Shopping local is powerful and more than ever critical for our communities
I’ve written in the past about the benefits of buying local. More than ever shopping local is critical to helping our communities and neighbours.
In local shops and markets, like Quality Greens, we can find many benefits from buying local. Here are just a few reasons, in no specific order, why buying local is the absolute right thing to do:
Supporting families and staff who produce food locally, keeping our food sources right here.
Quality and optimal nutrient value, less pollution from long distant shipping, accountability from those you shop from, visibility, cost, food security, and support for our local economy.
Local can often mean less use of chemicals, and better treatment of animals on smaller traditional farms.
Oh! And a huge benefit as well is TASTE!!!!
Let’s walk through some of these areas to understand the impact on us as well as our environment.
The quality of the food you eat has a direct connection to your health. Food that is local is picked at is peak of ripeness as it does not need to travel for days to get to a market or store. Picking produce before it is ripe, as well as artificially ripening foods, lessens the nutrient value of that food. We are so fortunate here in the Okanagan to have a huge array of produce that is grown right here. You are likely aware of the amazing taste of our own local foods!
Buying local is important for any type of purchases, however food additionally has its own specific value in the way of supporting our health and the health of our community and environment.
There can be a number of types of pollution involved in food production and purchasing.
There are the chemicals needed to mass grow foods such as fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides, Glyphosate and GMOs. Chemicals are both in and IN our food (GMOs are not washable - they are embedded alterations in the genes of the food we eat). The chemicals that are sprayed burn the soil affecting the future seasons of growing, they also wash away into our water supplies, and are in the air in for those who live near large industrial farms.
Next, the transportation related pollution to bringing foods in from far away is heavy factor.
Once here, the waste from food that has gone bad if we don’t sell or eat it in time, which can happen in large stores that have mass quantities, usually ends up in the garbage. To throw food away, after all the inputs to growing such as water, chemicals, and transportation used, is all for nothing when food just goes to waste.
Local small scale farmers are often more sustainable and consider the environment and people in their choices and practices. They often work with optimal traditional farming which produce better results for animals and agriculture compared to mono-cropping and industrialized farms.
We can make huge positive changes by buying more local. What we buy is equivalent to voting on how we want food to be treated, as it affects the health of us and our environment.
SUPPORTING THE HEART OF OUR COMMUNITIES
When we support local, independent businesses, it helps our community. The LOCOBC.CA website stated these stats - and this was BEFORE our current situation, so when the new stats created, it will indicate a need for even more of our local support
-Local business recirculate about to 4.6 times more revenue than multinationals, keeping 63% in BC compared to only 14% by multinational companies.
-Independent businesses donate up to 24 times more per dollar of revenue to local charities and they produce up to 8.4 times more jobs per sq ft, compared to multinationals.
To put that into perspective, they state that just a 10% shift in BC consumer spending towards independent businesses would create 14,150 jobs AND keep 4.3 BILLION DOLLARS in the BC Economy.
So, what if we purchased 10% more of our foods from local shops, farmers, etc. Heck, what if that was more like 20% or more - what would that look like for our communities? That seems simple enough to help our local families.
And…… Food should feel like that. Like you’d want to know that someone took care of those plants, and the earth, and the animals. When someone takes care of those areas, they are literally taking care of us as a whole. That they used the best processes possible, the most sustainable, and least harmful, so that we can carry on with feeding our families for many years to come, that is an important area to support.
Thank you to all of our local ethical produce growers and farmers and sellers!
Have a great week!