Over the past few decades, there has been a greater emphasis on eating fresher and more organic food among the American people. Much of the food people eat on a daily basis are processed and made with artificial ingredients. In most cases, these types of foods offer much less nutritional value than their more organic alternatives. A good source for fresher, more organic food is from local farms and markets. With this in mind, here are the main benefits for customers buying fresh and local food on a more regular basis.
The first and most obvious benefit of eating local food is that it’s fresher, tastes better and is likely healthier. At a farmer’s market, for example, most local produce is picked up within the last 24 hours, ensuring that it is ripe and filled with nutrients. Most supermarket produce, on the other hand, was picked days or weeks before reaching the shelf at the grocery store. The moment food is harvested, it starts to lose significant amounts of nutritional content. While produce that has traveled still has nutritional value, fresher fruits or vegetables are much more nutrient-rich.
Another benefit of eating local food is that it helps customers eat more mindfully. When one shops locally, it makes them more connected to the food they eat. For example, they’ll be able to know who produced it, what farm it came from and the exact methods it got from farm to table. In terms of eating mindfully, the who, what, where, when, how and why becomes just as important as just what one is eating. Eating and shopping locally thus makes customers more connected to their food and the impacts it has on their bodies, as a result.
Producing less waste is also a significant advantage of buying food from local sources. Buying local shortens the distribution chain and forces food directly from the farm to the table. Resultantly, less waste is produced in the process. Along with needing less packaging and shipping, buying local leads to less environmental waste caused from pollution and less overall food waste in the process. Buying from a local farm or shopping at the farmer’s market has next to no food packaging at all. This ensures the food was moved directly from a local farm to the customer, thus minimizing emissions and food waste in the process.
Lastly, an extremely significant advantage to buying food locally is the capability to support local businesses. When customers buy food at the supermarket most of what they pay for goes to the transportation, processing, packaging, refrigeration and marketing of the food, instead of to the farmers themselves. However, when one buys from a local farmer, farmers market or local shop, they are supporting their local communities. This benefit of supporting local businesses has become even more important throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, where many of these businesses struggled or were forced to shut down because of the ensuing economic hardships.
A great source that has emerged for fresh and local food are the amenities provided by Mama Gaia, a tech start-up based in Denver, Colorado. At Mama Gaia, we use our Smart Fridge technology to provide fresh, healthy meals to customers at offices, residential communities, universities and hospitals. In turn, we empower businesses to provide their people with fresh, locally-sourced meals and snacks without necessitating an onsite staff or kitchen. Each of our Smart Fridges are also equipped with AI computer vision technology, which allows customers to grab the food they want quickly with ease and get on with the rest of their days. The fresh, locally-sourced meals that we provide to customers in our Smart Fridges includes salads, paninis, cold brew coffee, smoothies, kombucha, protein bars and more.
With the benefits of being fresher, healthier, producing less waste and supporting local businesses, buying food locally is ultimately much better than buying their processed alternatives.