Why Buy Local?
There are many reason that buying fresh, local food from your community is important. Here are a just a few:
- Buying local food keeps our dollars invested in our own community.
- If every area household spent just $10 a week on local foods, it could generate $384.2 million annualy in southeastern Virginia, and $1.65 billion statewide. Take the $10 a week challenge!
- Getting to know the farmer who grows your food builds relationships based on understanding and trust, the foundation of strong communities
- There's never been a more critical time to support our farmers. Between 2002 and 2007, Virginia lost more than 500,000 acres of farm land. With each local food purchase, you choose to support farms staying farms and farmers staying farmers.
- Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from other states or countries. Local farmers can offer produce varieties grown for their taste and freshness rather than for shipping and long shelf life
- Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised may enable you to choose food from farmers who certify that they avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotic or genetically modified seed in their operations.
How to Buy Local:
- Start Small. Just $10 a week can have a huge impact. Do what you can that fits your lifestyle. Every food choice you make is votingwith your dollar for the kind of food system you want.
- Know where your food comes from and how it is produced. Ask the question: Who isyour farmer? Who is your fisherman? If you donʼt see local food at the market – ask for it.
- Buy local products whenever possible. Fruits, vegetables, fish and shellfish, honey,wine, vodka, pastured meats and eggs, even flowers are all locally produced and available.
- Shop at farmers markets. Plan to get most of your produce there or think about joining aCSA (farm share) or Co-op.
- Eat with the seasons. Your food will be thousands of miles tastier and more nutritious.
- Support restaurants that serve locally produced food. Ask your waiter (nicely) what dishes use local products.
- Cook more. Educate your family. Take the local challenge to eat one local meal a week.
- Grow things you canʼt buy in stores. And save a bundle of money by growing your own peppers, tomatoes, herbs, and salad greens.
- Visit a farm. Or start your own garden, volunteer in a community garden, plant a row forthe hungry, teach a child how to garden.
- Preserve what is growing in season. Can. Freeze. Make jam. Dehydrate figs andtomatoes. Each preserved bit of summer becomes a warm memory in January.
- Support small farming everywhere. Buy from small producers: olive oil, barbecuesauce, balsamic vinegar, flour...whatever you can.
- Move from processed food to fresh food. Shop the periphery of the grocery store. If itʼs processed, look for the items with the smallest number of ingredients.
- GET INVOLVED! Join BFBL-HR. Help us spread the word at farmers markets and community events, distribute food guides, work on Farm-to-School, Farm-to Feast programs,and special events.