Why Eating Local Produce is Good for Your Health

The next time you grocery shop, consider buying locally-grown produce. When you head out to a farmers’ market or look for signs at the store that indicate food was produced in the community, you’re doing a great thing for your health.

That’s because buying locally-grown produce benefits many different systems: your body, the people you share food with, the environment, and the community. Here’s why you should consider making locally-grown food part of your menu.

Freshness, flavor, nutrients

After food has been picked, it starts to lose its nutritional value. That’s why eating food close to the harvest date is critical for getting a large portion of its nutrients. As Healthline reports, the antioxidant value declines during storage. Antioxidants are important for neutralizing free radicals, which damage cells and lead to aging and disease.

Freshly picked food has better flavor, which means you’re eating tastier meals. Creating healthy meals with fruits and vegetables that also taste good motivates us all to cook and crave healthier meals long term.

Support the community

Fresh, local food is only available if there are consumers eager to buy it. Showing up regularly to your local farmers’ market or choosing the local options at the grocery store sends a clear message of support to farmers, growers, and workers in your community. Supporting local businesses and growing the local economy has a ripple effect across the community.

Good for the environment

Eating an apple from central Washington rather than one that is flown in from New Zealand means you’re reducing carbon emissions from planes and ships and trains. Instead, the apples available at your farmers market were likely harvested in the last day or two and driven only a few hours.

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