It's Ontario Agriculture Week, and Many Feathers wants to encourage you to learn more about why shopping local is good for your community and good for you!
Locavore (n): One who eats food grown locally whenever possible. By now, you’ve probably heard that “buying local” is the new trend. But what exactly does that mean, and why should you bother? We’ve got you covered with our top 5 reasons to buy local.
1. Save energy
We all know it’s important to conserve energy. Think about how much energy internationally grown produce uses: there’s long-term refrigeration, and gas being used in the airplanes, boats, and trucks that are transporting it from point A to point B. Food that travels less than 160 km from farm to fork cuts out most of that usage of energy and resources. Saving the world, one tomato at a time!
2. Support your local farmers
More demand for local food means more opportunity for job creation in your area – which in turn will stimulate your local economy. Small farms are quickly being bought up and turned into large residential areas and commercial spaces. This is because farmers only receive a small percentage of profits when selling their food through a grocery store. Cutting out the middle man and selling products directly to consumers ensures that local farmers will be able to afford to keep their farms operational for years to come.
3. Fresher, in season produce
Less time between being harvested and being purchased means you’re getting fresher produce. In fact, your local produce was probably picked less than 24 hours before you buy it! Fresh produce is always more flavorful, but did you know it’s actually more nutritious too? While produce is growing, it takes in nutrients from the soil. Once it is harvested, it begins slowly decomposing and the nutritional values drop. This short turnaround time between harvesting and eating means that more nutrients are still in the food. And, since local farmers only sell what’s in season, you’re in for some of the tastiest produce of your life!
4. Know your farmer
Farmers markets are great places for community interaction. Families and individuals alike will come from all over the area and get to meet and interact with people they normally wouldn’t have the chance to socialize with – including their local farmers. This unusual chance to meet the person responsible for growing their food gives consumers the opportunity to ask questions and feel good knowing more about how their food is grown.
5. A chain reaction
Start conversations with your knowledge about local food. Take friends and family with you to your local farmers markets and teach them about how they too can purchase food with a purpose and help the economy, themselves, and the environment.
Many Feathers is committed to supporting local Ontario farmers & producers through hosting our weekly markets!
Visit the Many Feathers Market, Sundays from 9 am – 2 pm at the Lisgar GO Station. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to see how you can get involved with our farmers market and community garden.
Written by Erica Consentino
Photography by Maleeha Farooq