Benefits of eating local produce

There's no denying that being able to walk into a grocery store at anytime of day and get almost anything you're thinking of to try a new recipe or make a meal for your family is a great blessing and convenient. Although there is the benefit of convenience that is undeniable, sometimes there are trade offs to make those sorts of things happen. It might make you consider when you have the option to shop for local produce. 

You might ask yourself what's the difference between for example garlic grown in Spain vs. Ontario? One of the major considerations is that when we import food, it's harder to track the growing practices of where that food is coming from to see if it's meeting health and safety standards. There might be pesticides and herbicides used on the produce that are considered safe outside of Canada on your food. Another consideration is that often food that has to travel long distances to get to your plate need to get harvested early and go through a lot of steps to get to you. When you harvest early, it can lose its nutrition and mineral content. For example, broccoli, green beans and kale are examples of vegetables that have a hard time maintaining its nutritional value if it is transported long distances.

It's surprising to hear that not only how we grow but also process our food, can have an impact on the nutritional value of our food. While local farming practices are still important to understand to make sure the integrity of the produce is being maintained in our own backyard, if you can find a farmer that can answer some questions can help guarantee you are getting the highest quality food possible.

Microgreens for vegetables mentioned
Pea Shoot microgreens
Kale microgreens

International Trade Administration. Canada Country Commercial Guide. Agricultural sector. Published Aug 3 2022. Online

McGill University. Sustainability.Sustainable sourcing. 2023. Online.

York University. Food Policy for Canada. Reliance on exports. 2023. Online.

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