Six Reasons to Buy Local
Here are six good reasons why supporting our local food system might matter to you:
1. A typical American meal contains ingredients from five foreign countries. While some products simply won't grow in our region and imported products aren't necessarily bad, it's important to understand these sources and make sure that quality controls are in check.
2. Most produce travels an average of 1,500 miles before it is sold, reducing its freshness and also its nutritional values.
3. Buying local helps protect genetic diversity. There is little genetic diversity in the produce grown to meet commercial standards. Plant varieties are chosen for their ability to ripen uniformly, withstand harvesting, survive packing and last a long time on the shelf. Only a few hybrid varieties of fruits and vegetables consistently meet those demands.
4. Farmers’ markets enable local farmers to keep roughly 80 to 90 cents of each dollar spent by the consumer.
5. Florida ranked 48 out of 51 on this year’s 2015 National Locavore Index, spending the lowest dollar amount per capita on “local” food of any state in the nation.
6. Local food keeps taxes down. According to several studies by the American Farmland Trust, farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas most development contributes less in taxes than the cost of required services.