Benefits of Locally Sourced Produce

June 28, 2023 11:53 am

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Do you know where your fruits and veggies come from?

There’s a great option right in your backyard!

When shopping for food we often go with what is convenient or maybe what’s on sale, not putting much thought about how the food got there in the first place. How was it grown, how far did it travel? How many harmful chemicals has it come in contact with? When was it harvested, is it still nutrient dense? Luckily the folks at your local farmer’s market can answer all these questions for you, while the person at Stop and Shop probably can’t.

Here are 8 benefits of shopping local!

  1. Support your local economy – When you buy local produce from farmer’s markets and farmstands, your dollar circulates within your community. This directly supports your neighbors and the town!
  2. Eating foods in season – While there are few places where certain fruits and veggies can be grown year round, fresh locally grown, in-season foods are bursting with flavor! Nothing tastes better than a locally grown sweet strawberry or juicy heirloom tomato.
  3. Good for the environment – Buying local not only minimizes your carbon footprint by reducing the mileage your food has to travel, but it also reduces excess packaging and waste. According to, China was the largest exporter of fruit in 2021. That means those oranges could have traveled 7,019 miles before reaching your house! Imagine the journey they’ve been on!
  4. More nutritious – Produce that travels far are picked before they are ripe and coated with wax and chemicals to preserve them. As they travel, they lose nutrients over time. The most nutritious produce is freshly picked.
  5. Discover new food – Grocers stock up on what is popular and sells easily. Buying locally exposes you to new varieties of your favorite foods, or ones you may not have considered, specially cultivated in the area.
  6. Food is very fresh – Did we mention that local produce is very fresh? Often the produce at farmer’s markets and stands have been picked within the last 24 hours! Not only does that mean fresher food on your table, but fresher food is full of flavor!
  7. Transparency – Buying local produce puts you in direct contact with the folks that grew and nurtured your food and the animals that made them. You learn about their process, the farmland, how weather has affected the harvest. They can also tell you about any chemical pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers used.
  8.  Community – Attending farmer’s markets and visiting farmstands gives you the opportunity to get to know neighbors you may not meet in your day-to-day life! You can discuss gardening and cooking tips, and learn about upcoming local events.

You could also try growing your own! No lawn or ample garden space? There are plenty of ways to grow your own veggies and herbs at home. Consider herbs that thrive in low light, indoor conditions that could fit right in the windowsill. Mint, thyme, cilantro, rosemary, basil, and chives are just some of the many options. You could also purchase an LED plant light! Not only do most come with color spectrum options so you can decide when plants are in their grow and bloom phases, LEDs are also an energy efficient alternative to traditional plant lights that use a lot of electricity and create heat. Many come with built-in timers so you can set it and forget it (but remember to water your plants)!


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