The Valley Café prides itself in its local ingredients. But there must be a reason why we’re making such a big deal out of local sourcing, right? There are many different types of benefits to eating local, including the following:
Most American meals are estimated to travel about 1,500 to 2,000 miles to get to your plate. On the other hand, food that is locally grown (within 150 miles) does not have to travel as far. The “food miles” of a product measures the distance from its production to the consumer’s plate. Local items have low food miles and, therefore, fewer greenhouse gas emissions during transport.
Many locally grown food items come from family farms who take great care of their farmland. The land is their lifestyle, so they must treat it with respect. Family farmers rotate and plant multiple crops, avoid pesticides and farm in sustainable ways. Methods like these treat the environment well. Supporting these farms also helps ensure the preservation of these open green spaces.
Since local food does not have to be transported very far, it arrives more fresh. This makes it more delicious than food that was picked weeks ago and sealed in plastic. It’s hard to beat the burst of taste in a freshly picked tomato or a ripe apple.
Local food can also be healthier because it is not exposed to heavy pesticides and other chemicals that are used in industrial farming practices. Local farmers grow more naturally.
Money spent supporting local farmers stays close to home and helps boost the local economy. Without going through the hands of big corporations, more of the money goes directly to the farmers. The rest helps support the area you live in.
Knowing where your food comes from is much more personal than a trip to the supermarket. Connecting with the people who grow the food you eat can create meaningful relationships and a lasting sense of community.