Question

Food Production & Health

Why should I eat locally grown food?

A Answers (5)

  • AJoan Salge Blake, MS, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered on behalf of Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

    Eating locally grown food will help stretch your produce food dollar. While price is an important consideration among gardeners, the number one motivator and driving force for home gardening is taste. As most local gardeners already know, nothing tastes more delicious than a ripe, summer tomato plucked right out of your backyard garden. 

    Tomatoes are one of the easiest to grow in your backyard. For information on how to successfully grow tomatoes, please visit the The National Gardening Association at: http://www.garden.org/

  • What we eat and where our food comes from have changed dramatically over the last century. The large corporations that produce, process, and distribute the vast majority of our foods aim to produce as much food as they can for the lowest possible cost regardless of the consequences to our health or to the health of the environment. Agribusiness regularly wastes enormous quantities of resources, creates pollution, raises animals under unsanitary and inhuman conditions, produces inadequately tested genetically modified foods, and heavily advertises the most processed, least healthful foods.

    In response, many of us are turning to locally grown, often organic foods. Some of us are growing our own food, shopping at local farmers' markets, or joining community-supported agriculture (CSA) groups, which allow members to pay a yearly fee to support a farm in exchange for a weekly share of fruits, vegetables, and other farm products.

    Choosing foods that are locally grown and organic is beneficial for all: we get fresh, nutritious food, and our food dollars support environmentally sustainable farming practices, local farmers, and the local economy.

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  • AKate Geagan, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Kate Geagan - Why should I eat locally grown food?
    Watch as Nutritionist Kate Geagan discusses why it's so important to eat locally grown food. 

  • AAshley Koff, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Locally grown - if it's organic too - can be the healthiest for you and the environment. It means that the food is freshly grown right near you. I am also a huge fan of organic frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen wild fish, and organic foods from all over the world for those of us that don't live in areas where these foods grow year round
  • AHeather Rudalavage, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
    Purchasing local foods is often the healthiest way to go as well as being the most ecologically sound. By buying local; you are supporting small businesses and building community. While not all local farms are certified organic, often small farms use little if any pesticides. The produce is being grown in the correct climate, season and soil and is not planning on being shipped thousands of miles, therefore less chemicals are needed. If you are concerned, it's easy to ask the farmer yourself. The quality of local produce is also the best in terms of taste and nutrition. As food "sits" during travel, nutrition and taste quality decline as the plant cells begin to die. Summer is the easiest time to eat local, so head out to your nearest farmers market and feel good about your decision to support local farms, and the families that work them. 
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