by Kristen D’Antonio, SPC 225 – Writing for Public Relations Campaigns
In today’s harsh economy, it seems like a large amount of money only goes a short way. With a growing population and decreasing employment opportunities, many families struggle to provide enough food for their household without turning to inexpensive and often unhealthy foods made by large companies across the country. These problems could easily be solved by buying local produce.
Farmers markets are often less costly than produce found at major grocery stores because the produce doesn’t need to be shipped. This also means that what consumers spend on produce goes directly into local farmers’ pockets and then back into the environment and the community. At a time when small businesses are in trouble, paying nearby farmers for their crops is much more supportive to a consumer’s hometown because it preserves farmland and green areas.
The air itself is improved by local produce. It is no secret that added vegetation means added oxygen so communities breathe easier. But the more fresh crops there are in an area, the less need there is to transport crops from other parts of the country or even the world. This practice not only saves gasoline, but also prevents air pollution.
Of course all produce has health benefits, but produce from a neighborhood farm is likely to have added health benefits. Most local farmers choose to grow their crops organically; whereas most major produce companies grow theirs conventionally, using pesticides to increase yield and size, and keep insects away. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the use of pesticides is linked to increased risk of nervous system damage, cancer, irritation of the skin and eyes, and endocrine system complications.
As America continues to battle an obesity epidemic, some dieters may grow tired of the fruits and vegetables that they find week in and week out at grocery stores. The variety of apples offered at a farmer’s market alone often outweighs that of a grocery store.
Many local farms even allow people to take tours and pick their own produce. This offers a chance to learn more about nature itself, spend time outdoors, or interact with other members of the community before returning home to prepare dinner with farm fresh fruits and vegetables.