In the last few years, the buy local movement has become more prevalent, particularly around the holidays. There’s a reason why it’s become so popular. Supporting local merchants also supports a local economy. The same is true when you buy local food. Whether your local farmer or rancher is hundreds of miles away, or just down the street, buying local is important.
Last year, HMI made a commitment to stress the importance of regenerative agriculture and local food. While we’re cautiously optimistic that more and more people will grow to understand just how important local food is in the sustainable agriculture world, we wanted to provide all of you with a handy list of reasons why local food is so important:
- Local food is directly affects the livelihood of a local farmer or rancher. Buying from them helps support their family, their business, as well as the local economy.
- Local agriculture is more likely to use sustainable and regenerative methods of farming and ranching which include farming without the use of pesticides and other soil pollutants.
- Even if your nearest farmer or ranchers is hundreds of miles away, the food is still considered local; particularly when many grocery stores stock foods that were shipped between 1,000 to 3,000 miles.
- Local farms and ranches often practice other regenerative agricultural practices such as no-till, composting and the use of cover crops.
As part of the generation who grew up with what seems like an unlimited number of items available at the grocery store, I know that it can be hard to finally make that connection between the farm or ranch down the street, and how they help to contribute to a healthy environment, healthy local economy, and a wealth of nutrient-dense foods that are readily available .