Mass-produced food travels a long distance to get to our grocery stores and into our homes.
About one third of mass-produced food is lost during harvesting, packaging, and shipping processes, or wasted after being used in our homes, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. (http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141013-food-waste-national-security-environment-science-ngfood/)
Mass-produced food, in order to be more quickly and easily harvested, is covered with pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides of all kinds. 5.2 billion pounds of pesticides are used every year throughout the world, according to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (United States Environmental Protection Agency. (2011). Pesticide news story: EPA releases report containing latest estimates of pesticide use in the United States. Retrieved September 20, 2012).
In order to reduce loss of food products during shipping, food companies all over the world utilize extensive packaging, processing, and preservative systems which use a lot of energy and materials.
These harvesting and preservative processes are not healthy for the consumer eating these foods.
The environmental impact of shipping, packaging, and processing mass-produced foods has added greatly to the damage to the climate and is taking quite a toll on the earth.
Mass-produced foods are less healthy for the environment, the economy, and for all of us. (http://theecoguide.org/shopping-your-local-farmers-market-can-be-healthy-earth-too)
The greatest solution to each of these problems is to buy local food!
Local food sources are not shipped hundreds of thousands of miles, so they prevent further damage to the earth's climate systems.
Along with less shipping, locally grown foods require no pesticide usage for mass harvests and no preservatives or packaging for shipping long distances. Therefore, they require fewer resources to be produced, sold, and used in our homes. (https://wasatchgardens.org/resources/item/263-organic-standards)
Because they use fewer resources and absolutely no chemicals on locally grown food, it is healthier for our bodies too!
Utah's Buy Local Movement
Farmer's Markets, community gardens, and urban farms are in use all over the state.
We can help prevent damage to the climate and to our earth, save money, and be healthier by purchasing our foods from local gardens and farms.
Here are some places we can begin making a difference and change our lives for the better:
- Utah's Own Program - information on where and when to find farmer's markets and locally grown food at any time of the year.
- Local First Utah - community of small businesses founded and operated in Utah.
- Urban farming in Salt Lake City, with community gardens all over the Salt Lake Valley.