Before thinking about why to eat local, you may be wondering, what exactly is local? There is no formal definition by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) of “local” foods in terms of geographic distance between food production and consumption. Local food systems within a specific region centralize everything associated with producing, processing, distributing and marketing foods. Individual local groups may define “local” by setting a limit to a certain number of miles.
Furthermore, “local” can be defined to describe the concept of farmers selling directly to consumers (farmers markets, farm stands, CSA (or community supported agriculture shares), to schools (farm-to-school programs), or to restaurants (farm-to-table/restaurant movements). Such local food systems increase access to local produce, exposing you and your family to fresh fruits and vegetables you may not have even tried before. After all, a healthy diet is one that includes an abundance of fruits and vegetables.
Are you wondering where you can find local foods? Local foods may be found at farmers markets, farms, or community supported agriculture (CSA). Visit http://www.localharvest.org/ to find the nearest local food system near you.