• FLAVOR- when grown locally the crops are picked at their peak ripeness which translates into flavor filled food versus being harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to retail stores.
• SEASONALITY- although we all love to have strawberries in the middle of winter you can taste the difference when biting into some purchased locally in May and June- that is significant! We have no choice but what we can all strive to do is explore what other options might be available- expand your tastes- be adventurous and try incorporating something new on your plate.
• NUTRIENTS- shorter time between harvest and your table equals greater nutrient value.
• NO FARMER NO FOOD- by supporting your local farmers and growers you are investing in your community, helping to maintain farmland and protecting open or green space.
• SAFER FOOD SUPPLY- the more steps between you and your food’s source the more chances for contamination.
• TRANSPARENCY- you can ask the farmer about their practices- how they harvest, how they handle pest issues and anything else you are wondering about. There is something to be said about knowing the person who grows the food you feed your family.
Highlights from the Michigan State University Extension on the benefits of buying locally grown food