Why You Should Shop Local
It's hard to deny the allure and convenience of big box store and chain grocery markets. They're open early and late, are probably just a short drive away, offer plenty of variety, and maybe even have coupons to boot. But have you ever considered the pros of shopping locally? When you really examine the benefits of opting to shop at a local market or farmer's market, you might soon have a change of heart—and shopping habits. Here are five benefits of shopping locally.
- Shopping locally builds a strong local economy: A case study involving independent versus chain stores found that for every dollar spent at a large chain store, only nine percent remained in the city, versus 30 percent injected into the local economy by the independents. This translates into more jobs, lower residential taxes and higher property values.
- It is more eco-friendly: When groceries are sold locally, the environment benefits for a number of reasons. The average distance food travels is 1,500 miles, mostly by air and truck. The less your food travels, the less energy used for transport. Additionally, local food uses less packaging, which cuts down on more unnecessary waste.
- Locally produced goods are fresher: It can take weeks to ship groceries around the country. However, when you buy locally grown/produced food, you are cutting the shelf time by at least 50 percent. Not to mention, fresher food tastes better.
- Locally produced good are more nutritious: Once a fruit or vegetable is picked, it quickly begins to lose precious nutrients. Since local produce is sold right after it is picked, it has more nutrients than produce that has traveled a long distance to the grocery store.
- Shopping locally preserves the land: By spending money on local food, you are increasing the value of your surrounding land—and all the lovely crops, meadows, and pastures that go with it. This will make development less likely, as well as support the local farmer.