There are a number of environmental impacts of purchasing locally grown food. The three we are going to focus on today are chemicals, emissions and the workforce. However, purchasing your produce locally through a farmers market or CSA has so many more environmental friendly impacts. Let's take a look:
1. Chemicals. Many of the larger farms use pesticides, which we have all been taught can be very bad for the environment as well as your health. Locally grown produce is usually grown organically and the best part is that you can talk directly to your local farmer to confirm that they are pesticide free. When the larger farmers use pesticides they can get into the soil and even contaminate the water source for everyone around them. Be sure to ask your local farmer if they use pesticides.
2. Emissions and the carbon footprint. With locally grown produce you won't have to worry about the emissions from transporting at a distance, this reduces the "food mileage" put on the environment. Most grocery store chains purchase their products from large farms from miles away, even some are flown or shipped in from overseas! When you purchase locally grown produce you can rest assured knowing that the emissions put out into the air was minimal, reducing the environmental impact of your food.
3. Workforce. Lastly, an added environmental benefit of buying locally is supporting the local workforce. There are so many people involved between the farm to table process. Think of not only the farmer and their workers, but the people that are responsible for setting up the farmer markets, advertising them, organizing the set up and so much more. All of these local businesses work together to bring you quality food for you and your family.
So the next time you make your meal using your locally grown produce, you can eat with pride knowing you have contributed greatly to your environment and the community around you.