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Problems with Non-local Foods

By Javert Boudreau

For some people, a local food diet includes food from within a 100-mile radius, roughly the size of a large city and the surrounding suburbs or farms.  The word "local" is often used to describe smaller, family-owned businesses, or stores and restaurants specific to a certain area.  The idea of local foods operates similarly.  Local foods can describe foods that are native to, or at least able to grow in, a particular climate or region.  Non-local foods, in comparison, are foods shipped in from other areas, either states or countries.

Sure non-local foods can be good.  Without them, we would not have much of the produce sold in stores across the nation.  However, while buying from some South American country can bring foods to local stores, otherwise unavailable to the public, it can also have bad effects.  The planes, trains, boats, and trucks required to transport this stuff result in high amounts of pollution, as well as high prices for their cargo, due to the cost of gas.  The goods they carry also have little to no freshness by the time they arrive in the stores and are bought.

Buying nonlocal foods also damages your local community.  Many of the stores selling these foods are large companies, with chains spanning the country.  These stores divert income from smaller local businesses, eventually causing them to close and resulting in a lack of jobs.  This causes an increase in poverty, and soon, your street be looking ghetto.

So we talked about why you shouldn’t buy nonlocal foods, but why should you shop local?  Because some smart-mouth with a barely justified grudge against large corporations like Wal-Mart told you to?  No.  While you might be deprived of some foods, shopping local can help your environment and the local economy in the long run.

Shopping in local stores brings jobs to local people, which helps rejuvenate the economy.  Food bought from local farms is also fresher and cheaper (depending on the generosity of the farmer), and decreases pollution because there is no need to ship goods across the country.  Also, unlike large farming companies like Monsanto, a company known for using dangerous chemicals in conjunction with their foods, some local farms use little more than pesticides, and are much healthier as a result.  At MAP we grow all our foods naturally, using no chemicals or pesticides in the production of our food.

In total, the prosperity and healthiness of your community will, at the very least, lead to higher levels of happiness and mental abilities, which may, over time, turn your neighborhood into a supportive community.

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