I’ve noticed that when I go to the local farm to buy my produce, I come home with produce and little else. No extra plastic bags or bulky marketing tags.
Don’t get me wrong; some things need to be placed in bags. Ever try to bring home loose string beans without a bag? The good thing about buying local is that you can bring your own bags/receptacles and reuse them on your next trip.
Relationships with Food and People
I’m finding that buying local is helping me to have a better relationship with my food. I get to hand pick (off the vine and from the earth if I so choose) the foods I need to prepare my meals. I can decide whether I want to purchase the ripe tomato that will be used in a mozzarella, tomato basil salad within the hour or a less ripe tomato for the following night’s dinner.
My local farmer gives me a heads up on the produce that’s soon to be harvested which helps me to plan a few dinner options over the next few weeks.
Interacting with other local buyers is a great way to trade recipes, tips and food ideas. The exchanges of recipes at the market are much healthier and more creative than those recipes found the back of the box of processed mac and cheese or the side of a can of Campbell’s soup.
Different Kind of Waste
We all produce waste, but the waste from locally purchased produce comes in the form of seeds, rinds and pits. There are a few stems, bad leaves and occasional rotten fruit/vegetable, but the waste is usually compostable or plantable. There are far fewer cardboard boxes, plastic packages and aluminum lined flavor packets.
You may find a need to purchase a few more receptacles in order to buy and store some of the produce. Receptacles are especially necessary if you purchase items like grain, dry beans and other small items purchased in large quantities.
It’s All Good
What I like about buying local is not only the reduction in waste, improved relationship with food (and socializing over the cucumber table), but I also get to learn about and experiment with different varieties of healthy foods. Who knew that buying local would have so many benefits.