WHY BUY LOCAL FOOD?
PROTECT THE AIR, WATER,
Locally sourced produce travels about 27 times less distance than conventionally sourced produce, which averages more than 1,000 miles from the point of production to the retail store. Short supply chains result in fewer emissions and reduced packaging waste.
Your local farmers have a stake in maintaining and improving the region’s natural resources, and are more likely to use sustainable farming practices that protect air and water, and restore soil health. When properly managed, farmland and ranchland can support wildlife and biodiversity, recharge aquifers, clean water, and sequester carbon. Soil restorative farming practices maximize water storage, making farms and their communities more resilient to weather extremes.
STRENGTHEN YOUR LOCAL ECONOMY
Locally-owned retailers return more than three times as much of their sales to the local economy than their chain competitors. Growers selling locally create 13 full-time jobs per $1 million in revenue earned, while those who don’t sell locally create 3. Local businesses recirculate their revenues in locally owned supply chains and invest in their employees.
SUPPORT FARMERS & PRESERVE FARMLAND
It’s a critical time to support your farming neighbors. We need farmers, and it’s no easy job. Fewer than 1% of Americans claim farming as their occupation, and only 45% of them claim farming as their primary occupation. Meanwhile, large corporations increasingly dominate US food production–four large firms control over 80% of beef slaughter, 60% of pork packing, and 50% of broiler chicken and turkey production. The average age of farmers continues to rise (57.5 in 2017) and farmland is sold to developers at the alarming rate of 175 acres an hour. After all of their hard work, farmers receive just 15 cents on the dollar spent on food at traditional grocery stores, with 85 going to marketing, transportation, and other wholesale costs. Buying local food--especially directly from a farmer at a farmers market or farmstand--helps to make farming profitable, which makes selling farmland for development less attractive. Spending your food dollars with local producers ensures that these farms thrive, providing fresh, local food well into the future.
GET FRESH, DELICIOUS, SAFE FOOD
Buying food from local farmers and producers allows you to learn about their values and growing practices. Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to choose food from farmers who avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified seed in their operations.