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With the rise of the digital age, our culture has gotten more and more global. This isn’t a bad thing, but when it comes to the food we eat, sometimes it’s better to think smaller—and more local. There are many benefits to buying locally sourced food. And doing so can come in the form of shopping at your farmers’ market, purchasing locally sourced brands, or eating at neighborhood restaurants. From supporting your local economy and decreasing your carbon footprint to helping companies that share your philosophies on food, taking a local approach to food can pay off in a big way (plus, it’s pretty delicious). Here’s why shopping small can be a big game changer.
What Is Locally Sourced Food?
Locally sourced food refers to a practice and movement of sourcing ingredients from farmers and producers within roughly 100 miles of the point of sale or consumption. The philosophy behind local sourcing is to empower small-scale farmers, enable greater transparency into the product’s production process, and help support growers who share your environmental and dietary beliefs.
Benefits of Locally Sourced Food
Food that is grown locally and not shipped great distances is said to be more nutrient-rich, because it’s typically allowed to ripen naturally. And since the food doesn’t travel as far, buying locally sourced food decreases CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions. Also, small-scale farmers are more likely to grow food organically because they don’t adhere to many industrialized practices. That means food that’s grown without the use of pesticides.
Tips for Enjoying Locally Sourced Food
Keep your shopping as local as possible with these key tips:
- Shop produce at your local farmers market.
- Get to know the farmers in your area—start by chatting up the vendors at the farmers market—so you can plan meals based on what’s in season and stay in the know about upcoming harvests.
- Look for “farm to table” restaurants that source ingredients locally.
- When buying processed foods, look for local sourcing claims on labels.
Top Locally Sourced Food Brands
Stay local with these community-driven brands.
This family-owned business has a raw passion for nutritious snacks. The Certified Organic brand offers a variety of delicious raw vegan snacks made from premium quality, locally sourced ingredients that are cooked at a low temperature to preserve the nutrients and enzymes inside.
Looking for a guilt-free snack you can munch on by the handful? These sprouted pumpkin seeds have the perfect combo of crunch and flavor and are also certified organic, gluten-free, vegan, and Paleo-friendly.
Using locally sourced, raw ingredients, Artisana crafts simple but exceptional nut butters. Each product is blended using a temperature-controlled process that helps preserve fatty acids, proteins, vitamins, and enzymes for maximum nutrition.
Turns out all you need for seriously delicious nut butter is one ingredient: organic raw cashews. This version is processed in a facility that’s free of peanuts, gluten, dairy, and soy for a pure, allergen-free product.
Nature’s Path makes Certified Organic, sustainably sourced wholesome cereals, pantry staples, snacks, and more, all using nourishing ingredients that put the environment first.
Grab a spoon and dive into this hearty, gluten- and wheat-free cereal. The naturally sweet, nutrient-rich crunchy flakes are made from a blend of Indian corn, flax, quinoa, and amaranth.
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