It is common knowledge that people have started to make smart food choices. The pervasiveness of buying locally is especially visible on social networking sites, city billboards, local newspapers and the like. People simply crave good quality product, to which one can include local products. For many, good quality has ample meanings, and it is difficult to decide what the word quality stands for.
Words like freshness, sustainability, taste or even proximity may match the definition. Many people agree unanimously that the closer the food is produced, the better. Local food, by definition, is produced near its point of consumption. Unquestioningly, a hallmark of today’s food quality is: proximity. Many people would, therefore, promote buying local food. However, some people take a dim view of buying local food.
However, there is more to this seemingly reasonable explanation of not buying local food than meets the eye. Therefore, we should forget for a moment about this fuddy-duddy idea of not buying local and take a fresh look at a different perspective. In my consideration, people should buy local food for the sake of the economy, health and ultimately the environment.
Naturally, the idea of buying local food would not appeal to the government, as the supermarket chains yield profits for the country. When people buy food at nonlocal places, the money flows out. It does not stay in the local community as the food is taxable and taxes are the country’s policy. Taxes fuel the country’s economy and are indispensable in the economic crisis. They balance the budget and fill the budget gap.
However, such a way of thinking is only politically- oriented. It is beneficial for the government but not for the local markets. Local food systems have the potential to positively impact the local economy as the money remains in their local community. Farmers markets positively affect the businesses surrounding them, while also providing significant sources of income for local farmers, thus maintaining the viability of many small, local farms. In addition, the food grown locally, processed locally, and distributed locally, generates jobs and subsequently helps to stimulate local economies. It all contributes to the good prosperity of the city. Cities are not ghost towns, devoid of neighborhoods and services. Money stays in the city and so do people.
Whilst local food is beneficial for cities, the contingent of people oppose the idea of buying local food on the grounds of their health. Local food does not mean that it is healthy food. It is said to be healthy but it does not mean that it really is, according to the Economist. Local food is highly popular, people want it more, and they buy products in the blink. Some experts claim that local food contains harmful substances. That is, farmers cannot keep up with the production and they spread manure.
Notwithstanding, local food, when produced by a reliable farmer, is a source of nutrients. Local food may affect health and nutrition in one of two general ways. First, local food systems may offer food items that are fresher, less processed, and retain more nutrients (e.g., because of shorter travel distances) than items offered in nonlocal systems. Second, local food systems may increase the availability of healthy food items in a community and encourage consumers to make healthier food choices. Thanks to local food, people are becoming more aware and healthier citizens.
Above all, environmentalists oppose the idea of buying local food as it can affect the environment adversely. It is true that local markets are situated in close proximity and people do not have to travel long distances. Individually they do not contribute to air pollution , but while taking all people who travel only to buy local, the number is overwhelming. Moreover, those who do not have the availability of buying local food will avail themselves of the nearest local market. The nearest sometimes means miles, they travel long distances polluting the environment by emitting CO2 at the same time. That would be a typical line of reasoning adapted by poor environmentalists for whom everything centers around destruction, deforestation and unethical movements. I can hear their argumentation like an ongoing mantra repeating.
Let’s face the truth. This way of thinking is a bit far-fetched because by buying locally we pollute less than buying in big-box stores. Local products, as the name suggests, are to be found locally. There is no need to import food because it is already in the city. Food is not contaminated by harmful fuel because it does not travel long distances. Additionally, food is fresh because it ripens in the natural environment. It does not ripen at your home, as it is served ready to be eaten. Obviously, you can always buy food at the supermarket and wait days for it to ripen only to find that it is rotten or off. Such a scenario does not have to take place if you make smart food choice and take the scenic route to your nearest local shop.
Recent calls to buy at nonlocal places are based on the opinion that it threatens the economy of the country. Local food might not also be as good as it is cracked up to be in the health and environmental sense. It was seen, however, that, cities and communities benefit from local food. More importantly, buying local food, as it turned out, is a far better option for our health and environment than buying nonlocal products. More nutrients, freshness, and less Co2 emission may account for that. In the end, it is only sensible to state overtly that it is truly worthwhile to buy local products.