There are many benefits to shopping locally that don’t just involve saving you time. Buying produce from local amenities, such as farmer’s markets, lets you know where the product has originated from. As well as being beneficial to you, shopping locally is also a relief for the environment.
Reduce your food miles:
One of the most important things about sourcing food locally is the reduction this will have in your food miles. Food in the supermarket often travels around 1,500 miles before it rests on the shelf. Shopping locally doesn’t create a huge carbon footprint because the food hasn’t travelled far from its origin to your basket. By reducing these miles, you are helping to cut down on the amount of air pollution caused by plane transfers/long truck journeys to supermarkets.
Supporting your community:
An overwhelming amount of food we buy is purchased through the six huge supermarket chains. By supporting local businesses, you are ensuring that you are buying goods from your local area which will help your community thrive.
You are also supporting workers in your local area as, for example, the farmers, and creators of artisan products rely on your demand for their supply, and without it, they may not exist.
Local Food is Seasonal Food:
Seasonal food is a fantastic addition to your recipes and eating this way is a means of ensuring that we do not exhaust the planet.
This method allows you to not only expand the range of your meals but also create a balanced diet. Furthermore, this also ensures that we don’t use fuel to transport food from country to country. Asparagus, for example, when flown to the UK internationally, has 28 times higher carbon footprint than that of home-grown asparagus.
By shopping locally at Farmer’s markets, the food available will be fresher, organic, more nutritious, and preservative and hormone-free as they would not have needed any help to stay fresh on a long journey. This is beneficial to the customer, as they will not consume any artificial preservatives, and also to the environment, as no harmful toxins will have been used.
Reduces Food Waste:
Food waste is a huge waste of energy, money, and time. It has been estimated that one-third of food produced for human consumption is wasted from creation to kitchen. In the U.K., a staggering 24 million slices of bread and 5.8 million potatoes are binned every year. Additionally, it has been theorised that 110kg per person per year of food is thrown away across the U.K., to put this another way, £60 of food per month is wasted by the average family.
The food you buy locally is less likely to expire as quickly as food from the supermarket, it’s unlikely to be thrown away so soon after purchase.
When shopping, be on the lookout for a red tractor. This symbolises that the product has been produced in the U.K. and has therefore not travelled internationally to arrive on the shelf.
Purchasing food locally is a phenomenal help to the environment, your local community, and the overall health of you and your family. Search for local food markets in your area and have fun expanding your recipe book whilst saving the planet!
Written by Leah Bennett