Shopping at your local farmer’s market this summer is more than just a way to get fresh fruits and veggies for your family – it’s also a way to combat climate change and preserve your community. In a video from Nourish, food journalist Michael Pollan explains how eating local food conserves energy and reduces greenhouse gas emissions.
According to Pollan, the average food item in the United States has traveled 1500 miles before ending up on your dinner table. That journey expends a massive amount of fossil fuels, an amount that would be unnecessary if everyone bought their food from local farmers. Buying local produce reduces the need for lengthy and costly travel that burns fossil fuels and emits carbon dioxide. It also means that you get your produce at its freshest – immediately after it has been picked, which makes for healthier, better tasting food.
Buying from local farmers also conserves the energy that would otherwise be used to process food. As Pollan explains, the complicated steps that make a Twinkie, a Twinkie require an incredible amount of energy. The farm-fresh, unprocessed food at your local farmer’s market, on the other hand, has not required such an expense.
In addition to being climate-conscious, supporting local farmers helps keep your community looking its best. Local farms preserve the natural beauty of the land and create an aesthetically pleasing contrast to the overwhelming urban sprawl of our nation’s cities. Farmers also have unparalleled knowledge of the land they work on, which is often passed down from generation to generation.
Like with any independent business, local farms contribute far more to the local economy than national supermarket chains. When you shop at a local farmer’s market, you are supporting the livelihood of a local family, as well as the business of a local farm with tough national competition.
Taking a trip to the local farmer’s market this summer is an eco-friendly choice to support local business and your local economy. It is also an opportunity to make new relationships within the community and try new variations of your family’s favorite summertime fruits and vegetables. Use our local business search to find a local farmer’s market in your area, and make a difference for your family and your community.