The Importance of Eating Locally and Gardening with Your Children
Are you new to healthy living? Do you fully understand the impact of teaching children to grow their own food?
Locally grown foods refer to crops grown in nearby communities opposed to their far traveled counterparts.
These seemingly simple acts have the ability to strengthen local economy, clean up the environment, enhance your health and inspire a new generation.
Better for the Environment
Unlike crops that travel thousands of miles before making it to your plate, locally grown meat and produce have less negative impact on the environment.
Less CO2 is emitted in their transportation and smaller local farms often do not use quite as many harmful chemicals and pesticides as large commercial farms.
Besides all that, raising food is the best use for any large plot of land. Farmland is beautiful. Green plants mean fresh air and natural habitats not just for humans, but for all kinds of creatures.
More Nutritious and Full of Freshness
Crops grown locally are sold at the peak of their freshness, so they are tastier and full of more nutrients.
The longer a fruit or vegetable has to travel, the less fresh it is by the time you get to eat it.
Large commercial farms sometimes chemically treat or genetically modify their crops to make them last longer after being picked.
Sometimes produce must be frozen or canned in order to still be good by the time it gets to you. All of these processes are detrimental to the flavor and nutritional value of your food.
Commercially raised livestock is often subjected to horrible living conditions.
These animals are not allowed out to graze and are fed artificial food supplements.
Local farms may be smaller, but they have fewer animals so that each can be treated more humanely.
Animals that live happy and healthy free-range lives do not need to be injected with so much medicine, which is harmful to humans who consume their byproducts.
Free-range livestock is happier and has stronger muscles, so their meat and milk has more nutrients to pass on to you.
Strengthens Local Economy
Eating locally is an easy way to strengthen your local economy.
When you support local farmers, the money stays close to home and economic growth occurs within your own community.
This works when you support any local merchant, but it is especially important to support local farmers.
Supporting local businesses helps transfer resources into the hands of the working family as opposed to the corporate giants.
Choosing to start a backyard garden is a simple way to save money.
Not only will you be rewarded with fresh produce to eat and share, you will also be saving the money you would have spent on purchasing crops elsewhere.
You will often find the prices at your local farms to be lower than what you see at the grocery store.
Since local crops do not need to be shipped or processed or any of the other things you are paying for when you pay top dollar for grocery store produce, a local farmer is more likely to pass the savings on to you.
Any good farmer hates to see his crop go to waste, so you might even be able to strike up a barter system with your local fruit and veggie vendor if you offer a good or a service which he desires.
Inspires a New Generation
Gardening with your children is a beautiful form of togetherness that will educate them on the values of farming and caring for their bodies while preserving the integrity of the environment.
Children who understand how natural food is grown from a young age will be more likely to eat natural food as they grow.
Teaching your children about natural gardening is a great way to inspire a sense of pride in the earth and a good foundation for their future well-being.
Eating locally and gardening with your family are a few of the easiest ways to care for yourselves and the eco-system.
By encouraging local farming, you will be helping to inspire seasonal eating while cutting down on the need for outsource crops and harsh pesticide use.
This simple act of keeping it local and keeping it fresh is all we need to inspire a cleaner way of eating.
Guest Author Bio: Maya Rodgers is a pet owner, animal lover, and small-time environmental activist who always keeps her ears open for ways to green herself and her family.
We have been working towards eating more local for quite some time, it’s a process but it is so rewarding and the food is so much better. 🙂