Farmers’ markets are excellent places to sample locally grown vegetables and fruits, locally raised meats, and locally produced goods. But you don’t have to visit a farmers’ market every week to get the benefits of shopping local. Look for local products in your supermarket. You can even find restaurants near you that partner with area farms and producers.
Local food is fresher.
Local food will always be fresher than food produced out of state or abroad. When there is only a short distance between farm and table, food can be harvested at the peak of ripeness. It tastes better, keeps longer, and can even be more nutritious for you, since nutrients tend to degrade over time.
Local food preserves genetic diversity.
The earliest known cultivation of the carrot is about 1,100 years ago. At that point, people primarily ate purple and white carrots. The orange carrot is a relatively recent phenomenon, dating to about the 17thcentury. But today, orange carrots dominate supermarkets, and most stores will only sell one particular kind of orange carrot. This is because huge commercial farms choose plant varieties that will ship and store well, regardless of their taste or nutrition. Local farms have the luxury of choosing the most flavorful, nutritious varieties of vegetables and fruits because their products have a short commute to your kitchen table.
Local products support local families.
Beyond the flavor and freshness of local products, buying local supports the local economy and helps area families make a living. Compared to large commercial farms, local farms don’t necessarily receive government subsidies. They rely on the patronage of their communities to continue making a living off the land.
If you love local food, head over to Freshies Restaurant in Steamboat Springs, CO. They partner with local farms and producers to bring you the best in meats, dairy, breads, poultry, and produce. You can call ahead to check their hours at (970) 879-8099.