As the owner and farmer behind Central Park Farms in Langley, I spend a lot of my day explaining to people the benefits of supporting small-scale local agriculture. But, what many people might not know is, before I started raising my first batch of free-range chickens, I was the Operations Manager of a multi-national transportation company.
I was the local food movement’s worst enemy.
I shipped meat and produce from all points in North America to all your mega-grocery chains, so to say I’m well informed on how far food travels to get to your local grocery store would be an understatement. I know exactly down to the mile and the hour how long these products sit in the supply-chain.
Fast forward a few years and I’ve now made it my mission to help my community make ethical and sustainable food choices. And, a huge part of that is shopping local.
So, if you’re looking for an easy way to add locally produced food into your family’s diet. It couldn’t be easier than visiting Langley Community Farmer Market!
My top 6 reasons to shop at your local farmers market:
Shopping local supports your local economy
Supporting local food producers keeps money and jobs in your community. Over 90% of Canadian farms are family owned and operated, let’s support those farmers in our area, after all they’re playing a big part in feeding our families.
Local food is fresher!
Fresh food is healthier food. Nutrients are lost as food ages so by shopping local you’re providing more nutrient rich food to your family. After all, food is the best medicine.
It puts you in control of the food you consume
Shopping at your local farmer market empowers consumers to take a more active role in their own personal food system. By becoming engaged you’re more likely to have a better knowledge of what’s in your food and how it was raised. As you seek out local providers you’ll start to learn what’s important to you when it comes to food choices — Non-GMO, organic, ethically raised, sustainable?
Seasonal and local food tastes better
Buying locally produced and seasonal food just tastes better. You know that strawberry in the dead of winter? Does it taste like a strawberry? If your answer is yes then you don’t truly know what a strawberry tastes like. By buying in season you’ll be eating food at it’s most flavourful… and that just tastes good!
It helps you avoid the ‘green washing’ hype
Have you ever questioned if the claims a company makes about ethically raising their animals is true? How do you really know if their values align with yours? When you shop at your local farmers market, you get to actually meet the people who produce your food and talk to them about their methods.
It’s better for the environment
I think we can all agree that trucking that truck load of poultry or that head of lettuce half way across the country isn’t exactly lessening our carbon footprint.
This isn’t a movement that will happen over night and I’m the first to admit that not everything I buy is local. But, if we all work to be more conscious of where our food comes from and try to make more local choices, the impact for ourselves and our community will be widespread.