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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Eating locally: A Greener Way To Gnosh


Buying locally is not only green, but you can also save "green" when supporting local businesses, such as the farmers' market.  With farmers' markets multiplying across the country, it's easier than ever to buy locally.  So, why should you?  Here's a great reason (and one of my favorites): taste!  Local produce is fresher than the produce found at the supermarket, where the average banana or potato has traveled 1,500 miles!  That's right, you heard me--1,500 miles!  So when you buy locally, you're cutting down on 1,500 miles worth of carbon emissions.  Not to mention, small farmers tend to grow more delicious varieties that aren't commonly found in commercial agriculture.
My family and I recently paid a visit to the farmers' market on Finley Avenue in North Birmingham (pictured above) and were elated to find fresher, more attractive produce at lower prices than our supermarket.  We purchased so many beautiful things- from the red, plump tomatoes to the bags of freshly roasted peanuts that were the family-favorite.
Growing up, I learned how to plant, cultivate and harvest many crops, alongside my grandfather and siblings.  So, to me, the simplest reason to buy local is this: it preserves farms as a part of our landscape.  When you support local farmers, you're in favor of wide open spaces instead of strip malls.
For more information about eating locally, check out localharvest.org.