Why is eating fresh, locally grown food better than food from the grocery? Two main reasons that come to mind: fresh foods taste better! And they are rich in nutrients!
Purchasing fresh foods also reduces the consumption of additives like preservatives, pesticides and hormones. These chemicals are used by mass-producing farmers to help food grow quickly and last longer.
But there can also be disadvantages to consider. Since fresh foods do not have additives they have a shorter shelf life and should be consumed quickly. There is also a cost concern. It is commonly found that fresh foods are more expensive than conventionally grown foods. In contrast to fresh foods, conventionally grown foods are still far more popular. Why? (you may ask). Because it is convenient! Conventionally grown food still dominates grocery stores, providing readily available options to consumers at a cheaper price. At any time of the year a person can walk into a grocery and find any fruit or vegetable – whether in season or not. But that doesn’t mean it is more nutritious! Many foods that have been processed have added sodium, coloring, sugars or other chemicals to help preserve and add taste. Consuming these additives may cause your body to react negatively and cause gastrointestinal side effects. Luckily, the public is becoming more aware of the benefits of eating locally and these food are becoming more abundant in grocery stores in Northern California. So, next time you plan your groceries for the week try looking for specials in your local grocery stores. Some stores like Sprouts have weekly specials on local produce at affordable prices. And if you are on a really tight budget try your local food bank. Many food banks have multiple weekly local food distributions for free! No application or personal information required!