Why Eat Local?
Thanks to Eat Local First DC for this great information on why buying and eating local are so important.
Eating local is better for you and the environment. Before you shop for food, visit a restaurant or eat from your own fridge, we want you to think.
Think about yourself.
Food grown in a 50-mile radius of DC was probably picked within the last day or two and is crisp, sweet, and loaded with flavor. Fresh produce loses nutrients quickly, sugars turn to starches, plant cells shrink, and produce loses its vitality. Buying local ensures that you buy food that is at the peak of flavor and nutritive value.
Think about your local economy.
On average, for each dollar spent on products made by large corporations, only 15 cents remain reinvested within our local community. But when we spend a dollar at a local business or farm, 45 cents are reinvested locally. This multiplier effect makes our local economy more diverse and resilient in a downturn.
Think about the farmers.
By shopping at local Farmers’ Markets and supporting local retailers that source locally, we are supporting the hard-working small farms that need our business to sustain. The census shows that less than 2% of our population currently works in agriculture. While a typical family farm gets paid only 10 cents of each retail food dollar, buying directly from a producer or conscientious retailer keeps more money in the pocket of these family farms and keeps them in business.
Think about the environment.
Sustainable farming keeps pesticides and other chemicals out of runoff water. Local, small farmers have the flexibility to maintain crop diversification and implement sustainable harvesting methods that impact the quality of our water source. Buying local has a smaller carbon footprint and it is estimated that farmers who practice conservation tillage can sequester 12-14 % of the carbon emitted by vehicles and industrial farms.