Eating local food helps the environment because you drastically reduce the amount of miles your food travels, thus reducing carbon emissions from transportation. Non-local food travels an average of 1500 miles before it reaches your plate emitting hundreds of pounds of CO2 into the environment.
Two ways: first, it cuts down a lot of greenhouse gases emitted to bring the food from a faraway place to you. Bananas from Guatemala have to be flown to and driven around New York for the city to consume them, and that takes a lot of fuel. Second, it forces people to eat what is in season. With global trade and advanced preservation technology, people don’t know what’s in season anymore because you can get anything at any time. If you eat locally, you know what fruits and vegetables are available when, which means you have less of a carbon footprint from flying food in and storing it.
Finally, eating local usually means you are buying from smaller, family-run farms that often have good (sustainable? organic?) practices. They don’t need to mass produce so they don’t overfertilize and exhaust the soil and often don’t use pesticides, or at least as many.
Go here to find farmers markets near you: http://www.localharvest.org/
A great place to purchase local foods can be at your community farmer’s market. Supporting local food growers also helps stimulate the economic environment as well. Smaller farms generally use less pesticides, which means less toxins being put into your body.
There are several benefits to eating locally. First of all, the food doesn’t have to be shipped so far which reduces CO2 emissions. Secondly, it is most likely organic and therefore healthier for you. Third, you’re supporting your local agriculture and eating food that’s in season! Nothing tastes better than a garden grown summer tomato.
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