The case for sourcing your food locally
In this week’s blog, I thought it would be great to look at another way to live more sustainably through eating locally. It is no secret that our current food-providing system relies heavily on globalization and all the negative consequences that come with it. But you can quite easily source most of the food in your diet locally, especially in the Netherlands.
Let’s first take a look at the unstainable parts of food production. The first example is that whenever fuel prices spike, there is also a spike in food prices around the world. The correlation between food prices and oil prices is in fact 93.4%. And there is hardly a time lag between them.
The ones who really feel these sudden spikes and drops in the food prices are the poor countries. While they often rely on agriculture as their main source of income, they actually import a great deal of their food. This can even lead to conflict, as seen in the infamous Arab spring, where protests and conflict broke out, because of rising prices on bread.
There also personal benefits to eating locally. Local foods are fresher and taste better, seasonal fruits and vegetables don’t need as much fertilizer to fully ripen, local foods support the local economy and stimulate a variety of fruits and vegetables.
Of course, the fruits and vegetables you eat will always be seasonal somewhere in the world. But by eating the in-season fruits and vegetables and buying them locally, you can make your environmental footprint smaller and be closer to the land where the food comes from.
Some produce is always in season. These include:
- Jerusalem artichoke
- Red cabbage
- Oxheart cabbage
- Brussel sprouts
In addition to the year-round vegetables, the following vegetables will be ripe in the next months:
The best place where you buy local vegetables and fruits, with the highest chance of the vegetables and fruits being actually produced locally, is probably your local food market. Another good place is to directly buy food from farmers before it even gets to the store. This method might require a little bit more work, depending on where you live.
I hope this might have given at least some of you guys some inspiration to start shopping for food locally or think about where your food comes from and the impact it has.