You are what you eat. This saying is widely accepted as a truth. For me it means healthy food = healthy me. But if I think wider and apply systems thinking to my food choices I see this is only part of the system. A simple systems view would be healthy soil = healthy plants = healthy animals = healthy me = healthy relationships = healthy production processes = healthy waste process = healthy soil, and so on.
I believe we are conditioned, educated and well rewarded to live outside the systems that support our life (natures systems). This was highlighted for me when I saw this today. The infographic shows that 10 companies own most of the major food brands. What I see here is huge reward and little adherence to the systems of nature. I don’t see the healthy food = healthy me equation that I feel when I am buying food at the GLFM.
In contrast to this industrial food model I thought I could remind you of all the good reasons behind your GLFM community.
Why is buying local so important?
Local food = local money
Eating local means more money stays within your community. Every dollar spent generates twice as much income for the local economy.
Local food is fresh
Local produce is fresher and tastes better because it is usually sold within 24 hours of being picked. If you buy produce at a conventional grocery store, it may have been kept in storage for days or weeks.
Local food is more ripe
Local produce has longer to ripen on the vine because it doesn’t have to travel long distances. This gives you a tastier, vine-ripened product.
Eating local is “green”
Eating local reduces your carbon footprint.When your food doesn’t travel long distances, you’re promoting better air quality and reducing pollution.
Local food is seasonal
Buying local food keeps us in touch with the seasons. Not everything is available all year round, meaning what grows is the most abundant, least expensive and at its peak.
Local food is more pure
When you buy food that travels less distances, it is less likely to be contaminated or tampered with.
Buying local is more fulfilling
Knowing that your food has a story and that it came from one of your neighbours makes eating it that much more enjoyable.
Local foods have variety
Small-scale, organic farmers are more diversified, simultaneously fueling the sustainability of the land and producing a wider variety of fruits and vegetables.
Local foods support responsible land development
When we buy local foods, we support local farmers. This gives those with farms and pastures a reason to stay undeveloped.
Local food enhances our environment
The more land that is cultivated organically decreases the overall usage of chemical pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilisers and increases biodiversity in our local ecosystem.
Buying local enriches our social community
When we buy local foods, we create a more intimate relationship with the people who grow our food because they’re our neighbours.