The Benefits of Buying Local Food

It’s the best time of year to buy local foods in Virginia Beach.  We have farmer’s markets popping up in various locations, CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) programs are becoming more popular, and education about growing your own vegetables is more available than ever before.  Did you know that the benefits of getting involved and purchasing locally grown foods go beyond the delicious tastes?

Freshness.  As soon as a fruit or vegetable is picked, it begins to lose its freshness, flavor and nutrient density.  Instead of buying “fresh” food that has traveled thousands of miles to reach your grocery store shelves, try some locally grown food that was just picked that morning!  The taste sensation and eating something filled with healthy vitamins and minerals is well worth it!

Seasonal.  Eating foods that are in season is a much healthier option when trying to avoid chemicals on your foods.  Foods grown out of season and/or picked early to avoid spoiling when in transit end up being gassed with ethylene to artificially ripen the foods before they hit the grocery store shelves.

Better for the environment.  The carbon footprint left from shipping foods the world is huge.  We’re talking about thousands of miles in some cases.  You can help lower the environmental impact by purchasing local foods and reducing the energy requirements for shipping foods as well as storing them.

You know what you’re getting!  Simply put, you know where the food was grown.  You can easily inquire about any chemical use, such as herbicides and pesticides.  You can directly ask the farmer about the dos and don’ts for storage and even pick up some preparation ideas.  You may also find something that you’ve never tried before… variety is the spice of life!

Support the local economy.  The money you spend at your local farm stand typically stays within the community.  Many farmers understand this concept and generally spend their hard-earned money at the local hardware or feed store to continue supporting the economy.  There is no better time than now to support our Virginia Beach Community!

Now that we’ve convinced you to shop locally, check out this fantastic resource of locations near you!