Summer is almost here (finally!) and that means the return of the farmers market and a plethora of fresh, homegrown fruits and veggies. The sun is out and orchards are blooming with delicate flowers and every type of fruit you could imagine. Eating sustainably is something that ideally we would all do year round, but it can be difficult most of the year given the extreme weather and limited resources. That’s why summer is a perfect time to commit to eating sustainably and consequently help your community and environment in the process.
One of the main reasons to make this change is that local produce simply taste better. It lasts longer and is often much fresher because it did not have to travel long distances in a truck. Buying produce at a co-op or a farmers market usually guaranteed freshness, sometimes even off the plant the very same day.
When produce doesn’t have to travel long distances, it doesn’t need to be sprayed with chemicals to keep it fresh. These chemicals are toxic and even if you wash the produce, you can never get it all off, meaning you are consuming some of those chemicals. Though some farms do use pesticides, local produce is considerably cleaner and therefore healthier for your body.
Buying sustainable food doesn’t only apply to produce. In fact, it is extremely important when buying meat as well. Commercial meat production companies use horrific means to raise and slaughter animals, feeding them toxins to make them grow quicker and forcing them to live in degrading, dangerous habitats. These animals are far from happy and live a short life with no other purpose than to be eventually eaten. If you buy at a local farm, you can personally see the way the animals are raised and make sure you aren’t supporting companies that are hostile towards their animals.
Changing Big Business Production
Large businesses not only use chemicals on their produce, but they also often care more about the money they are bringing in than the quality of the fruits and vegetables they are producing. When you buy local, organic produce, it not only supports people in your community but also can make an impact on corporate businesses who lose money when people stop buying from them. If they are not making money, it forces them to change their production methods.
Support our Planet
The Earth is struggling, gasping for air through all the toxic chemicals and greenhouse gases that are drowning it. Buying local, sustainable produce might not seem like a big deal, but however small, it is a way to combat climate change. Convenience shouldn’t be an excuse anymore– our planet is too desperate for convenience to outweigh the greater good: especially when there are so many options. Go to the farmers market, meet new people, and be a part of your community. Grow a garden, get fresh produce right out of your back door, and help the bees. Go berry picking, spend time with friends and family, and see a new place. Something very important is the idea that sustainability doesn’t have to be perfect. What matters is that people are doing it: doing it perfectly, or doing it imperfectly, it doesn’t matter as long as an effort is being made.