Greetings, Let us talk about food and eating. I am of the opinion that a varied diet is healthy for the body. Let us consider eating locally: Eating locally and seasonally important not just for the body but for the environment. From the standpoint of availability, local food sources are more [readily] accessible. This is a critical concern. Think for a moment of the implications of any sort of interruption to food supply. Locally sourced foods are more sustainable: i. e. minimal transportation impact. Bioavailable nutrient composition of locally sourced food is more intact. Transportation distance and storage times are not as lengthy and less impactful on nutrient viability.
Consumption of food is a requisite whether or not one is active. When one goes to the store, they are typically purchasing the same fruits, vegetables, sources of protein, etc. The quality and quantity of nutrients in foods is proportional to the freshness of said foods. Minimal time lag between harvest and consumption translates into higher nutritional content that will be available. Locally sourced foods arrive at market in a more ‘timely’ fashion. It is also more seasonal as certain foods grow at certain times of the year.
Transportation of food is a big business (notice – ‘big business’). Environmental impact is minimal when transportation is ‘local farm’ to ‘market’. Foods being available is more probable. Say, for instance, a delay or disaster of some type were to happen that would inhibit the transport of food from a distant locale. This could be problematic for affected communities. Locally sourced food, however, would be less impacted by delays or disasters. Alternative stratagems for bringing locally sourced foods to market could be more easily devised.
Locally sourced food is, usually, provided by season. This is to say that the food is grown and sold when it is ‘in season’. The soil in which it is grown is not overly taxed (worked to exhaustion). This provides richer source of nutrients for the plants. Food that is transported over long(er) distances is more susceptible to nutrient deterioration and to prolonged storage prior to transportation. In addition, food that is transported over long(er) distances are typically grown in herbicide / pesticide laden, mono-agricultural land spaces. Nutrient degradation due to mono-agriculture and storage / transportation can be supplanted, to a greater or lesser degree, by sourcing food locally.
Consuming locally sourced foods is both physically and environmentally beneficial. Food is more readily available and it is more fresh that what i\s typically obtained in the (typical) supermarket. Locally sourced foods tend to be more nutritious because of their nearness to market. Transportation of foods is important. Firstly, it is big business. Yet the business side of food transport does not necessarily lend to the ill effects on freshness and nutrition. The fresher the food the better. Locally sourced foods tend to be raised with minimal use of herbicides and pesticides. This is much more amenable to soil health and crop nutrition.
This write up gives a view of the ideal situation for food consumption. Many are not able to consume locally. Cost, Time, Availability . . . are all factors that impact negatively against consuming locally. However, if effort is made to consume foods that are ‘as fresh as possible’, that would be a positive step. Also, growing and raising one’s own food . . . even a little . . . would help in making fresh foods available. Since not eating is not an option, then the effort to consume the most nutritious foods must become a priority.