Monday, April 30, 2007

Benefits of buying local, there are many!

I've been talking about this topic lately with friends and family, but really haven't seen an article yet until now. I noticed this article today about Whole Foods and how they promote local products; not just for supporting the local community, but for many reasons, including:

  • Fewer or no chemicals to preserve the food

  • Less packaging and package waste

  • Lower shipping costs, which uses less fuel

  • Promotes/supports the local community

  • Personalized service (it's great to know your local seller)

Here is a small snip from the full article:
Chains have long sought local suppliers to keep distribution costs down. But the influence of top chefs, farmers markets, Michael Pollan's book "The Omnivore's Dilemma," and concerns about the environmental effects of shipping food long distances have raised shoppers' interest in buying local. The U.S. Department of Agriculture listed 4,385 farmers markets nationwide in 2006, up 18 percent from 3,706 in 2004.

Small local growers often cannot offer lower prices than large-scale operations that benefit from economies of scale and cheaper labor. But fuel costs for shipping food are less for shorter trips, which in turn often require less packaging to preserve food. Buying local also shortens the time it takes produce to get to market, preserving nutrients and freshness, the Center for Food & Justice said in a December report.

We buy weekly from a great company called Pioneer Organics. The prices are very competitive and they strive to buy from only local sellers and the food is very fresh. We've needed to adjust our deliveries lately, because they normally deliver so much food each week, it's difficult to eat all of it. We enjoy getting their delivery where they pick the products, so you get the best in-season foods. We like everything so it's great to get the variety.

It's nice to buy products from Whole Foods and Pioneer Organics, not only for the good local produce, but we know who we're buying from so we can ask questions, offer suggestions to improve service, and the personal attention is awesome!

I highly recommend everyone research and try-out a local seller or store that offers local products. You'll be amazed how much you'll enjoy the local products, supporting the community, and getting to know your local businesses.

By the way... if you wanted to know how to find locally grown produce ANYWHERE, check out Local Harvest. They have a great map to narrow down the search criteria and have many categories if you are looking for something specific.

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