The Benefits of Eating Local

When deciding what to make for dinner, what options do you consider? Do you think about what’s in season, what’s in your backyard, or what sounds good from the grocery store? Whether you’re buying from a farmer’s market or picking the vegetables from your own garden, eating local has many health benefits.

Local food has more nutrients. Local food doesn’t take as long to get from harvest to your table, which means the food retains more of its nutritional value. When you buy food that has been imported from other states or countries, it often spends more time in distribution centers. That means it’s picked well before it is fully ripe, giving nutrients less time to develop.

Local foods promote a safer food supply. The more steps between you and your food, the more chances there are for contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping, and distribution.

Growing your own food burns calories. Digging soil, picking weeds, and harvesting your crops can be tough work. Gardening burns more calories than grabbing your food off the store shelf and also gets you out into the fresh air and sunshine. On average, a 150-pound person burns 270 calories in one hour of gardening. Plus, buying a packet of tomato seeds costs far less than buying tomatoes from the grocery store.