Eating locally sourced foods is better for your body, for the world, and for your taste.
Each year, more and more people want to know where their food is coming from. They want a connection with their food and the farmers who grow it.
When customers buy locally, they benefit farmers, the cheese-monger at the cheese shop, and the beekeeper the local apiary. As a result, supporting these food artists evoke social, emotional, and psychological benefits with customers.
People want to form relationships with and support their local businesses. Additionally, customers are turning toward fresher, healthier, and better-tasting food. So, the answer to these demands is to buy local.
Here are some of the reasons people want local food:
Local Food Is Better For You
The #1 difference between locally sourced food and produce from the grocery store is the time between the harvest and your table. As a result, whatever nutritional value a particular item holds is less likely to decrease.
Food has less chance of changing in quality or becoming contamined the fewer the steps between its source and destination. The longer the food sits, the more it decreases in nutritional value. Researchers at Montclair State University compared the vitamin C content of broccoli grown in season with broccoli imported out of season. They found the latter had half the vitamin C of the locally sourced food.
Local Food Has Flavor
Local food tastes better and is fresher than food that has been transported hundreds of miles. In the U.S., the average fruit or vegetable travels 1,500 miles from where it was grown to your dinner table.
Farmers, on the other hand, harvest food at the optimal time. Instead of speeding up the harvest to meet shipping and distribution expectations, they can harvest ‘just-in-time’. Most produce at local farmers markets is picked within 24 hours of distribution.
Restaurant owners should take note of the enhanced flavor that locally sourced food provides and highlight all locally sourced items on their menu.
Buying Locally Boosts The Local Economy
Any money that goes towards local farmers ends up being reinvesting within the community and other businesses.
By buying locally grown food, you strengthening your community by investing your food dollar close to home. Only $.18 of every dollar, when buying at a large supermarket, goes to the grower. Around $.82 goes to various middlemen. Once you remove them, you are paying the farmer directly.
Farmers work hard to put together community supported agriculture programs (CSAs) to encourage local residents to shop locally. They show up every week to offer their handpicked food to the community. They meet with chefs to sell their food so it shows up on the menu the next week. Farmers and local vendors work hard to take the quality items they’ve grown and nurtured to consumers. Understandably, customers feel more connected with locally sourced food.
As chef Kimbal Musk points out, “Food is a gift we give each other three times a day. Not only does this speak to the importance of real, good food, but to the importance of community. Food provides a rich interface for us to create and build relationships. There’s something very satisfying about buying herbs, greens, fruits and vegetables that were grown right in your very own town, by people who are part of your community.”
Activate Your NetWaiter Site
If you want to attract more local customers, and keep them informed about the locally sourced food at your restaurant, check out NetWaiter’s platform and network. You can search for, and activate, your NetWaiter site and app here: