Eating local is a great way to make sure you're getting the most out of your food. In Wisconsin, this isn't a hard thing to do. There are farms everywhere you look and markets, including the Dane County Farmer's Market, selling local produce and goods every week. But what makes local food better than stuff shipped in to your grocery store?
1. Local produce is better for you. The longer your food takes to get from the ground to your plate, the more of the good stuff it loses. The amount of healthy nutrients that make fruits and vegetables so good for you slowly diminish as time goes by. By eating locally grown foods, your foods don't spend time on trucks and in stores and can be eaten at their peak.
2. Local foods taste better. Just like nutrients, produce loses its flavor as time goes on. Vegetables ripen and sugars turn to starches.
3. Local food preserves genetic diversity. Big commercial farms grow produce that can stand up to big farming machines and weeks on the shelf. This leads to very little variety. Local farms use their years of knowledge to diversify, growing fruits and vegetables that taste good and look good.
4. Local food is GMO-free. Many large commercial farms grow genetically modified crops. Luckily, many local farms do not have this option, nor could they afford it. What their growing is fresh, natural produce.
5. Local food supports local farm families. Our country has fewer and fewer farms as the cost rises and returns drop. By selling locally, smaller farms can cut out the middle man and profit directly from their work.
6. Local food protects the environment and wildlife. Clean water and soil are important for local farmers to grow the best crops they can and so they must be careful to protect it. Large commercial farms often use chemicals and large machinery which pollute the areas around them.
These are only a few of the benefits of eating locally grown foods. You'll be helping yourself, your family, families around you, and the environment. So get out and find you local farmer's market, CSA, or local farm and start buying local.