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Locally grown foods are more beneficial for environment, economy

Elisabeth Smith, Copy editor

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A “green” lifestyle has been adopted by many Americans within the last 10 years. This lifestyle has been in existence for a long time, however, more than just hippies or “tree huggers” are beginning to take part. Many Americans, as well as citizens of other countries in Europe, are driving hybrid cars, installing solar panels, eating organic and trying to be more energy efficient in order to help protect our environment. The next step in the green movement is to start buying more locally grown foods. Doing so helps the local economy, the environment, personal health, and each person’s taste buds.

Buying locally grown foods from the farmer’s market or grocery store greatly benefits local farmers and the economy. Many chain grocery stores are beginning to purchase their produce from local farmers in hopes of meeting the needs of their customers. While this is a good option, buying directly from the farmer’s market is better because a store’s idea of “local” is much different than the buyer’s idea. Also, it can be a fun experience to see where the food actually comes from. What is more, farmer’s markets are cheaper than grocery stores because the food is purchased directly from the farmer and is not increased in price by the distributer. Money spent on local food is recirculated in the form of businesses or investments, helping the local economy thrive.

Not only will purchasing locally grown foods improve the local economy, it will also improve the local environment. Throughout history, local farmers were the only source of food many people had. Now, most people rely on large distributors, making the commercial companies more successful. The only way local farmers stay in business now is by the local people choosing to buy from them instead of chains. It is essential for a community to have green space and not have the entire area be industrialized. By purchasing from local farmers and keeping them in business, the well being of the environment and green space in our community will continue to thrive.

Many industrialized food companies sell Genetically Modified Organisms or GMOs. The large companies make these foods in order to create a larger product and ensure the organisms live to be sold. For example, some GMOs have genes inserted into their DNA makeup which make them resistant to pests. Although, this benefits the company, GMOs have been linked to health issues as well as birth defects according to the Nation of Change organization. Small scale farmers do not create GMOs because they have no need to try to make the food fake in order to sell more, simply because they do not sell to the entire country. Also, locally grown foods are proven to have more nutrients because there is less time in between the harvest and purchasing. Food from the other side of the country will be less fresh than local food because it will have traveled for days and sat in a distribution center.            

Not only are locally grown foods beneficial to the environment, economy and health, but it simply tastes better. Foods grown locally taste more fresh than foods shipped from other states. Local food does not go through any freezing process and does not have to stay in a box while it takes two to three days to ship to the distributor and then sit even longer. At a farmer’s market, produce has been harvested much more recently and tastes more flavorful. That food is already at its peak and is ready to be eaten sooner. Also, food purchased from the farmers market is typically harvested within the last 24 hours, thus giving the taste of freshness many people desire.

Overall, there are many benefits to buying locally such as a cleaner environment, a stronger economy and healthier people. Citizens of Raleigh specifically should start to purchase as much food from the local farmer’s market as possible, which has many great options. Supporting local farms is ultimately up to each individual, however purchasing locally is beneficial to everyone involved and this action must be taken in order to reach the next step of the green movement.

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1 Comment

One Response to “Locally grown foods are more beneficial for environment, economy”

  1. Silas Knight on June 24th, 2016 2:07 pm

    I definitely believe that buying locally grown food is the best. Like you said, it benefits local farmers, the economy, and the local environment. I hate the thought of eating Genetically Modified Organisms, so for me, that is the biggest reason to buy locally grown food. http://seedling.alfrea.com/

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Locally grown foods are more beneficial for environment, economy