Eating local has been a hot word in the nutrition world lately. There are various definitions of what it means to buy and eat local, but for the most part, eating local means buying products that were produced in the state of Georgia. Eating local benefits the economy, environment, and the consumer.
It has been shown that food is transported hundreds to thousands of miles before it reaches the grocery store, meaning it also takes hundreds of gallons of gas and oil to get food to the store. According to Georgia Organics, if we ate one local meal a week, we’d reduce America’s oil consumption and carbon footprint significantly. As dietitians we are all about small, attainable goals, right? Let’s try eating local at least once a week!
Money spent locally stays local; it goes directly back to the hands that grew the food you purchase. A study done by the University of Georgia found that if we spent $10/week on local produce, it would generate more than $1.9 billion for Georgia’s economy. In short, buying local invests money directly back into Georgia, instead of big corporations in other states.
Yeah, even you! Since fruits and vegetables begin losing nutrient value as soon as they are picked, buying local decreases the time between harvest to plate and thus, maintains optimal nutrient value. Furthermore, buying local means buying seasonal. Seasonal produce has been shown to have the best taste and nutrient profile versus the same produce when they are not in season. Finally, buying seasonal produce is cheaper!
So who’s ready to eat the freshest, most nutritious produce while saving money and helping the economy and environment?