Why Buy Local Produce?
Here are a few excellent reasons why you should buy local produce:
- Locally grown food tastes better. It’s picked within the last 48 hours or less. Most food travels on average 1,300 miles to get to your table.
- Local produce is better for you. The fresher the food, the more nutritious it is.
- Local food preserves genetic diversity. Growing a variety of crops reduces the potential for disease and pests.
- Local food supports local farm families. When the farmer can eliminate the middle-man and sell directly to the consumers, the farmer has a better chance of making a living.
- Local food builds community. Farmers Markets are usually a gathering place for friends to meet. They have a festive atmosphere.
- Local food preserves open space. People like to look at farms as the travel. It enhances their community as a nice place to live.
- Local food supports a clean environment and benefits wildlife. When farms are managed sustainably, they don’t cause erosion or water pollution. They also support many species of wildlife.
- Buying locally insures a healthy local economy. By spending your money in your community it “bounces” or gets circulated many times over, and benefits local small businesses and farms. Adapted from ©2001 Growing for Market
Why Sustainable Agriculture?
- We must preserve the resource base that sustains us all
- If it is not profitable, it is not sustainable
- The quality of life of farmers, farm families, and farm communities is important
As defined by Congress, sustainable agriculture is:
...an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:
1. satisfy human food and fiber needs;
2. enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
3. make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
4. sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
5. enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.