Going Green Tip of the Day: Buy Local

Going Green Tip of the Day: Buy Local
Obviously buying local doesn't really pertain to processed foods (but you're not eating those anyway, right?). When I say Buy Local, I'm talking about produce (fruits and veggies), grains, meat (if you eat it), fish, eggs, honey, nuts (should I go on?) . All the things that don't come shipped in a plastic wrap in a cardboard box.

So why buy local? For one, you are supporting local farmers and their farms. For another, you are helping rid the world of excess pollution and gas consumption. Most foods that are shipped large distances are chosen because of their ability to sustain long trips, not because of their quality (or taste). And if you live in Iowa does it really make sense to buy something shipped from Venezuela?! How long did it take to get here? And how many pesticides were put it on it to make sure it survived that long?

If you're buying local, you're probably buying more produce which means you are probably going to be eating a heck of a lot healthier as well. Buying locally often means you can buy organic, too. But don't assume that just because you buy from a farmer's market that you are buying organic. Look for sellers marked organic at your farmer's market or find a local grocery store that carries local organic products.

Greater Des Moines' Buy Fresh Buy Local campaign, sponsored by Drake University through the Agricultural Law Center, is "a network of local farms, food businesses, and consumers committed to increasing the production and sales of fresh, local foods." For more information on how you can take the pledge to BFBL, the local farms that supply these foods and the grocers that carry them visit www.buyfreshdrake.org. If you don't live in Iowa, research Buy Local campaigns in your area and if you don't have one, start one...and start buying local!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!