One of the best ways to support the planet and find the freshest food sources available is to purchase locally-grown foods. Locally-grown foods usually taste better, have fewer pesticides, and do not contain GMOs (ask each individual farmer about their growing practices. Not all farmers grow with reduced pesticides or GMOs). In addition to supporting the local economy and your personal health, shopping locally is a great way to prepare for future emergencies or food shortages. When you already know where to find the freshest foods, if they are suddenly not available through the grocery store, or you cannot grow enough in your own garden, you still have a way to find what you need.
The Easiest Ways to Find Local Food
The Internet is a great resource for finding local food sources. You can find a website for finding nearly any kind of food, from organic vegetables and fruits to grass-raised meats and dairy products. The sites below are great resources to use in your search for local food.
- Local Harvest: This site allows you to search for organic foods in Farmer’s Markets, co-ops, restaurants, farms, meat processors, CSAs, and online stores.
- Eat Well Guide: The Eat Well Guide allows you to search for locally grown, organic foods based on a zip code or location. You can also use the guide to find the best sources of sustainable food while traveling.
- Eat Wild: This site is focused on finding grass-fed, pasture-raised meats and dairy products.
- Real Milk: This is your source for the best places to find local, raw milk and other dairy products.
- USDA Farmer’s Market Directory: A list of all of the current Farmer’s Markets in the United States. Searchable by zip code.
Making the Change to Local Food
Many people avoid purchasing local food because it is inconvenient. Many local growers have specific sale hours or a location that is on the outskirts of town. Some markets are only open a few days out of the year. This can make it difficult to switch to local food, but the benefits outweigh the inconveniences. Local foods are better for the environment, fresher, and better for you! Purchasing local foods is a great way to fill in your nutritional needs with the foods you cannot grow in your own personal garden.
Do you shop at local markets? What resources do you use to find local food sources?