Why You Should Eat Locally Grown Food (and How to Make It Easy)
If you love eating locally, you can join the "locavores" of the world. The practice can pack more nutrients in your diet and could be a safer food supply for you. Before you get started, here's what to know and how to make it easier to eat fresh, no matter where you live.
Eat Nutrient-Packed Food
Not all food harvested, packed, and frozen loses its nutrients. However, locally grown food is filled with vitamins, minerals, and is harvested fresh. The odds are greater you're eating highly nutritious foods with better flavor than options sitting on the produce shelves for weeks.
Enjoy Better Tasting Food
Locally grown food is fresh and will likely taste better than its packaged counterparts. Thawing out strawberries might taste fine in a smoothie, but the taste of fruit right off the vine is unmatched. Suddenly you may find you are a better home chef than you realized with a selection of great-tasting food.
Tap Into a Safer Food Supply
Local food promotes a safer food supply, where you know where your food is coming from. Depending on your local retailer, the food may be free from preservatives and pesticides that help it sit in big-box retailers longer. The amount of time it takes to get to your doorstep also matters—the more steps between you and your food, the more opportunity for contamination.
Fund Small Farmers
Eating locally grown food helps fund farms and keep nutrient-rich, fresh food on your dinner plates. Small farms are the cornerstone of locally grown food and farmer's markets. Unfortunately, they're often overlooked in favor of large retailers and bulk suppliers.
Gardening is a relaxing pastime that can reduce stress, but it also helps fuel your locally grown food source. You also don't need to grow it all on your own. Producing enough fruits and veggies for side dishes and snacks is a good place to start the local eating journey.
Leverage Food Subscription Services
A subscription for everything includes fresh produce and done-for-you meals that incorporate locally grown food. Of course, unless you live in the same area as the subscription provider, the food won't be local to you. Instead, the food is local to the subscription provider. However, you still shorten the supply chain from garden or farm to your table.
FitTrax offers nutritious, healthy food options that are easy to prepare. The selections are organic, healthy, and made from scratch. Chefs use grass-fed meat, wild-caught fish, and locally sourced ingredients whenever possible.
Focus on Seasonal Eating
Seasonal eating and eating locally often go hand-in-hand. When you eat foods that are in season, they're likely to be locally grown, or at least harvested and delivered fresh. Seasonal food is also nutrient-dense, tastes fantastic, and offers several of the same benefits as consuming locally grown food.
Collaborate with Others
If you're struggling to eat locally grown food, try collaborating with others. A food co-op is one place to start, where consumers usually trade some time to run the shop in exchange for heavy discounts on fresh produce. Teaming up with a neighbor and trading fresh food from your gardens is also a simple way to improve your food supply.