Eating more local food is one way to move towards healthier people and a healthier planet. Here are 10 reasons to pile more local food on to your plate.
Local food harvested, baked or packed same day will be fresher and taste better than food that has been kept stored then travelled from further away.
For example, you can taste the difference between lettuce picked this morning and lettuce picked last week, factory-washed, and sealed in plastic.
In Season, locally grown veggies, harvested at their peak burst with flavour. Anticipation and excitement of eating seasonal favourites like rhubarb and asparagus are well worth the wait.
Eating Locally means eating seasonally, with all the deprivation and resulting pleasure that accompanies it.
It's not just those food miles, but intensive scale big-agriculture that is driving climate change.
Small scale farmers who follow sustainable growing practices, or are certified organic.
They work in harmony with nature, aiding bio-diversity, preserving healthy soil and locking away carbon.
From pocket allotments in busy town centres to rural farms, maintaining green spaces for local food growing conserves the environment and promotes well being. Green spaces also benefit leisure and tourism.
Community grown food benefits local people, while pasture grazed meat is often healthier for us and healthier for the planet than intensive livestock feed lots with not a blade of grass in sight.
Short and transparent chains between where your food is produced and your dining table, mean you know more about what you're eating.
Food poisoning, horse meat contamination and tragedies from unmarked allergens have all hit the headlines in recent years, prompting the question
Can we always trust businesses to feed us safely? - particularly when the food industry is often so secretive.
Big food producers concentrate on a small number of high yield, profitable varieties.
Local Producers often grown more interesting crops which can be better suited to local conditions, or cultivate heritage varieties for posterity.
From endangered veggies to rare breed pork, heritage wheat to mixed tomatoes this diversity can offer more local flavour, colour and tradition as well as preserving these types for future generations to enjoy.
Money spent with local farmers, growers and independent business circulates and increase in value to your local economy.
By shopping locally you can support your local economy to be more resilient and to grow, preserving skills & jobs.
Since local food moves through fewer hands, more of the money you spend goes straight to the producer rather than middle-men.
Knowing where your food is from connects you to the people who rise and grow it. Instead of having a single relationship you develop connections to more direct food sources.
Knowing the names of the people who've produced the food on your plate is more satisfying than a knowing a brand!
Getting together around good food at a market or sitting around a big table benefits our well being.
Local food is a great way to save on unnecessary single use plastic food packaging - because local food doesn't need much more than a brown paper bag!
Fresh bread and loose vegetables save unnecessary packing.
Plus, eating more locally can mean more cooking from scratch and less processed foods, which is a great way of reducing food waste in the kitchen.
Food connects people and place. Food Tourism is a growing business and is a great way to share your local culture, traditions & specialities, it also provides a boost to the local economy.
Self-Catering stays are great opportunities for local food producers to offer visitors an authentic dining experience and a taste of the unique local foods they won't find anywhere else.