Why buy Local?
There Are Many Good Reasons To Buy Locally Grown Food
You'll get exceptional taste and freshness.
Local food is fresher and tastes better than food shipped long distances from other states or countries. Local farmers can offer produce varieties bred for taste and freshness rather than for shipping and long shelf life.
You'll strengthen your local economy.
Buying local food keeps your dollars circulating in your community. Getting to know the farmers who grow your food builds relationships based on understanding and trust, the foundation of strong communities.
You'll support endangered family farms.
There's never been a more critical time to support your farming neighbors. With each local food purchase, you ensure that more of your money spent on food goes to the farmer.
You'll safeguard your family's health.
Knowing where your food comes from and how it is grown or raised enables you to choose safe food from farmers who avoid or reduce their use of chemicals, pesticides, hormones, antibiotics, or genetically modified seed in their operations. Buy food from local farmers you trust.
You'll protect the environment.
Local food doesn't have to travel far. This reduces carbon dioxide emissions and packing materials. Buying local food also helps to make farming more profitable and selling farmland for development less attractive.
When you buy local food, you vote with your food dollar. This ensures that family farms in your community will continue to thrive and that healthy, flavorful, plentiful food will be available for future generations.
Support Your Community by Supporting Your Community's Farmers
Family farms are an American tradition in danger of fading away.
- Family farms are an important part of the American tradition of self-sufficiency, forming the bedrock for communities across the U.S.
- Since 1935, the U.S. has lost 4.7 million farms.(1) Fewer than one million Americans now claim farming as a primary occupation.(2)
- Farmers in 2002 earned their lowest real net cash income since 1940.(3) Meanwhile corporate agribusiness profits have nearly doubled (increased 98%) since 1990.(4)
- Large corporations increasingly dominate U.S. food production. Four large firms control over 80% of beef slaughter, 59% of pork packing, and 50% of broiler chicken production.(5)
Family farmers are the heart of Americar's rural communities.
- Local family farmers spend their money with local merchants. The money stays in town where it benefits everyone and builds a stronger local economy. Independent, family-owned farms supply more local jobs and contribute to the local economy at higher rates than do large, corporate-owned farms.
- Eating locally grown, healthy food strengthens your family and community.
- Local farmers who sell direct to consumers receive a larger share of the profit for their food.
Buying local is this easy:
- Find a farmer, farmers' market, farm stand, or local food outlet near you, visit
- Shop at your local farmers' market or farm stand for the freshest, best tasting food available. It s easy to find local food. There are over 3,100 farmers' markets in the U.S.—one is probably near you!(6)
- Encourage your local grocery stores and area restaurants to purchase more of their products from local farmers.
1USDA. 2002. ?Number of farms, land in farms, and value of farm real estate, 1910-2002.? Economic Research Service Web site. url: http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/farmincome/finfidmu.htm).
2U.S. Census Bureau. 2002. ?Detailed Occupation by Race, Hispanic Origin and Sex.? U.S. Census Bureau Web site. url: http://censtats.census.gov/cgi-bin/eeo/eeojobs.pl.
3USDA. 2002. ?Farm income and balance sheet statistics in constant U.S. dollars, 1929-2002.? Economic Research Service Web site. url: http://www.ers.usda.gov/data/farmincome/finfidmu.htm.
4Elitzak, Howard. 2000. ?Food Marketing Costs.? Economic Research Service Web site. url: http://www.ers.usda.gov/publications/foodreview/septdec00/FRsept00e.pdf.
5Krebs, Al. 2002. Agribusiness Examiner. Issue 144. url: http://www.ea1.com/CARP/agbiz/144.htm.
6USDA. 2002. ?Farmer?s Market Facts.? Agricultural Marketing Services Web site. url: http://www.ams.usda.gov/farmersmarkets/facts.htm.