Why should you buy local? I mean, it sounds good, at least to me. But WHY? Are there actually benefits to it, and if so, have you thought about what they are? I’m always hearing about fresh local products, but it almost seems like it’s more of a marketing ploy than anything else. Having owned and worked in small businesses since I started working, I cannot stress the importance of buying local products and services enough.
First, think about transportation time. Especially when buying food. In order for food to get to you in a timely fashion, it is often harvested before it is ripe and then has a bunch of preservatives added just to maintain freshness (or the appearance thereof). With local products, you often can literally go to where the food is grown or processed and take it home. This means less travelling, which means less fuel. Often there is far less packaging involved as well because we don’t have to worry about it getting bounced and jounced around by big shipping companies. Buying local is better for the environment.
Secondly, when you buy local it keeps the money in the local economy. This means we can create more jobs and employ more people. That translates to more time with their families, less money spent on gas, and the money stays within the community. It also means that you are supporting your neighbors. That money you spend puts a roof over those families’ heads. It pays their heat. It’s also a great way to get to know the people around you.
Buying local also allows you to know where your food is coming from. Chances are very high that if you buy our meat, you have driven by the farms we buy animals from. You have the luxury of asking questions about your food and getting real answers. You also get a say in how it comes to you. Whether it’s the package size, timing, flavor preference, or delivery, your input is valuable and small business owners take it very seriously. We are always happy to hear ideas for new products or ways we can improve and make your experience better. Most of us are very passionate about what we do and are super excited to answer any questions you may have. It’s not just a job, it’s a way of life.
When you buy local, you get a chance to meet the people who make your food. Whether it’s at a farmer’s market, on site, or a delivery, you’re meeting people who are involved in the process. They can offer valuable insight and suggestions. When I talk to someone who loves their own products and can tell you all about them, I feel much better about making a purchase. Sure, it’s not always cheaper than what might be on sale at the supermarket, but the more people who buy local, the cheaper it gets for everyone. You’re not just buying food though, you’re supporting your friends, your neighbors, and your community.
There are far more reasons than I have mentioned to buy local. Feel free to add them in the comments. Food for thought. We have plenty of food for your bellies too.