Ready to spice up your cooking game? We think there’s the perfect ingredients waiting right in your local farmers market, in your backyard, or even in your living room. Not only will you be doing your part for the environment and supporting your local economy when you grow and eat local, but you'll also be reaping a whole host of health benefits.
Let's dig into the six reasons we think eating locally grown produce is food for the soul!
First things first, let's talk about the juicy stuff - the nutrient content. Did you know with crops including broccoli, green beans, kale, red peppers, tomatoes, and apricots, nutritional value degrades significantly the further they need travel to get to your plate (and into your stomach)? By cooking with locally sourced and in-season produce, you'll be getting the most nutritious bang for your buck. It's like getting a daily dose of vitamins straight from the source.
Locally grown produce is not only healthier, but it also tastes better. That's right - those vibrant colors and bold flavors are no coincidence. When you buy from local farmers or eat your own produce grown indoors or outdoors, you're getting produce that's picked at it’s ripest point fresh from the farm. Yep, that means the food you put into your body is bursting with flavor that can be lost during long-distance transportation.
In the United States alone, transportation is the “largest source of CO2 emissions in 2020, accounting for about 33% of total U.S. CO2 emissions.” By supporting local farmers, you're doing your part in reducing carbon emissions from food going from the farm in Mexico to your home in the North East of the United States or Canada (or wherever you happent to live).
Buying locally grown and in-season produce can also be more affordable. That's right, you can be a savvy shopper AND a responsible citizen. When produce is in season, there's often a surplus, which means lower prices for you. Plus, have you ever been to a farmers' market? The deals are unreal!
But perhaps the most delicious benefit of cooking with in-season produce is the variety. All you need to do is check out your local seed supplier (what the heck is Salsola?!) for heirloom varieties to get a great feel for all the amazing flavours that don’t make enough economic sense for your local supermarket. We’ve had amazing success growing interesting varieties like Wasabi Arugala and Pac Choi in our Just Vertical gardens - food we’ve never seen at our local stores.
It’s A Wrap
Buying local has a range of benefits. However, in many places, it can also be tough to buy local because of adverse weather conditions. Thankfully, modern farming technology has opened up farming in places previously adverse to growing year round. Growing and eating local is healthier, tastier, and more affordable. It's also better for the environment and your local community. So go on, get out there and taste the rainbow!