Choose Local Sources for Local Food!
There’s something special about spending a morning shopping at a farmer’s market or stopping at a farm stand – something that the grocery store can never duplicate, no matter how hard they try. And there are benefits to the land, the community, and your family when you buy locally produced foods:
- Local produce is fresher, crisper and tastes better than foods processed and shipped long distances, and it’s better for you because produce loses nutrients quickly after being picked.
- The environment is protected – no long distance shipping saves fuel emissions, and if you choose organic foods, you are saving the land from chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
- Local food preserves genetic diversity. Local farms can grow varieties for taste rather than durability in shipping.
- Your local economy is strengthened by keeping your food dollars local.
- Specialized and small-scale farmers are supported instead of agribusiness, helping to keep the family farm alive and well in McHenry County. Selling the family farm to developers becomes less likely, thus helping maintain an open countryside.
Another type of farm-direct marketing that has been expanding in the United States in recent years is a grassroots movement known as Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). A CSA farm can be organized in a variety of ways, but usually urban shareholders purchase a portion of a local farm’s products in advance, and then receive the products weekly during the harvesting seasons. For more thoughts on CSAs.
Vote with your fork!