I’m a big fan of buying local. Part of it is because I believe I live in the best place in the world, and therefore all products that come from my local area must also be the best. I also believe that everyone should believe this about the place where they live. Unless you live in Newark, NJ. (Okay, that’s probably only funny to me, and maybe a few of the dudes I was deployed with who were from Newark. Its just a joke though, seriously.)
But not everyone knows where the nearest farmers market or u-pick farm is, so here are a couple of resources to help you find them.
Lets review about local products, if you aren’t familiar with the benefits.
There is a lot of debate about whether its best to buy local or organic, as far as health and environment are concerned. I think every one can agree, however, that if you can find and afford products that are both local and organic, that would be ideal. I don’t know which is better, they both have their pros and cons. It might actually end up being a wash, organic has just as many benefits as local does, the benefits are just different. What I do know is that local is most often cheaper than produce that was shipped from far away, whether its organic or not, so local is a really great option for me, and probably is for every single mom.
Here are the other benefits of buying local foods and other goods:
- Local products are not shipped very far, thus reducing the amount of fossil fuels burned getting from where it’s produced/farmed to you.
- Local produce and food tastes better, because its picked closer to perfect ripeness and is fresher when you buy it. Shipped produce is picked well before it is ripe, so that it will ripen (instead of rotting) while it ships, and therefore has less flavor than ripe produce has.
- Local produce and food has higher nutritional value, because its picked closer to perfect ripeness and is fresher when you buy it. Fresher, riper food has the highest nutritional value.
- Buying local keeps more money in your community, where it is more likely to come back to you either as money, improved local economy, or improved infrastructure within your local community.
- Buying local does more to rescue the national economy than bying stuff that has been shipped a long distance at big box retailers, because most of that money spent at big box retailers actually ends up going to the countries where the products were manufactured (think China).
- Buying local is a great way to immerse yourself and your family in your local community, providing tons of opportunity to meet new people, make new friends, and get a lot of networking done.
- Buying local is a great way to educate your self and your family about where the things you use come from and where the things you use end up. It helps you to see and really feel part of the big web of life in which we are all entwined. Its a real eye opener, helps to expand the mind, makes you feel like you’re part of something bigger than yourself, etc., etc.