5 Powerful Benefits of Buying Local Produce

Local Produce

If you’ve visited farmer’s markets in the past, you know how vibrant and full of life they are.  So many choices and they’re all fresh! But there are more benefits to buying food locally than you might imagine. Selecting local produce can benefit your community and budget, but also the environment and your health. Let’s look at some of the benefits of buying local produce, so you can decide whether visiting your local farmer’s market is worth your time.

Local produce tastes better

Local produce is fresher. Produce grown close to home is harvested at its peak of ripeness, which means it has a more complex flavor and may have more nutrients than fruits and vegetables transported from distant locations. When produce tastes fresh and delicious, you’ll eat more of it and enjoy the wealth of nutritional benefits that go along with eating veggies and fruits.

Local farmers are also more likely to pick their produce by hand. Some farmers choose not to use mechanical harvesting machines because they believe that doing so produces better-tasting food. Knowing that a human being picked your squash or broccoli by hand, rather than a machine, gives you a deeper connection with your food. When you buy local produce, it means you can get fruit and vegetables that are in season in your area at any given time of year — and there’s nothing better than eating what is fresh.

You’re helping the environment

One easy way to reduce your carbon footprint is to buy local produce. Food travels fewer miles to reach you and gives off fewer carbon emissions when you buy locally. The carbon footprint of food depends on many factors, but local produce generally has a lower carbon footprint than imported produce. Plus, when you buy plant-based foods, you’re eating low on the food chain. Fruits and vegetables are responsible for fewer greenhouse gas emissions than meat production. Local is considered to be food produced within a 100-mile radius of you.

Local produce is healthier

The Environmental Working Group’s “Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce” ranked 35 fruits and vegetables based on their levels of pesticide residue. The guide found that nearly all produce tested positive for at least one pesticide, with strawberries ranking as the most contaminated.

If you’re concerned about pesticide exposure, buying organic is a good option. However, the Environmental Working Group (EWG) notes that organic foods can be more expensive. Buying locally grown food is a more budget-friendly way to cut down on your overall grocery bill while still reducing your exposure to pesticides. Plus, local farmers are less likely to use heavy pesticides on their produce since they also feed it to their families. Plus, when you visit a Farmer’s market, you can talk to the farmer about how they grew your fruits and vegetables and what pesticides and herbicides they use.

Plus, local produce may contain more nutrients than produce you buy at a grocery store. Since fruits and vegetables travel shorter distances, there’s less chance of losing light and heat-sensitive nutrients like vitamin C and some B vitamins. However, as Alice Lichtenstein, DSC, and director of Tufts’ Cardiovascular Nutrition Division points out, many factors affect the nutritional content of food including the type of seed used, the elevation at which the food grows, and the nutritional content of the soil.

You’re supporting local farmers

You’ve probably heard that buying locally grown food is better for the environment, but did you know that it can also be good for your community? Local farmers are more likely to use sustainable growing methods, support the local community, have a good relationship with their customers, be friendly and helpful, and make themselves available to people who live nearby.

So, when you buy from a local farmer or farm stand instead of a big grocery store chain like Safeway or Walmart (or even Whole Foods), you’re supporting the people who grow and take care of your food. Buying local helps support small-scale farmers who need all the help they can get to make ends meet. Farmers often struggle to compete with larger producers who have access to economies of scale due to their size and geographic location.

You’ll find unique, seasonal fruits and vegetables you wouldn’t see elsewhere

One of the best reasons to buy local produce is that you’ll find unique fruits and vegetables you don’t see everywhere else. So, if you’re in the mood to try something new, check out your local farmer’s market. Some even sell prepared foods. It’s a chance to enjoy a meal outdoors! But know that some Farmer’s markets sell junk food too, so choose wisely.


The decision to buy fresh from your local farmer’s market makes sense in many ways. You save money, enjoy the taste of seasonally available fruits and vegetables, and support farmers and your local economy. Plus, eating local produce may be better for your health.

Here are some tips on how to find local farmer’s markets:

Check out your state’s department of agriculture website. Most states have an agricultural department that lists farmer’s markets in their state. If you’re lucky, these websites will also provide information about what types of products are available at each market, when they’re open, and how much they cost.

Search online for “farmers markets near me.” Google is your friend here — just type in the name of your city or town and “farmers market” and see what comes up. You can also search for your state followed by “farmers market.” There are numerous sites where people post their reviews of local farmer’s markets, including Yelp and UrbanSpoon. Why not spend a Saturday exploring local foods in your area?


“You want to reduce the carbon footprint of your food? Focus on what you ….” 24 Jan. 2020, https://ourworldindata.org/food-choice-vs-eating-local.

“The 35 Easiest Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint.” 27 Dec. 2018, https://news.climate.columbia.edu/2018/12/27/35-ways-reduce-carbon-footprint/.

“The Facts about Local Produce – Tufts Health & Nutrition Letter.” 09 Sept. 2018, https://www.nutritionletter.tufts.edu/healthy-eating/the-facts-about-local-produce/.

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