The demand to eat local is a growing trend nationwide, reflecting not only the consumers’ general desire for fresher, healthier food, but also the desire to know specifically what’s in the food they’re eating and where it came from. Getting to meet and talk to the person who produced your food and being able to ask about how he or she grew it or made it, is worth a lot in these days of mass-produced, highly-processed foods from far-away, anonymous sources.
And the consumer’s not the only one who benefits; the farmer does, too. When there’s no middleman, the farmer puts more of that hard-earned money in his or her own pocket. In turn he or she then spends it directly in the local economy to the benefit of the entire community.
Regardless of the reason—and maybe it’s as simple as people wanting to eat fresher, healthier, better tasting food—the trend is undeniable: local food systems from coast-to-coast are growing stronger every year to the benefit of consumers, local farmers, and local economies.
Eating is an agricultural act. -Wendell Berry
8 Reasons To Choose Local
- Eat fresher, better tasting, healthier foods. Fruits and vegetables that are shipped hundreds or thousands of miles lose crispness, flavor, and nutrients before you eat them. Locally grown produce is often picked at the height of freshness and within 24 hours of when you purchase it.
- Enjoy seasonal produce and regional varieties. If you eat locally, you get to try all the foods that Stanislaus County has to offer at the very peak of their season. All year long, there is a diversity of fruit and vegetables grown for freshness and flavor, with family farmers often cultivating heirloom varieties that are unique where you live.
- Sustain rural heritage and lifestyles. Farming has long been a way of life in this area, and farms have been passed from generation to generation. Family farmers are a central part of our communities.
- Protect natural beauty and open spaces by preserving farmland. As land prices and property taxes increase, more and more farms are sold for development. Helping to make local farms profitable gives landowners an economic reason to keep open spaces and the rural landscape.
- Encourage sustainable farming practices. Farmers are stewards of the land, so your buying locally helps them to invest in their land and in goods and services they need – maybe from you! Farmers value their water and land because they must maintain these resources to continue farming so your support also helps to protect and enhance the land.
- Strengthen local economies and keep your food dollars close to home. Use your purchasing power to create local jobs and pay taxes that benefit your community. Sustainably-raised foods sometimes cost more to purchase, but their long term costs to the environment and society are far less.
- Support your farming neighbors. By buying locally, we can increase the number of farmers in Stanislaus County. Whenever you buy food, use your food dollars to purchase local farm products and help grow resilient communities and prosperous economies.
- Maintain and build local food systems so we can feed ourselves in the future. As fossil fuels continue to cost more, shipping food long distances will become increasingly expensive. We are blessed with good farmland and must make best use of it, and develop the ability to process and distribute food within our region.