I just wanted to share some information with you all as to why buying local foods is really a no-brainer.
Reasons why I try to buy local:
1. Buying local helps you know where your food comes from. Local food is more nutritious and generally less likely to be doused with chemicals (or antibiotics for meat products) or genetically modified. By the way, eating local honey may help you fight seasonal allergies!
2. The food is fresher, tastes better, and comes in more variety. Produce shipped from far away is grown for longer shelf life and not for taste. Big farms usually opt for the more durable or "reliable" varieties. (ie: Red Delicious apples from Washington).
3. You are supporting the "little guy" as opposed to those evil commercial farms. Small farmers are a dying breed (my family has a small farm, so I feel very strongly about this!). The middle man is cut out and more of the profit goes directly to the farmer.
4. Urban gardens can bring a community together. They also provide much needed green spaces in urban areas. There are many great programs that can be designed around an urban garden to educate the community about their health and keep youths involved rather than "in trouble".
5. Resources used to ship food hundreds and thousands of miles are saved when you buy local. You are also supporting the local economy by supporting local farmers. Local farmers tend to buy from local merchants as well, keeping money in the community and saving even more in resources.
6. Buying produce that is in season can save you money. You can even split a produce "subscription" with a neighbor, bringing the freshest crops of the season to your doorstep.
Learn more about buying local from these websites (thanks Amara for the links!):
(where I got most of my facts)
(find small farmers, urban gardens, farmer's markets and more)
(buying local in PA)
(great model for sustainable urban agriculture in Pittsburgh)
Urban Farms: Oasis in the Inner City
(cool article about the social implications of urban farms/gardens)
Wikipedia has a great list of resources about Urban Farming
Simply in Season is a great cookbook about using produce that is in season...here's the blog!
(blog about the eco-politics behind your food)