Eating Local: Why It Matters

 
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Have you ever wondered why the idea of eating local foods and buying locally-produced goods has become so popular?

Eating and buying locally is a trend that has burst into the mainstream and it’s here to stay. That’s because more people than ever are seeking out local options to meet all of their family’s needs.

Choosing local products does more than fill up your family with great-tasting local produce and other products —it’s also something that boosts the vitality of our communities, promotes diversity, and helps to make the local environment better. Want to learn more? Here are several ways eating and buying local can be beneficial and why you should buy local products at your local grocer.

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What Does It Mean to Eat and Buy Local?

While there’s no formal definition for eating and buying local, it’s commonly thought of as food and other products that are produced within 100 miles of where you’re eating and buying (and that’s our definition, too). For some people, eating local or buying local products may mean that they only want food and goods produced within their own community, while for others items produced within their own region will suffice. It’s up to you to decide what eating local and buying local means and how much value knowing where your goods come from adds to your household.

Eating Locally Is Healthier

One of the best reasons to eat local foods? It’s more nutritious.

Some of the food you buy from large grocery chains came from far away. It loses nutrients along its journey once it was plucked from the vine or harvested from the ground. You may even be eating food that isn’t in season where you live. When you eat local, however, food is picked when it’s fresh and at peak flavor, with less travel time between the farm and your table.

Foods that are in season tend to contain more nutrients. Throw in the fact that locally grown food is often safer since it’s not artificially ripened with ethylene gas and the only question you should be asking yourself is why you’re not eating more locally grown, in-season foods.

Buying and Eating Locally Promotes Diversity

We love the idea of investing in the local community. That’s because the local producers we buy from know our community and that allows them to provide unique goods and services you simply can’t find anywhere else.

Buying local also benefits the local economy and community through:

  • Keeping money in the community – By spending your hard-earned money on products that have been grown or manufactured locally, not only does your money circulate faster, more of it stays right here in the community. That means less cash flow is going to national chains and online retailers and supports a healthy, thriving community.

  • Creating jobs – Local producers of the products available in our stores, from baked goods to skin care products, are great for the local economy because they help to create jobs. Eating locally and buying local products helps your neighbors and friends find sustainable employment.

  • Promoting success – At Native Sun, you can find local products to suit all your needs. We carry locally-produced beer, baked goods, health care products and more. Local businesses don’t have the same distribution and transportation costs as larger businesses, so buying and eating local allows entrepreneurs in the community to keep more of their profits and helps them achieve success.

  • Supplying other local businesses – When local businesses thrive in a community they help other business to thrive too by supplying them with products. These businesses help to prop each other up because when one is successful, they all can be.

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Eating Locally is Good for the Environment

Did you know that food production is one of the leading drivers of climate change? It’s true! When you choose locally grown and produced foods, as well as other products, you’re helping the environment by:

  • Reducing CO2 emissions – By reducing the distance food and other goods have to travel to get to you, you’re reducing the carbon emissions that the planes, trains, and trucks emit when bringing food and other items to your from far away.

  • Expanding green space – A local farmer who uses land for growing food preserves that land in its natural state. As a consumer, your buying power can help keep your community greener.

More Reasons to Buy Local

While sustainability and health are important, there are a lot of other reasons to choose local food and other goods. A few of the more surprising benefits include:

  • More variety – Local, small farms, bakeries, and breweries often produce more variety. Quite simply, you’ll find foods and other goods from local producers you can’t find anywhere else.

  • Better taste – When food is fresh and picked at its peak ripeness, or created fresh in your community, it just tastes better!

  • Creating connections – The technology that puts the world at your fingertips also has made the world a less connected place in some ways. When you buy and eat local, you’re creating connections for yourself with local growers and producers as you shop at your favorite small business or your local farmer’s market.

Eat Local, Go Native!

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“Local” means a lot here at Native Sun. Owner and founder Aaron Gottlieb is a Jacksonville native, and we focus on strengthening our community through supporting local business relationships with farmers, vendors, and everyone else who works with and for us.

Join us and discover how eating and buying locally benefits us all.