5 Myths About Buying Local

As you may have noticed, we’re pretty into the local movement. We love when things come our way that isn’t one step out of our 150-mile local range. But, some do not agree with us, claiming local food is too expensive or not globally efficient. Yet, we still stand behind this movement full heartedly. So, here it is, friends, 5 myths about the local movement unraveled.

1. Local food is expensive

Probably one of the biggest myths about local food is that it can be pricey. Depending on where you shop, this can be true. However, the issue is not that local food is expensive; the issue is that the alternative is cheap, subsidized, and not as healthy and nutrient rich as the local stuff. Regardless, you can find affordable, local produce. Try eliminating the middle man by visiting a farmers market or consider joining a CSA (up front costs may be pricey but over the season it breaks down to almost nothing!)

2. The world can’t survive on local food alone

Economists love this one. With a growing population, many feel that we cannot survive off of just local food, we have to specialize they say. Alternet.org states,

But [Steve Sexton of Freakonomics] argument ignores the vast expanses of land planted with entirely unnecessary crops for feeding the world: cotton, sugarcane, palm oil, soybeans, corn, rubber, tobacco, and fast growing trees like eucalyptus for paper production, to name a few. No doubt we need some cotton, sugar, and corn, etc. But the amount of land under these crops, which are then used to produce biofuels, processed foods, factory-farmed meat, paper, clothing, and industrial inputs, is immense, wasteful, and largely (although not entirely) unnecessary.

What we need to do is not to start specializing in unnecessary amounts of crops, but to decrease the amount we consume, revaluate what we consume, and decrease the amount of waste we produce. Buying local is a step in the right direction, but we need to revaluate our food system entirely because right now, it’s just not sustainable.

3. Eating local causes nutritional gaps

Some criticize the local movement for fear of not eating enough of the right vitamins we need to be healthy. However, local produce is some the most vitamin rich food you can eat. Because of GMOs and pesticides, the produce bought out of season often loses its nutritional value. So, even though you think you might be getting an abundance of vitamin C from all those strawberries you eat in the winter, chances are you’re getting not getting as much bang for your buck if you were to eat seasonal sweet potatoes or beets.

4. Local food is only good in the summer

Many find that buying local is only possible in the summer when the farmers’ markets are booming with sweet fruits and hearty vegetables. However, the fall and winter months are just as exciting in regards to local produce, you just have to know what you’re looking at. Don’t be afraid of produce that is foreign to your pallet. Instead, explore your options and try out new recipes. Ask your local farmer how he cooks his produce or use that information database we all love, the Internet. Don’t forget, local breads and meats are available year round!

 

If you’re always hankering for some spring or summer produce in the winter, look into canning. It’s a great way to preserve the extra produce you have during the spring and summer.

5. Local is just a trend

Let’s be real here. With the energy, climate, and hunger crisis upon us, it’s pretty evident that something needs to change. Buying local might not be the solution to all of our problems, but it sure does help a ton. By reducing the amount of food miles we use, we reduce the amount of carbon emissions and reducing travel time creates less of a need for pesticides and waxing used to preserve produce. In addition, local food is more likely to offer fair wages and opportunities to its employees, giving a boost to your local economy. It’s not a trend, locavores are here to stay.

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