You've probably heard this phrase so many times: "eat local!" So, what does it really mean and how can it personally benefit you and your community? Here are some of the many reasons.

1. Difference in Flavor

berry, sweet, strawberry, local fruit, local farm, farmer's market, shop local, organic fruit
Sam Jesner

When grown locally, crops are picked at their peak of ripeness rather than being harvested early and shipped across the states to be distributed to your local retail store. Usually, produce at local markets have been picked within 24 hours of your purchase, so they're very fresh.

2. Eat Seasonally

apple, juice, sweet, pasture
Santina Renzi

Eating fruits and vegetables in season is very important for optimal health, as it gives you all the nutrients needed. Food that is in season tastes better because it's supposed to be harvested in that specific season, as opposed to being harvested in another season and shipped across the nation to be eaten during the wrong time of year.

3. Support the Local Economy and Benefit Environment 

people, farmer's market, booths, stalls, local, shop local, shopping
Sam Jesner

Money that is spent by local consumers contribute to local farmers and growers. The money is reinvested for small businesses and services in your community, helping the nation little by little. By purchasing locally grown foods, you help maintain farmland and green and/or open space in your community. When helping to maintain this farmland, these industries can expand to further their organic businesses.

4. Know Exactly Where the Food Comes From

salad, vegetable, pepper, tomato, onion, ceviche
Pauline Fitzgerald

You can ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. In this case, this was freshly caught octopus and shrimp. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food.

5. Promote Safe Food Supply

vegetable, cabbage, broccoli, legume
Jocelyn Hsu

The more steps there are between you and your food’s source, the higher the chance of your food being contaminated. Food grown in distant locations such as South America to be shipped to North America, has the potential for food safety issues with harvesting, washing, shipping and distribution. By eating foods from your local market, the process from the farm to your plate is a lot quicker, therefore a lot cleaner to eat.

Head to your local farmers market and see what they have in store, you'll be surprised with the variety of food they have to offer. The farmers and people are always super nice and willing to have you explore what they have to offer, after all, it is all of their hard work on display for us to buy!