Eating Local for the Earth

What is local food and why is it important?

Eating locally means minimizing the distance between production and consumption. This can be easily achieved by doing some research on local farms, community, gardens, or community-supported agriculture programs. Choosing local has many advantages over the modern food system with regards to nutritional/environmental benefits, economic advantages, and social aspects. Although the growing season in Park City can limit the consistency of crop availability, it is still viable to support restaurants or other businesses that utilize local food sources.

It is somewhat comforting to know that access to healthy and affordable food can be consistent despite events outside of our control. This has been a good time to reflect on the choices we make regarding our food sourcing, the trust we have in our local farmers is not something to take for granted. As we head into the growing season I look forward to an abundance of delicious food that will soon be accessible. Choosing to spend your money on local food ensures that up to 65 percent of your dollar will remain in the community. Our nation’s food supply is not immune to an international conflict meaning the more we rely on a localized food system increases community food security. 

Earth Day is a good time to reflect on these choices, does it really matter how we eat, who we buy it from, and where it comes from? Yes, and besides money, we have to look at the bigger picture in regards to the impact on the environment. Most of the time when we pick up food from the supermarket we have no idea how, when, or where it came from, which is just how we have learned to operate. Our food system is no doubt an impressive feat of ingenuity, efficiency, and operates on an unbelievable scale; but all of this comes at a cost. Fossil fuel reliance, soil degradation, and material waste are all side effects of the current system we have in place, but reducing these is attainable and necessary.

Eating locally removes the need for our food to travel long distances which means it is fresher, more nutritious, and takes less energy to get into your home. Supporting small scale farms helps preserve the genetic diversity of soils which is the backbone of healthy produce. Understanding our role as a consumer is extremely important, we decide what our money is going towards. By diversifying your food sources it allows you to control your nutritional, economical, and social aspects of how you eat.