Local Food as a Healthy Option in American Diets

Local agriculture produces some of the healthiest, most flavorful food on the market. For consumers, buying local makes a considerable impact on the local economy and promotes healthy eating habits.

Locally grown produce lacks the chemicals that are found in shipped versions. Local farmers typically show greater concern for details such as sunlight exposure, soil condition, or ripeness of the food being harvested. Additionally, when shoppers show their financial support to local farmers, they put their hard-earned money back into the local economy. The improved demand will influence farmers to hire further employees, which works to reduce the unemployment rate. Tax money helps to stimulate the local economy, leading to the improvement of education, roads and other projects. People truly vote with their dollars.

Buying local food encourages culinary diversity, which benefits both farmers and shoppers. Since a significant crop is not expected, farmers often experiment with different fruits and vegetables that have limited availability in store. This offers consumers a greater variety of foods to enjoy. It also provides a reason for those who own local space – pastures and farms – to remain undeveloped. The freshness of locally grown food is also an attractive quality. Compare the freshness in a locally grown peach with one imported from another part of the world.

Food imports can be affected by events such as natural disasters, wars, and other traumatic events. By keeping food purchases local, it creates an economy that is self-reliant and does not require much assistance from other countries.  Most businesses are now finding it difficult to ship food grown overseas because of shipping costs. In turn, the price increase trickles down to grocers and restaurant owners.

In the end, imported food could cause life-threatening illnesses and diseases. There are a number of cancer risks tied to the pollution caused by ships traveling overseas. Nearly 60,000 deaths each year are attributed to the world’s cargo ships. Each ship can emit as many chemicals as the total of 50 million cars.

All of this evidence should encourage shoppers to buy locally and be attentive to what they are putting into their bodies.



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