How buying local food can benefit health, the environment and economy

The UAE community have been more mindful of their eating habits, causing a shift in food trends as people choose to live a healthier lifestyle by consuming healthier food options. In addition, since there has been more awareness on the rising numbers of obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, the demand for healthier food has been on the rise. There are many health benefits associated to eating locally sourced food versus imported produce, some include:

  • Local food is fresher since it arrives to your table directly from the farm, hence the nutrient value is higher
  • Locally grown food has more flavor since they have been picked within 24 hours of your purchase
  • Locally grown crops are picked at their peak of ripeness, versus being harvested early in order to be shipped and distributed to your local retail store
  • Seasonal local food has more flavor and tastes better than the ones that have traveled thousands of miles and picked before they were ripe
  • Local food supports the local economy; the money that is spent with local farmers and growers all stays close to home and is reinvested with businesses and services in your community
  • Local food benefits the environment.By purchasing locally grown foods you help maintain farmland and green and/or open space in your community
  • Local foods promote a safer food supply.The more steps there are between you and your food’s source the more chances there are for contamination. Food grown in distant locations has the potential for food safety issues at harvesting, washing, shipping and distribution
  • Local growers can tell you how the food was grown.You can ask what practices they use to raise and harvest the crops. When you know where your food comes from and who grew it, you know a lot more about that food
  • Local food has a shorter time between harvest and your table, and it is less likely that the nutrient value has decreased. Food imported from other countries are often older and sits in distribution centers before it gets to the store

Reference: http://web.colby.edu/st297-global18/2018/11/29/the-benefits-of-buying-locally-sourced-produce/

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