Benefits of Local Foods Over Imported Ones
Did you know that choosing local foods over imported ones can be beneficial to us in a lot of ways? Not only do local foods have health benefits, but they are also good for us as a society and beneficial to the farming community too.
Health benefits of local foods
- Local foods are better suited for our bodies than imported ones: One of the main philosophies behind this idea is that local foods grow in the same climatic conditions as we live in. They are cultivated in similar environments as ours and, hence, they are better for our lifestyle than imported ones.
- The freshest foods are the ones that grow locally: Another factor that makes local foods better is that we get to consume them when they are picked at the prime of their ripeness, i.e., when they are really fresh. Imported foods are harvested early in order to be packaged and shipped on time to the local grocery store and so they tend to lose their freshness in transit.
- Local foods are full of flavour and taste: Doesn’t the local guava or mango have better aroma and flavour than the imported dragon fruit? Similarly, doesn’t the locally grown maize (also known as bhutta) taste better than its imported counterpart, the American corn? Not only do local foods have richer taste but they also have more authentic flavours.
- Nutrient-rich, preservative free and genetically diverse: Local foods are preservative-free. Since they don’t need to travel hundreds of miles across the world, these foods are more organic and also full of nutrients. In case of imported foods, thanks to modern agricultural systems and large scale production, there is little genetic diversity. The foods are developed to ripen uniformly, survive packaging, last longer, etc. They also end up looking the same. For example, imported oranges and kiwis all look same. Locally grown foods come in different shapes and sizes, and they also offer genetic agricultural diversity. They are harvested to grow along with different varieties of crops.
Community benefits of local foods
- Buying directly from a farmer: Apart from the personal health benefits, buying local foods helps support the farming community. We can directly purchase them from the local farmer’s market or organic bazaars, which is more profitable for farmers.
- A better eco-system – Local agriculture also promotes a better environment by protecting fertile soil and conserving water resources. This eco-system, in turn, becomes a natural habitat for our livestock and domestic animals.
- Community building – Local foods give us the opportunity to engage with local farmers and understand how the foods are grown. With growing farmer suicides and threats to local agriculture, this can be a big step to strengthen the community.
Even though we live in a globally shrinking world, it wouldn’t hurt to go local sometimes! So eat more locally grown foods.