You need peppers, so you go to the store. In the big box store, you gaze at a huge counter of fruits and vegetables and wonder whether to buy peppers from B.C. or Chile. There is something missing… And you don’t even realize it.
The next Saturday you take a trip to the local farmers market. Under the warm summer sun, you approach the table to buy your peppers. Much to your delight, there is a friendly face on the other side of the table. Yes—this is the producer of your food. You have a great conversation about his farm and his products. You find out that the weather was good for peppers this year. At first you are timid interacting with your food producer, but then it starts to feel familiar.
Buying from local producers is also a priority for independent smaller grocers; where stores are family-owned and community-oriented. In fact Vince’s staff actually go to the food terminal to hand pick the produce. This gives you assurance of better quality and attention to the produce they sell. In a smaller atmosphere you can shop and ask questions about where your food is coming from. You can find things like Ontario strawberries and Wild Blueberries when they are in season.
Foods that are grown locally have many benefits; they are fresher and more nutritious because they are allowed to ripen longer. Fruits and veggies do not have to be transported for long distances, which is better for the environment and the taste. Contrast this with veggies that early for long shipments, before it has a chance to fully ripen and develop its maximum flavor and vitamin content. Commercial sprays are used to slow and speed up ripening as needed to deliver the “perfect-looking” pepper to your shopping cart. Local produce is allowed to ripen, producing a superior flavor and s a higher degree of vitamins and minerals.
Our grandparents always bought locally, from farmers or small family-based stores (there were not as many imported goods back then). The markets and small stores were a central hub for the community and a place you went to meet neighbors. As we make progress as a society, we sometimes don’t realize what we have left behind. Being connected to where our food comes from is an important aspect of community and overall health. So try local produce and taste the difference. Along the way you just might find that you become more connected with your community.
How about you? Do you buy your groceries from a local provider? We love getting feedback! Here on our blog, you’ll get commentluv. This is a plug-in that gives you the opportunity to leave a link back to your own site when you leave feedback.
Until next time,