Eat local! Eat seasonal! Eat well!

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Andrew is back for Round 2 on blog authorship. Hip with the times on folks talking about access to healthy (cough-cough non-GMO cough-cough) food, he spells out a few benefits for eating locally and seasonally. Check it:

Take a second and ask yourself one simple question- what is better than fresh food? Although you may be able to think of a few personal bucket list goals that may trump fresh food, I declare it cannot be beaten by very much. What is better than biting into a fresh, juicy watermelon or sweet ear of corn that has just been picked from the farm?

This brings up the question- how can you make sure you are getting the freshest food? One way to help increase the odds of your food being fresh is buying locally and seasonally. The definition of “locally grown” food is anything grown within a 150 mile radius of your front door. This can be enhanced by buying seasonally, meaning only buying foods when they are in their growing season. Eating seasonally ensures food does not have to travel very far to get to you. Fresh food, full of great taste and flavor. You can’t beat it. How many times have you been to the super market and purchased corn that was out of season? You take it home and the excitement before that first bite is overwhelming. Then… that first bite, the sadness ensues from its bland and unsatisfying taste, it cripples all those feeling of joy. If the corn is in season, the taste will usually meet all of your expectations and the joy will last until you finish eating. I have fond memories of being a child growing up in the country, walking across the street to the farm to get fresh, in season, local corn. There is nothing better than that first bite I can assure you of that.

Fresh taste, as amazing as it may be, is not the only benefit to buying locally and seasonally. There are several environmental impacts that you can help to reduce by purchasing these food items. One, when food is shipped across the country, it is normally taken by big 18-wheel trucks. These trucks use a large amount of fuel to arrive at their final destination causing a large carbon footprint. Thinking how many trucks it takes to fill a super market and how many super markets there are in your state alone, this number becomes astronomical. When food is out of season, the carbon footprint created increases even more. When a food item is out of season, take strawberries for example, it must be shipped in from places like Central or South America either by boat, train or plane. These farms are normally large scale, monoculture farms that take away massive amounts natural resources. Eating locally and seasonally can help to reduce your personal carbon impact on our lovely planet, which is never a bad thing.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, fresh taste and environmental saving, could this get any better? Yes! There are even more benefits to buying seasonally and locally!  Chances are it will keep your wallet and your community’s wallet as green as the fresh veggies you purchase. When you buy locally, you help to support local businesses and farms. Not only does the economy increase but also the sense of community in your area increases. Local markets are normally run by local people. Having interactions with these people increases the sense of community in your area. Also, food bought out of season also tends to be more expensive. On average, you will  pay $1-2 dollars more for out of season food, meaning you pay more for a lower quality product.

There are so many more great reasons to buy food from the local market and when it is in season; I’ve only listed a few benefits to buy local and seasonal. Now, armed with this knowledge, try to do your best- go out there and keep it local!