In many ways eating local has turned into a fad that has swept across the nation. As fads go…they fade over time. At Abundance Acres we have confidence that eating local is not just a fad, but is ultimately way to increase local food security, invest in our community and be good stewards of precious resources.
With an increased cost of fuel the price of transporting food across the country and from other countries will increase. While locally produced food may be more expensive for the time being the future may turn the table to local foods being cheaper. If for some reason there is a trucking strike or food cannot be delivered your locally produced food will still be available. Also by purchasing locally grown food your money stays in your community. You are investing in your community rather than sending it elsewhere. It supports a farmer or producer that you may have a relationship with. You know how they produce your food and what practices they use.
Have you ever wondered why prices are the way they are grocery store? Who sets them? Is it a fair price? Is it quality produce? When was it picked? Where is it from? Were people or the land exploited? There are all questions that relate to stewardship. While getting the “bottom-line” sticker price for an item is very important for many, cheap things come at a cost for someone. Who or what is being exploited? When you see a bag of tomatoes for sale at a grocery store at some extreme deal, have you every asked why? Are your saving money at the cost of poor agricultural practices depleting the land? Or is someone getting paid minimal wages so that the discount is passed on to the consumer? These are all questions that people concerned about stewardship should answer.
This quote from the Banner in an article on simple living sums up stewardship in this way:
When we shop with only price as our bottom line, buying foods simply because they are cheap, we’re ignoring the hidden costs that allow for such savings. The reason it’s cheaper to buy industrially produced foods from large manufacturers is precisely because they participate in practices that degrade creation. If we want to be part of a food economy that does not diminish either people or the environment, we must be prepared to pay the real price.
Cost and ethical issues are only one side of the coin. Eating local is a great way to engage in a lifestyle of simple living and eating delicious fresh produce in season. It is also a great way to get to know the farmer producing your food. Support local farms in your area. Invest in your community and reconnect with how your food is grown!
For more information on eating local visit the Local Harvest website.