More than ever, consumers are choosing to buy locally sourced food and products. ALFN’s mission is to connect Arkansas to these farms and businesses so that everyone can enjoy locally grown goods! You might have heard that locally grown food is good for you and supports the local economy, but here are 4 more reasons to buy local food that might surprise you:
- Local farms preserve open space. Having nearby farms preserves open space and keeps developers from sprawling outside of urban areas. In New York City the CENYC stated that nearly a million acres of local farmland had been covered in cement and asphalt over the past 50 years alone. Thanks to strong support for local food, Little Rock residents can enjoy green spaces like the Dunbar Community Garden, Little Rock Urban Farm, and Heifer Urban Farm.
- Local foods attract tourists. A variety of farmer’s markets, local restaurants with access to fresh food, and the chance to visit local farms promotes tourism in a region.
- Local food is good for the soil. Local farmers generally use more environmentally-friendly farming practices than industrial farmers, which means healthier food and healthier soil. Sustainable agriculture reduces erosion, which is responsible for the loss of 30% of the world’s arable land. It also keeps our soil and water free from harmful pesticides, fertilizers, and chemicals.
- It is a safer food supply. Food traveling a long distance has a greater opportunity to be contaminated on the journey, and outbreaks become harder to trace due to the multiple points of contact in the food supply chain. The high volume demanded from industrial farms and confined animal feeding operations can mean weaker food safety standards. When buying local food take the opportunity to research the vendor you’re buying from, what their farming practices are, and (in the case of meat) what processing plant they use.