The Win, Win, Win situation of local and organic produce
Have you ever wondered how much Vitamin C is in an orange that you purchase in Summer? Oranges are imported during Summer from other countries including the United States because they are a Winter fruit. However, we are not told that these oranges from the United States will start to lose their nutrient content as soon as they have been picked. So if we think about it, the orange will lose Vitamin C and other nutrients during transportation and once it sits on the shelf here it will continue to lose nutrients. If you choose to buy it, it will most probably sit somewhere in your kitchen for a couple of days until you eat it. So quite a lot of time has passed since the orange has been picked and on top of that, it has most probably been picked unripe to last though it’s travels. This is unfortunate as most fruits and vegetables have the highest nutrient value when they are ripe.
In comparison, if you were to eat seasonally and purchase a ripe orange that has been freshly picked the day before, how much Vitamin C do you think is in that piece of fruit? Your tastebuds will tell you that there would be a greater concentration of nutrients, including Vitamin C.
Eating local also helps farmers. We are directly paying them for their produce and they do not have to pay a middle man. The produce will cost a little less or the same price as supermarkets, however the farmers are paid more so they can keep providing fresh produce for the community. Even if the produce is the same price, you will be benefiting by eating tastier and healthier food along with supporting local farmers.
Not only will this benefit the farmers and provide us access to fresh produce, local markets also benefit the Earth. Imagine how much energy (mostly fossil fuels) was used to transport the orange from the United States? Humans do not die of orange deficiencies and can go extended periods without consuming them. Have you heard the saying ‘absence makes the heart grow fonder.’ I don’t know about you but if I wait and only eat oranges when they are in season, the first ripe and sweet orange I taste will make up for 6 months without eating oranges!
As you can see it is a win, win, win situation if you were to support local markets. On top of that if you are able to purchase organic and local produce you will also decrease your exposure to pesticides and boost your health even further!