Locally grown food tastes better, plain and simple.
There’s nothing like a locally grown carrot to remind you of why buying local is so great, and tasty. Carrots pulled from Fullerton’s gardens on the Kingston Peninsula are sweet and loaded with flavor, nothing like the bland carrots I’ll eat through the winter and spring once my local stash is gone.
Carrots offer undisputable proof that locally grown food tastes better.
Local produce is picked ripe and doesn’t have to travel far to reach us so it’s fresher than imported produce. And it isn’t just produce that’s better: local honey and maple syrup have much more flavor than standard grocery store brands and flour milled from New Brunswick grown wheat has layers of flavor and nutrition that have long been processed out of conventional flour. Local meat and dairy is superior too.
Getting to know local farmers and producers is easier than you might think.
In our region alone we have a good variety of seasonal and year-round markets, butchers, bakers, fish mongers and more. They keep our food’s farm-to-table commute short, especially when compared to the big grocery stores.
We also have a revamped “buy local” directory that is being populated by the Conservation Council of New Brunswick. BuyLocalNB.ca allows you to search by county, by food type, retail locations and more. There is much more content to be added but it’s a great start.
Some of the big grocery stores are dabbling in “buy local”, but barely, and perhaps that will change. According to the U.S. National Grocery Store Association Consumer panel, 87% of consumers regard availability of locally grown produce as a major influence when it comes to purchasing food. And McDonald’s Corp. attributed its 30% decline in earnings last quarter in part to “changing consumer demand for locally-sourced, natural food.”
More reasons why buying local is a good thing:
Being dependent on foods grown in faraway places puts us at risk.
The three-year drought in California – where most produce for North America is grown – makes me obsess about the local food economy. Our grocery stores are stocked with food that is grown or produced in faraway places and this dependence on imported food means that as a region we are less and less able to feed ourselves.
Supporting local farmers is good for the economy and for food security.
Cultivating a thriving local food economy helps to keep local farmers farming, and with luck will help to draw more young people to farming, creating the kind of jobs that will make our region more self-sufficient.
Buying local food is good for the environment too.
Food grown nearby has a lower carbon footprint because it doesn’t have to travel very far to get to our tables. Save your food miles for foods that can’t be grown locally and choose a local source for foods that are grown or produced nearby.