Posts Tagged ‘buy local’
“Eating Local provides a multitude of benefits including personal health, community health and environmental wellness. These benefits are passed onto the people consuming the food as well as the farmers providing the food. Further, Eating Local also means eating seasonally, just as Mother Nature intended. By choosing to eat with the seasons, the products are abundant in taste, freshness and product options as well as being less expensive.
“Choosing to Eat Local supports our local economies. When you purchase products direct from local farmers, your dollars stay within your community and strengthen the local economy. A dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy.[i] When businesses are both owned and supported locally, money stays in the community with every transaction. When you buy local, you give farms and pastures an economic reason to stay undeveloped. This keeps land development in balance while preserving open spaces.
“Locally grown produce such as meat and eggs are fresher, therefore containing a higher nutrient value. Often, the produce has been harvested within 24 hours of purchase, including the collection of eggs. Another advantage is yours when you can actually pick the product yourself. It is important to note that the producers usually harvest based on the demand for their product.
“Getting to know your producer will give you direct customer service as you will have a direct connection if you are in need of more products or options, or if you are not completely satisfied with your product. Generally speaking, this type of direct involvement is key to ultimate satisfaction. Having this type of connection is a win-win situation for all involved.
“Eating locally grown food is better for your health. Small farms tend to be less aggressive than large factory farms about dousing their wares with chemicals.[ii] Further, small farms are also more likely to grow more variety, says CNAD, protecting biodiversity and preserving a wide agricultural gene pool, an important factor in long-term food security.
“Eating locally grown food helps fight against global warming. The average fresh food item on our dinner table travels 1,500 miles to get there.[iii] Buying locally produced food eliminates the environmental issues associated with cargo and transportation.
“Locally grown food simply tastes better. Small local farmers usually do not have any chemicals added because their products do not have to be transported and stored for long periods of time. John Ikerd, who writes about the growing “Eat Local” movement, states that farmers who sell direct to local consumers need not give priority to packing, shipping and shelf-life issues and can instead “select, grow and harvest crops to ensure peak qualities of freshness, nutrition and taste..[iv]”
[i]New Economics Foundation in London.
[ii]Center for a New American Dream (CNAD)
[iii] Rich Pirog, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
. John Ikerd, a retired agricultural economics professor
The Local First movement is about area retailers banding together to remind consumers to buy fresh tomatoes at the farm stand down the road or pick up vitamins at the neighborhood natural food shop. Cutting out those Target shopping sprees entirely isn’t necessary.
This holiday season, shoppers have likely noticed more reminders to purchase gifts at locally owned businesses in the form of large, round “Local First” stickers in store windows across the state. Indeed, the effort — which has the core mission of urging consumers to shift 10 percent of their spending to locally owned and operated stores to create a more profitable and sustainable local economy — is gaining momentum in Massachusetts.
Local First networks have in recent years sprouted up in Cambridge, Somerville, Worcester, and the Pioneer Valley. For the first time this year, Cambridge Local First and Somerville Local First have joined efforts in a campaign to urge consumers to “Shift Your Shopping” and buy local this holiday season. The two organizations launched shiftyourshopping.org and have used social media to get the word out to locals.
Jon O’Toole, co-owner of the Somerville-based contemporary furniture story Grand, one of about 130 business members of Somerville Local First, said he’s noticed a boost in business from the holiday promotion, especially after the two organizations promoted an event on Dec. 16 at his store, which has been open for about a year.