1. Safety first! With the FDA recalling all sorts of things in the last couple of years, from spinach to cantaloupes to eggs, it makes sense to purchase produce from a farmer you know. Talk to a small producer at a farmer's market, or via a CSA, and find out just how they pick their greens or harvest their eggs. Chances are, it'll be a clean, humane process right in your own proverbial backyard.
2. Support local farmers. In times such as these, we can all lend a helping hand by supporting our local businesses, farmers included. In my hometown, farmers have worked through the worst drought (and hottest temperatures) in generations; how better to show my support than buying the produce they've worked doubly hard to grow? That's a dollar well-spent.
3. Speaking of dollars, eating locally is not really any more expensive than shopping at a conventional market. Stop thinking that buying local food is out of your budget. Read Allison's post about the New Greener Family's take on it: shopping for produce at the grocery store, you're paying a premium for stuff shipped in from around the world (apples and bananas, anyone?). Locally, you're paying the farmer directly—and those farmers can offer competitive prices because of it.
4. It's convenient, believe it or not. In the last year or so, local producers have become much more savvy about getting their goods to the people. Look for a farmer's market near you, and change your shopping habits to accommodate just so. If that's not an option, look into CSAs. Two years ago, we had only one CSA option in our town; now, there are at least 10 to choose from, and chances are you'll find similar options near you.
5. It brings you closer to your community. Everyone, young and old, can appreciate good food. Nothing can bring people together more easily than a shared reliance on the land. So join the club, and start (or continue) buying local food!
Why do you buy locally?