1. Fresh, high quality vegetables and fruit. Local food is usually sold to the consumer within hours of being picked. In contrast the average vegetable in the grocery store is 5-7 days old, sometime as much as two weeks old, before the consumer buys it.
2. More nutritious than what you can get at a grocery store. Why? The average fruit or vegetable at a chain grocery store has traveled more than 3000 miles to get there. The sooner fresh vegetables and fruits are eaten after being picked the most nutrients that are preserved.
3. Better taste. Food for grocery stores is grown for toughness for mechanical harvesting and shipping as well as long shelf-life. In contrast, most locally grown food is hand harvested when it is ripe for immediate sale to the customer with good taste as a prime goal.
4. Better local quality of life. Local economy strengthened by money re-circulating in the community. Small farms tend to be locally owned and operated. Each small farm is a local small business adding to the local economy. Productive local farms preserve important open spaces.
5. Encourages good eating habits. More than 80% of the average American diet comes from 8 main foods. Eating locally in season means we eat much greater variety of foods when those foods are at there best.
6. Helps the environment. Farmers able to care for their land well because selling direct to the consumer. Produce travels less than 50 miles from farm to table usually cutting down on transportation impacts. Farmers encouraged to grow in sustainable ways.
7. Helps stop world hunger. The present food system encourages the best land in Developing Countries to be taken out of production of staple crops for local consumption and converted to growing crops for export to wealthy countries like the United States. This situation leads to small farmers being forced off their land and that land being converted into large farms or plantations that grow for the export market. Small farmers forced off their land, and local people needing to buy staple crops at higher prices leads to increased World Hunger. Buying food locally helps break this destructive cycle.
8. Creates food security. Local food economies are much more stable and resistant to disruption than the present system dependent on massive inputs and transportation requirements to get food from where it is grown to where it is consumed.
9. More sustainable. Farmers who produce food for local consumption are usually not eligible for government subsidies which support large producers, transporters, and processors of food. Yet, local producer owned diversified farms are the most efficient way, when all costs are incorporated including environmental costs, of producing food and must compete with larger producers who receive subsidies.
10. Builds Community. Connects consumers to their food sources and connects farmers to who eats the food they produce. Bridges urban/rural gaps and puts everyone more in touch with our food, the challenge of growing food, and the seasonality of food.