The local food trend has grown—or, more accurately, regrown—more popular in the past few years. It’s becoming increasingly common for individuals to choose local farmers over grocery store chains for their fresh produce, dairy products, and other kitchen staples. Local foods are ripe, seasonal, and full of nutrients that commercially grown foods often lack. Plus, purchasing from local farmers means supporting your own economy and small businesses in the community. With all the benefits of eating local, it’s no wonder this trend is growing in popularity. Are you thinking about making the switch to eating local? Start with these most important foods to buy locally.
Everyone knows honey comes from honeybees, but what does it go through to get from the hive to the jar? Commercial honey undergoes a pasteurization process that destroys a lot of its natural elements. While this gives it a more uniform color and texture, it also eliminates many of its nutrients and the unique flavor of raw honey. This is why you should try to buy your honey straight from the beekeepers. Local, raw honey has antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that make it much better for you than its commercial counterpart. You can also find many unique flavors and varieties of honey when you purchase locally.
Like many farmers’ market finds, locally grown corn is organic, fresh from the fields, and full of nutrients. Unlike commercially grown corn—which has to go through processing, shipping, and a longer shelf life before it gets to your home—you can buy local corn the same day it’s picked. You can also find more varieties of corn when you shop locally, such as the blue corn and the multicolored Indian corn, both of which have their own unique flavors and nutrients.
One reason to buy your produce locally is that commercial farmers tend to use more pesticides on their crops rather than organic pest-control solutions. Chemicals from pesticides can linger on produce, leaving you with a less-than-healthy residue on your favorite fruits and vegetables. Apples are one of the most heavily sprayed crops, making them one of the most important foods to buy locally. When you buy your apples locally, you can get them from farmers who use organic practices to produce a cleaner, healthier fruit.