IS LOCAL FOOD BETTER FOR THE ENVIRONMENT?
The body needs food to stay healthy. Food contains substances called nutrients that give the body energy. Carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals are nutrients, and water is too.
Food can be imported from other places or produced locally:
WHAT IS A LOCAL FOOD?
Some farmers sell food grown where you live. That is called local food. (Research from US Department of Agriculture)
- Local food is grown 100 miles or less from the place where it will be sold.
- Anybody who buys food and other products is a consumer. People who live near farms are called local consumers.
- People can grow food around their homes or they can get it from farmers who grow a lot of food.
HOW BUYING LOCAL FOOD HELPS THE ENVIRONMENT
Food production is complicated and takes a long time. Farmers now can serve the people in their area. Also, it is good for the environment because it provides a lot of benefits.
Reduces the Emission of Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
- Buying local food can reduce people’s carbon footprint because it reduces emissions. Emissions are the stuff that causes bad pollution.
- When food is transported over long distances, it causes pollution because the vehicles used in transporting food produce carbon dioxide and other harmful gases. These emissions cause the greenhouse effect, which causes climate change.
- Buying local food can reduce your carbon footprint because it reduces polluting emissions.
Preserves Agricultural Biodiversity
- Local, small-scale farmers often use traditional and diverse farming methods. These farmers grow a wider variety of crops than large industrial farms, which helps to maintain genetic diversity within crop species.
Promotes Sustainable Agriculture
- Sustainable agriculture refers to farming practices that try to maximize food production without harming the environment.
- The chemicals used on farms can hurt the environment.
- Local farmers use more sustainable farming practices than large industrial farms.
Preserves Local Farmlands
- Local food is grown with methods that use fewer pesticides and fertilizers, prioritize soil health and conservation, and rely on natural methods of pest control.
IS LOCAL FOOD HEALTHIER?
Local food is good for both the environment and humans. It is often considered healthier compared to imported food because it reaches consumers when it’s still fresh.
Why Local Food Is Healthier:
- Preservatives keep food from rotting. Eating too much of some preservatives can be bad for you.
- Companies use chemicals to keep food from going bad, and some of these chemicals are dangerous. Since locally produced food is close to the people who eat it, you don’t need to add as many preservatives to it.
- It is good to buy food from farms near where you live. That way you can get the most nutrients.
- Some of the food you eat might lose some of their nutrients when they are imported. However, if the food has traveled very little (known as “food miles”), it probably has more of the nutrients left.
- Local farmers use less or no pesticides during food production. In fact, many practice organic farming, which is good for the environment.
- Organic farming limits the use of artificial fertilizers and other farm chemicals.
- High exposure to exposure to pesticides can result in serious health problems.
HOW TO BUY LOCAL FOOD
Local foods are sold in different places. (Research from Arrowquip)
Local Grocery Stores
- Some grocers get their products from local producers within the neighborhood or city. Local foods may or may not be labeled.
Local Food Delivery Services
- Farmers can sell their food in the towns where they live. Some farmers even have programs that will deliver food to local buyers.
- Some farmers sell things at markets at certain times of the month or year. These markets have a lot of different local food products that people can buy.
Community Supported Agriculture (CSA)
- With a CSA, people can buy fresh food before it’s ready to harvest. Buyers can order it from a farm ahead of time. Then after the harvest, the farmer will deliver it or buyers will pick it up.
EATING LOCALLY GROWN FOOD IS GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT
It’s better for the environment to buy local food instead of food from a long way away. Food that travels fewer “food miles” is better for the environment. Plus, local food doesn’t need as many chemicals.
Buying local foods can help counter the effects of global warming. It can also make us healthier!
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