What To Put in Your Cart: Local Vs Imported
Many consumers love buying products with bright stamps saying “Imported from country-X.” Whether the tag is on a jacket or their new furniture, it makes them feel they are buying from a bigger and more reliable market; these stamps aren’t seen just as a label of the products’ origins but also as a certification of being “better” and a justification for the product being “pricier”. The same mindset controls what most consumers slip into their carts while in the grocery store’s fruit and vegetable aisle. But are the imported agricultural products better than the local ones?
Imported fruits, vegetables, and processed food are grown in one part of the globe and consumed in another; between harvesting and consumption, there is a long delay, and the produce needs to be stored. Unfortunately, the delay and storage result in a significant loss in the nutritional value of the food. Since vitamin decay occurs fast, these lengthy storage periods translate to significantly reduced vitamin content in food.
Moreover, the extended supply chain increases the risk of contamination, hence jeopardizing food safety. With imported food, the food passes through multiple hands before it reaches your pantry. It increases the risk of eating unsafe food tagged as imported. Here, the local produce and supply chain win; the orders you place at The Farmette shop are at your doorstep in the shortest time in the most nutritious, freshest, and safest form.
Another reason local produce beats imported stock is the assurance of quality. The large content of imported food that goes through the borders to the shelves does not go under strict quality testing and background checks. Sadly, although the imports require permits, the system works mainly on a trust basis; the authorities take the word of the supplier on using approved practices instead of making sure the standards are, in fact, upheld. As a consumer, you can not know under what conditions the food on your table was grown. It is a major concern for people with food sensitivities and allergies. However, with the Farmette’s transparent system and improved food traceability, you can stay rest assured that the food on your fork is of premium quality and was grown using the best practices.
Additionally, buying local means supporting local farmers, businesses, the economy, and the environment. Most local produce comes from small farms which are primarily women-led or run by families. Buying local not only adorns your table but also puts food on their plates. Buying from local small-scale farms also prevents them from selling away their land for industrial and commercial use: preserving the depleting green of mother earth.
Luckily, local produce isn’t limited anymore. Most produce that was previously only available through the imported market is now grown in local farms. From buttery avocado to earthy mushrooms or Hunza-harvested French cherries, eating new seasonal foods can give you a wider range of healthy and tasty locally-grown produce.Buying food isn’t just spending money on food but investing in your health and the local economy. Making the health and socially conscious decision to buy and eat local produce can improve the life quality of many: your own family and the family that helped produce your healthy food. So the next time the “Imported from X” allures you, remember to make the wise decision!