We know that what we eat has a big influence on our health. However today, we also know that what we eat has a big influence on our environment and our society. Our everyday food choices are creating our world and our health. This is why choosing local and organic foods has never been more important, as these provide us and our planet with the most benefits.
We live in interesting times today, times where it is more common to find chemically enhanced and genetically engineered foods, than it is real, natural food. Times where it is more common to find foods that have travelled to us from hundreds and thousands of miles away, than foods that have come from our nearest surroundings. Times where preserved and prematurely picked foods outnumber fresh foods. Amidst our busy lives we may have accepted all this as the norm, and may not give too much thought to it, yet it is all far from normal. Our health and the health of our planet is speaking to us, asking for our attention, begging for change. The question is are we willing to listen? Are we willing to change our habits to help heal our bodies and our planet?
The power to drive change rests with each one of us, and despite the grim outlook, it is getting easier and easier to make optimally healthy choices for us and the planet. We may have veered off the path during the last 100 years and adopted unnatural farming and eating habits, but today we are getting ourselves back on track. One person, one family, one community at a time, but we are making a shift. This shift includes making smarter, more conscious and responsible choices. Whether you are a citizen of the United States, or Canada, or China, or Ecuador, we are all citizens of planet Earth, and what we each do, impacts us all. This is why it has never been more important to drive change in the most available ways that we can, one of these being via our food. The average person living in industrialized nations eats about three times daily, and each one of those food choices is shaping our society, and of course our personal health. As more of us continue to realize that we don’t like what we see, we are making a commitment to change. The foundation of this change lies in choosing local and organic foods with which to fuel our bodies and with which to support a state of health, rather than a state of disease. A change that is able to bring more healing and harmony to the planet we live on.
Why Local, Organic Foods?
The simplest answer to this question is because you deserve high quality, natural, wholesome, nutrient dense food. Health starts at the source with what you and I put into our bodies. This is what will offer healing and prevention, so we cannot eat foods laced with chemicals and lacking in nutrients, and expect to be fine. Here are 6 reasons to make local, organic foods a priority in your life.
1. You reduce your intake of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
Organic foods are grown according to traditional farming methods. This means they do not use any chemical pesticides or synthetic fertilizers. Our bodies are magnificent and can put up with a lot, but today we know that toxicity within our bodies is causing a major burden on our health and weight. By choosing local, organic foods you get to decrease that burden. While our organic foods may not be guaranteed to be entirely free of pesticide residue, due to the contamination of so many parts of our planet today, you know that you can guarantee a much safer and healthier food product.
2. You avoid genetically modified foods.
Organic foods are not allowed to be genetically engineered. Thanks to independent research and resource sites like the work of the Institute for Responsible Technology, we know that GM foods are neither healthy for us, nor our planet. By buying organic, and from local farmers you trust, you avoid the problems associated with GM foods.
3. You get higher, more natural, quality food.
When you buy your food from the grocery store, sure it may look nice and pretty packaged up for you on the shelf, but you have no idea about the conditions it grew in, was prepared or packed in. This holds most true for animal products, for if most people saw what kind of conditions the animals that provide their food products live in and how they are treated, we would instantly have a lot more vegans and vegetarians.
When you buy local, organic food, especially when it is direct from farms or markets you do not get blind-sided by fancy advertising and marketing, distracting you from the actual quality of the food. You get what you see and it is especially great if you build a trustworthy relationship with the farmer you are buying from. Although local, organic grocery story options are available, nothing beats buying directly from the source, like a farm or CSA (community supported agriculture). This way you know that you are getting the freshest, most nutrient rich foods. You bypass the problems associated with produce being picked too early, then needing to travel for some period of time before it sits at the grocery store for another period of time. Locally grown produce on the other hand is usually picked at its prime, which means the plant naturally had a chance to fully mature and thus contain the richest concentrations of nutrients. No enhancers, no hormones had to be added to help it do, what nature does naturally and automatically if we allow her.
4. You support the local farmers.
The big farms and corporations have enough money, which is actually the essence of what they are about – money. So you cannot be expecting them to care about and give personal attention to every patch of land and animal the same way that small farmers can and do. Buying from local, organic farmers is one of the best ways to support the most important members of our communities. With every food choice you make and dollar you spend that supports them, you are saying “thank you”. If we want the highest quality, most natural, wholesome and fresh food, then we have to help support those who are able to provide us with such food.
5. You help decrease climate change.
When produce is bought at your local grocery store, especially if it is not local or organic, most of it had to come there from far away locations, including other countries. Just think about the impact on the planet that such transportation and shipping of all this food by planes, trucks, trains or boats on a daily basis has. If each one of us made a point of buying local, organic foods as much as possible, we could make a significant decrease where harmful, greenhouse gases are concerned. Organic foods specifically on their own also contribute to healthier ecosystems and less problems associated with climate change. Plus by buying directly from local, organic farmers or markets, you help save a lot of unnecessary packaging that is associated with conventional food.
6. You can save money.
Most of the time, produce and other foods bought directly from farmers is cheaper than if it was imported or bought at a grocery store. This is especially true if the produce is in season. To save even more money, also consider local, organic pick-your-own farms.
As consumers we have more power than we realize. Let’s use that power to drive positive change and contribute to our world in a responsible and meaningful way.