|Our Local Farmers are vitally important to us all.
Here are 10 reasons why,
courtesy of Cabbage Hill Farm
(click on this link to find the whole story)
|Reason One: Locally grown food is fresher
Produce flown or trucked in from California, Florida, Chile or Holland is much older. Several
studies have shown that the average distance food travels from farm to table is 1,500
miles. In the week (or more) delay from harvest to dinner table, sugars turn to starches,
plant cells shrink, and produce loses its vitality. Local food is most likely picked within the
past day or two. It’s crisp, sweet and loaded with flavor
|Reason Two: Local produce is better for you
Recent studies have shown that fresh produce loses nutrients quickly. Food that is frozen
or canned soon after harvest is actually more nutritious than some "fresh" produce that has
been on the truck or supermarket shelf for a week. Locally grown food, purchased soon
after harvest, retains its nutrients.
|Reason Three: Local food tends to be GMO-free
Biotechnology companies have been trying to commercialize genetically modified fruits and
vegetables. A June 2001 survey by ABC News showed that 93% of Americans want labels
on genetically modified food -most so that they can avoid it. Communicate with your farmer,
ask "Where do you get your seed, is it GMO-free?" Get to know your Farmer.
|Reason Four: Local food preserves open space
The landscape of lush crop fields, wildflower meadows and picturesque barns will survive
only as long as farms are financially viable. When you buy locally grown food, you are
doing something proactive about preserving the agricultural landscape.
|Reason Five: Local food supports local farm families
With fewer than 1 million Americans now claiming farming as their primary occupation, the
farmer is a vanishing breed. Commodity prices are at historic lows, often below the cost of
production. The farmer now gets less than 10 cents of the retail food dollar. Local farmers
who sell direct to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their products.
|Reason Six: Local Food builds Community
When you buy direct from the farmer, you are re-establishing a time honored connection
between the eater and the grower. Buying local also gives you and your family an
opportunity to learn about nature and agriculture.
|Reason Seven: Local food keeps your taxes in check
According to several studies, farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services,
whereas suburban development costs more than it generates in taxes. On average, for
every $1 in revenue raised by residential development, government must spend $1.17 on
services, thus requiring higher taxes of all taxpayers. In contrast, for each dollar of revenue
raised by farm, forest, or open space, government spends only 34 cents on services.
|Reason Eight: Local food supports a clean environment
A well-managed family farm is a place where the resources of fertile soil and clean water
are valued. Good stewards of the land grow cover crops to prevent erosion and replace
nutrients used by their crops. Cover crops also capture carbon emissions and help combat
global warming. According to some estimates, farmers who practice conservation tillage
could sequester 12-14% of the carbon emitted by vehicles and industry. In addition, the
habitat of a farm is the perfect environment for many beloved species of wildlife, insects and
|Reason Nine: Local food preserves genetic diversity
In the modern industrial agricultural system, hybrid varieties are chosen for their ability to
ripen simultaneously, withstand harvesting equipment and the ability to have a long shelf life
in the store. Only a handful of hybrid varieties meet these rigorous demands, so there is
little genetic diversity. Local farms, in contrast, may grow a large number of varieties to
provide a long season of harvest, an array of eye-catching colors, and the best flavors.
Many varieties are heirlooms, old varieties containing genetic material from hundreds and
even thousands of years of human selection. These heirlooms may someday provide the
genes needed to create varieties that will thrive in a changing climate.
|Reason Ten: Local food is about the future
By supporting local farmers today, you can help ensure that there will be farms in your
community tomorrow - farms that will provide future generations access to nourishing,
flavorful, and abundant food.