Eating Local Food: The Movement, Locavores and More
Finding and buying local food
By definition, local food can't go far, so you're likely to procure it via smaller markets, like farmer's markets, grocery co-operatives, community-supported agriculture co-ops. Therein lies a big part of local food's environmental appeal: local food reduces or eliminates the costs, both monetary and planetary, of transportation, processing, packaging, and advertising.
A tremendous amount of fossil fuel is used to transport foods long distances. Combustion of these fuels releases carbon dioxide, sulfur dioxide, particulate matter and other pollutants into the atmosphere, contributing to global climate change, acid rain, smog and air pollution. Even the refrigeration required to keep your fruits, vegetables, dairy products and meats from spoiling burns up energy.
Further, food processors also use a large amount of paper and plastic packaging to keep food fresh (or at least looking fresh) for a longer period of time. This packaging eventually becomes waste that is difficult, if not impossible, to reuse or recycle. These are all reasons to support local food, but certainly not the only ones.
Keep reading for a map to local food near you, and for some challenges facing the movement.