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Farmer Harman's Ten Reasons to Choose Local Produce

by Harvey Harman

  1. Fresh, high quality vegetables and fruit. Local food is usually sold to the consumer within hours of being picked. In contrast the average vegetable in the grocery store is 5-7 days old, sometimes as much as two weeks old, before the consumer buys it.
  2. More nutritious than what you can get at a grocery store. Why? Because the average fruit or vegetable at a chain grocery store has traveled more than 1500 miles to get there.
  3. Better taste. Food for grocery stores is grown with ease of harvesting and long shelf-life (tough skinned) as the main criteria. In contrast, most locally grown food is hand harvested when it is ripe for immediate sale to the customer, with good taste as a prime criterion.
  4. Better local quality of life. Local economy strengthened by money re-circulating in the community. Local farmers encouraged to continue farming, so green spaces preserved.
  5. Encourages good eating habits. Consumers eat greater variety of foods, in season when everything is at its best.
  6. Helps ecology. Farmers able to stay small and care for their land well because they are selling direct to consumers. Produce travels less than 50 miles from farm to table instead of the average 1500 miles that the grocery store structure causes.
  7. Helps stop world hunger. The present food structure encourages the best land in the developing countries to be taken out of production of staple crops for local consumption and converted to growing crops for export to wealthy countries like the United States. This leads to small farmers being forced off their land and that land being converted into large farms or plantations that grow for the export market. Small farmers forced off their land, and local people needing to buy back staple crops at high prices, leads to increased world hunger. The way to help is to buy food produced locally and stop supporting the system of developing countries growing cheap food for wealthy countries.
  8. Connects consumers to their food source and connects the farmer to who eats his/her crops. Bridges the urban/rural gap and puts everyone in touch with the seasons.
  9. Builds community.
  10. Encourages sustainability. The cost of food in the supermarket is less than half the true cost of producing that food because of government subsidies to food transportation, processing and production. Farmers who produce minimally processed food for local consumption are not usually eligible for subsidies, but must compete with those who are.

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