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Why Buy Local?


Buy Local and Help Preserve Chesapeake Farming!
Reasons to Buy Local (adapted from: “Growing For Market,” 2001)

• Locally grown food tastes better.

Food grown in your own community was probably picked within the past day or two. It’s crisp, sweet and loaded with flavor. Produce flown or trucked in from California, Florida, or overseas, is much older.

• Local produce is better for you

Fresh produce loses nutrients quickly. Food that is frozen or canned soon after harvest is actually more nutritious than some “fresh” produce that has been on the truck orsupermarket shelf for a week. Locally grown food, eaten soon after harvest, retains its nutrients.

• Local food preserves genetic diversity

In the modern industrial agricultural system, varieties are chosen to ripen simultaneously and withstand harvesting equipment; for a tough skin that can survive packing and shipping, and for long shelf life in the store. Only a handful of hybrid fruit and vegetable varieties meet those demands, so there is little genetic diversity in the plants grown. Local farms, in contrast, grow a huge number of varieties to provide a long season of harvest, an array of eye-catching colors, and the best flavors.

• Local food supports local farm families

With fewer than 2 million Americans now claiming farming as their primary occupation, farmers are a vanishing breed. And no wonder - commodity prices are at historic lows, often below the cost of production. The farmer now gets less than 10 cents of the retail food dollar.

• Local food builds community

When you buy direct from the farmer, you are re-establishing a time-honored connection between the eater and the grower. Knowing the farmers gives you insight into the seasons, the weather, and the miracle of raising food.

• Local food preserves the rural character and open space

As the value of direct-marketed fruits and vegetable increases, selling farmland for development becomes less likely. Picturesque barns, lush fields of crops, and meadows full of wildflowers will survive only as long as farms are financially viable.

• If every household in Southern Maryland spent just $8.00 on locally grown farm products for 12 weeks, $54 million could be invested back into our neighboring farms and economy.

When you buy from local farmers, you help to keep the Chesapeake farm region vibrant!