just in regard to what you pay at the cash register. It also costs hundreds of gallons of fossil fuels burned and clouds of exhaust from delivery trucks that permeate and pollute the atmosphere. Standard produce may also have health costs, as industrial farms must use an extensive amount of pesticides and chemicals to keep pests and weeds at bay. It’s not yet fully understood what negative effects ingesting these may have on human health, according to an article by Sustainable Table.
Local, organic, real food is better for the environment and costs far less in terms of health. Local growers and farmers who practice organic farming do not use pesticides or chemicals, instead relying on age-old techniques like tilling and crop rotation to naturally manage pests. Organic farming additionally uses less energy than industrial farming, lessens pollution, and conserves water.
Choosing Fresh and Local is a Smart Decision
When you choose to buy foods such as fruits and veggies that are locally grown, freshly-picked, organically sown, tended, and harvested, and sold in farmer’s markets and online farmer’s markets, you’re making a smart decision for you and your family. This choice affects not only your taste-buds and your family’s health, but also the health of the environment and the community. Last but not least, making this choice adds up to purchases that will make you feel good, both inside and out. For more about great-tasting, healthy produce that is environmentally sound and locally grown, delivered straight to your door, check out Ooooby, the online farmer’s market.