#fast4earth BUY VEGETABLES LOCALLY – REDUCE FOOD MILES
Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” Gen 1:11
Food mile : the distance food travels from where it is grown to the end user
When you buy food, you’re also buying the labor to grow and harvest it, the roads to transport it from the farm, processing if need be, and the fuel to fly it hundreds or even thousands of miles. This is a luxury we’ve all grown accustomed to, as modern retailers continue to supply an increasing number of imported goods through a sophisticated system that goes largely unnoticed.
But when we add up the resources needed to transport many of these goods around the world, our carbon footprint grows at an unsustainable rate. Transporting food is a fuel-guzzling process that eats up fossil fuels. In turn, the use of fossil fuels generates large quantities of carbon dioxide, a heat-trapping greenhouse gas, that warms our atmosphere.
By supporting local farms and in-season produce, we can drastically cut down on the miles a food travels to get to our plate and its subsequent fuel usage. But doing this has other benefits, too. Here are five other reasons to shop local:
Provide an income for a family
That R50 you spend on vegetables in a supermarket makes no difference to that shop, but it may make the difference between food on a table and not for one family.
Fresh produce contains more nutrients
The quality and nutritional value of produce can be affected by careless handling, mechanical harvesting methods, storage at improper temperatures, and rough transport – all factors that are more likely to increase the farther it must travel.
Less travel means a safer food supply
Less transportation and handling also means less chance for contamination throughout the supply chain.
Seasonal produce offers better variety
Eating what’s in season means following the natural flow of the seasons and adding variety to your diet throughout the course of a year. A diet centered on variety is more likely to contain a good balance of nutrients.
Supporting local preserves green spaces + biodiversity
Small farms are more likely to pay attention to the ecosystem and soil health of their farm so that it lasts well beyond this season and continues to deliver high quality goods. By supporting them, you’re supporting their practices.