Did you know that local foods promote a safer food supply? The more steps there are between you and your food’s source, the more chances there are for contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping, and distribution. Local food spends less time in the cycle from farm to table, and is less likely to be spoiled or contaminated by the time it gets to the consumer.
Here are some other solid reasons to eat local foods, according to Michigan State University Extension:
- Locally grown food is full of flavor. When grown locally, the crops are picked at their peak of ripeness versus being harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to your local retail store. Many times produce at local markets has been picked within 24 hours of your purchase.
- Eating local food is eating seasonally. The best time to eat foods is when they can be purchased directly from a local grower. They are full of flavor and taste better than the ones available in the winter that have traveled thousands of miles and picked before they were ripe.
- Local food has more nutrients. Local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table, and it is less likely that the nutrient value has decreased. Food imported from far-away states and countries is often older, has traveled and sits in distribution centers before it gets to your store.
- Local food supports the local economy. The money that is spent with local farmers and growers all stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in your community.
- Local food benefits the environment. By purchasing locally grown foods you help maintain farmland and green and/or open space in your community.
- Local growers can tell you how the food was grown. You can ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food.
So what's in season in the fall? Apples, beets, bok choy, broccoli, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, cranberries, grapes, kale, parsnips, squash, pears, pomegranates, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes, to name a few. Enjoy these fruits and vegetables after washing thoroughly with CitroBio Fresh Food Wash to reduce contaminants. Learn more here!