Let’s talk about local food! What’s all the buzz about?
“Local” has become a bit of a buzzword, hasn’t it? More and more people are realizing the benefits of local, organic produce, as well as the importance of knowing where their food comes from.
Have you ever noticed the little signs or stickers in the grocery store produce section that show the food’s country of origin?
Here’s the thing, locally grown foods contain more nutrients. Here’s why — food picked while in season, from nearby farms, has a shorter travel time to you, which means more nutrients are retained by the time you eat it.
How local is local, you ask? Let’s just say, the closer the better. It could come from your home state or region, or within 50-100 miles, or maybe from farmers that you personally meet at the market. Local is really about small-scale, community-based values. We are especially fortunate being in California and subscribing to Planted Table, local food is very much within reach. It’s prepared and brought right to our doors!
If you’ve been connecting the dots so far, local produce is better for your health! For example, researchers found that the Vitamin C content of broccoli grown in season was actually double that compared to broccoli imported out of season. Another study found that levels of health-promoting pigments in blackberries more than quadrupled as they became ripe. It makes sense right? Ripe foods are ready to eat, and they taste better, too! Local food is seasonal and full of flavor.
Often food companies that import foods need to pick them before they are ripe, so they ripen on the truck or airplane, and if needed, the companies artificially ripen them with ethylene gas. Eeeek! Knowing where your food comes from, and choosing the local option promotes a safer food supply.
From a wellness perspective, it’s important to feel aligned with the process that brought your food to your plate. That’s a big part of mindful eating! The awareness of what you’re putting in your body is an essential component of a healthy life. You can be confident in knowing that you are voting with your dollar and supporting what you believe in, such as farmers and local, small businesses that provide healthy, delicious, organic and clean food.