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Exploring the Benefits of Eating Locally

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Since movies like Food Inc., Fast Food Nation, and Super Size Me have come out, America has become a lot more concerned about their food choices.

Organic, local, natural, fast food, slow food — there are so many different terms to keep up with these days. Because every person is so different, there isn’t just one type of food lifestyle that works for everyone. By learning a little bit about each, we can make more informed decisions about what kind of food works for our bodies, our environment, and our communities.

So today, I’m going to tell you a little bit about local food.

Unlike organic food, local food doesn’t have a specific definition, standards, inspection or certification processes.

“Local food” generally refers to food that has been produced from 100 miles or less (although exact distances could be argued). However, as well-stated by Sustainabletable.org, “local means different things to different people, depending on where they live, how long their growing season is, and what products they are looking for.” So why are so many people beginning to admire the local foodists and becoming locavores themselves?

1. Fresh and Tasty: Because local food is grown, well, locally, it is guaranteed to be fresher than the produce coming from across the globe. Common sense as well as experience tells me that when my produce is fresh, it is much more delicious than produce that has been picked too early, ripened unnaturally, wrapped in plastic and shipped.

2. Environmentally Friendly: As food is driven to the shipping dock, shipped through seas, and flown across countries, the carbon footprint grows. A 2005 study in the journal of Food Policy explains, “the miles that organic food often travels to our plate creates environmental damage that outweighs the benefit of buying organic.”

Although organic is great, the best of both worlds would be local and organic.

3. Maintain Green Spaces: Local gardens and farms mean less industrialization and more greenery in your neighborhood.

4. Support your Local Economy: America is in a recession right now and farmers work so hard.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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