Why Buy Local?
Health. Environment. Economy. Community. Be part of the Local Dozen educational effort organized by the Local Growers Guild (LGG). We engage in educational activities about a Local Dozen reasons to purchase food from local sources. Our hope is to encourage at least 400 families in Monroe County—and more throughout the state of Indiana—make weekly purchases of a dozen dollars or more on local food. So, rather than buying tomatoes from California, buy them from a grower right here in our community! Rather than go out to dinner at a restaurant where all the food is from out of state, find a venue that purchases some ingredients from local growers. Choosing local first is healthier, supports our environment, builds our economy and strengthens our community.
Did You Know?
Did you know that between 1997 and 2002, Indiana lost 466,000 acres of farmland? In 2002, the American Farm Land Trust reported that between 1992 and 1997, the U.S. paved over 6 million acres of farmland.
Of all agricultural pollutants, transportation of U.S. food accounts for approximately 24% of greenhouse gas emissions, 15% of common air pollution and 19% of toxic air pollution. In the past three years, 950 varieties of vegetables have become extinct, and of the survivors, 74%—almost 4,000 varieties—are endangered. We need seed savers who preserve heirloom varieties, protecting the diversity of the plants we eat.
On average only 10 cents of each dollar spent on produce returns to the farmer. With typical big ag foods, the other 90 cents goes to packaging, marketing, transportation, and so on. By comparison, farmers may receive as much as 80 cents on each food dollar when they sell directly to consumers. They may have more expenses, transporting their food to market, and making the soil amendments that support healthy crops. Their food products reflect the care that goes into sustainable agricultural practices.
Local dollars tend to stay local! By buying locally grown food, you support farmers and other businesses in your community. Local growers often put their money back into the community, where it circulates and strengthens the local economy.
Local growers choose crops based on taste, providing customers with food that was grown for flavor rather than ability to travel in the back of a semi-truck. Fresh-picked local produce comes to your table with more nutrients intact, fresher and better tasting. Picked at peak ripeness and flavor, locally grown seasonal produce has the freshness, nutritional value, and flavor that makes it superior to produce that is shipped across long distances. Many consumers find that local fruits and vegetables require only minimal preparation with less salt and sugar.
Everyone can be a champion of local foods, making thoughtful purchases. We are also heartened by the number of people who are choosing to grow at least some portion of their own food. Even a small herb garden on a window sill represents the power and value of local foods. Send us a message to let us know what you do to help grow and consume more local foods.