The Benefits of Buying Local

By Tracey Dowdy

My daughter and I ran errands last week and I forgot to bring our reusable shopping bags. When the cashier offered us plastic bags for our purchases, we said “No!” as if she’d suggested we adopt a mountain lion and let it sleep in our beds. Although my whole family is mindful of recycling, my younger daughter is militant about plastic bags and water bottles. In fact, I’d rather bring a panther into the house than risk being caught with a plastic bag.

We are all creatures of habit and I often hear that living a greener lifestyle is not only expensive but means making huge changes when in fact that couldn’t be further from the truth. Making a few simple adjustments can bring about a significant change in your carbon footprint without giving everything up to live in a yurt outside Seattle. Not that there’s anything wrong with yurts outside Seattle…just saying.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate a greener approach is through our food choices. Personally, I look forward to my local farmers market like baseball fans anticipate Opening Day. I take my dog and we wander through the stalls sampling artisanal cheeses, gorgeous seasonal produce and unusual treats like salmon bacon. Yes, salmon bacon is a thing.

Not only are you supporting local farmers, you’re getting fruit and vegetables at peak freshness while they’re in season. Local Harvest not only helps you find the nearest farmer’s market but also has suggestions to help you make the most of your visit, with handy tips like asking for “Number 2’s” (stop giggling) – imperfect produce which can be purchased at a lower price, e.g. apples that have bruises that can be cut away and used to make apple sauce.

Apps like Specialty Produce (Android) and Seasons (iOS) help you follow what is in season, so whether you’re shopping at the farmers market or at a chain grocery store you know you’re getting your produce at its best. Get tips on how to choose the perfect grapefruit, how to tell if a melon is ripe or even learn the flavor difference between Cotton Candy and Muscat grapes. (Here’s a hint – Cotton Candy Grapes taste a lot, and I mean a lot, like cotton candy.) Specialty Produce includes recipes for the fruit or vegetables you’ve chosen, and Seasons will tell you which markets currently have the produce you’re looking for in stock.

Greenease (Android/iOS), available for New York City and Washington DC, searches for restaurants, cafes and grocers that buy from local and/or sustainable farms. Whether you’re looking for a really good bacon cheeseburger or are craving a killer chick pea and spinach veggie burger on a Portobello mushroom “bun”, Greenease has you covered. The app breaks down businesses into the following categories: Free-Range, Gluten-Free, Grass-Fed, Drug-Free, Local, Organic, Sustainable Seafood, Veg-Friendly and Vegan-Friendly. Foodstand (iOS) connects food entrepreneurs with consumers. User-community driven, the app is a platform for users to promote their favorite local businesses by sharing photos, tagging ingredients, asking questions and a host of other fun features for foodies invested in buying and eating local.

Buying local means more than just buying produce that’s been picked within the last 24-48 hours. Equally important is the fact you’re preserving greenspace in your area, boosting the local economy, eliminating harmful pesticides from your diet, and reducing your carbon footprint. That’s a lot of good for making a few delicious changes.

Tracey Dowdy is a freelance writer based just outside Toronto, ON. After years working for non-profits and charities, she now freelances and researches on subjects from family and education to pop culture and trends in technology. Follow Tracey on Twitter.

Comments:

  1. Have you ever considered about including a little bit more than just your articles?
    I mean, what you say is important and all. But think of if you added some great images or video clips to give your posts more,
    “pop”! Your content is excellent but with pics and videos, this website could undeniably be
    one of the most beneficial in its field. Superb blog!

  2. Hey there superb website! Does running a blog similar to
    this requie a great deal of work? I’ve no expertise in programming but I had been hoping to start my own blog
    soon. Anyways, if you have any recommendations or tips for new blog
    owners please share. I know this is off subject nevertheless I simply hhad to ask.
    Many thanks!

  3. Aw, this was a really nice post. Taking the time and actual effort to make a very good article… but what can I say…
    I procrastinate a whole lot and never seem to get nearly anything done.

  4. Good day! I could have sworn I’ve been to this site before but after going through a few of the articles I realized it’s new to me.
    Regardless, I’m definitely delighted I discovered it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back
    often!

    My web page: boost male libido

  5. It’s remarkable to pay a quick visit this website and reading the views of
    all mates about this article, while I am also keen of getting know-how.

    Feel free to visit my web page blow job tips

  6. This excellent website certainly has all the info I needed about this
    subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    My page … Chong

  7. Hello, Neat post. There’s an issue along with your website in internet explorer,
    may check this? IE still is the marketplace
    leader and a big component to other folks will pass over your
    fantastic writing because of this problem.

    Visit my blog … freshly hatched seeds

  8. Attractive component of content. I simply stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to say that I acquire actually enjoyed account your weblog posts.
    Any way I will be subscribing for your augment or even I achievement you get admission to
    consistently quickly.

    My web site; free indoor growing

  9. I’m not sure exactly why but this web site
    is loading very slow for me. Is anyone else having this problem or is
    it a problem on my end? I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.

    Have a look at my page burn fat

  10. Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your website is very cool.

    I am impressed by the details that you’ve on this blog.
    It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject.
    Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles.
    You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched everywhere and just could not come across.
    What an ideal web site.

    Here is my website :: hemp seed oil capsules

  11. Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Thanks, However I am encountering problems with your RSS.
    I don’t know the reason why I can’t join it.

    Is there anybody else having identical RSS problems?
    Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond?
    Thanx!!

    Feel free to surf to my homepage: headphones reviews

  12. Good site! I truly love how it is simple on my eyes and the
    data are well written. I am wondering how I might be notified
    when a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your
    RSS which must do the trick! Have a nice day!

    Here is my website; quitting smoking

  13. Magnificent items from you, man. I’ve take into account your stuff prior to and you are just too fantastic.
    I actually like what you’ve obtained here, really
    like what you are saying and the best way during which you
    say it. You are making it enjoyable and you still take care of to stay it sensible.
    I cant wait to read much more from you. This is actually a great web site.

    My homepage seeds starts

  14. Pretty nice post. I just stumbled upon your weblog and wanted to say that I’ve truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    In any case I will be subscribing to your feed and I hope you write again soon!

    Stop by my site … seed sprouts

  15. Hello! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new
    project in a community in the same niche. Your blog
    provided us useful information to work on. You have done a outstanding job!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.