image via @ShopLocal #ShopLocal
Food co-operatives are all about supporting your local community. One of the ways they do this is by supporting local farmers and consciously buying their produce locally.
There are many benefits of locally sourced, chemical and gmo free fruits and vegetables but here’s the top five!
Photo: University of Michigan/Flickr
They taste fresher. They taste better.
There’s no denying it! There is an incredible difference between a piece of fruit that has been farmed, driven to a packaging manufacturer, packaged, driven to a distributer, packaged, driven to a consumer supermarket and driven back to your home compared to a piece of fruit sent straight from the farm 10km to the local co-op. Trust your taste buds on this one!
Not only are the organic products cheaper than you will find in a conventional grocery store, you are also keeping money and business within your local community. As a member of a food co-op, you will get to know every employee at the store and instead of handing your money over to a conglomerate giant, you are feeding it straight back into your community co-op. This has all sorts of positive repercussions like economic growth within your community, providing employment opportunities for community members and encouraging prosperous relationships with other local business.
When you shop at a food co-operative you are becoming an ethically and environmentally responsible citizen. As the products are not shipped and transported from all around the world (think about the oranges from Woolies that are imported from California and the asparagus that is flown in from Chile), there is no carbon foot print. You will reduce the mammoth C02 emissions that are constantly released into the atmosphere from various transportation methods. Usually the farms are no further than 20km from the store, which is a obvious difference from the thousand km flight from South America. The environment also benefits from reduction of packaging and waste that is regularly seen in commercial grocery stores. There is no need for plastic packages and bags for your fresh fruits and vegetables, in fact this often spoils the fruit! Instead of plastic bags and wrappers, food co-ops use recycled cardboard boxes and recycled canvas totes to carry groceries to and from the store. When you shop at a food co-op you can pat yourself on that back, you’re making an ecological difference.
Co-ops operate entirely on the principle of community. The community aspect is so prevalent when you step into a food co-operative. The workers and shoppers are your friends, neighbours, peers and family! They genuinely have your best interest at heart and will make choices that will benefit the local community as they are part of it too!
Perhaps the most overlooked reason as to why you should shop local, an organic diet free from pesticides and other nasties is the healthiest diet for you. Numerous studies and tests have shown that fruits and vegetables that have not come into contact with chemicals and synthetics are by far the healthier choice! They give your body and your brain the nutrients and nourishment it needs. We all know our bodies are our most valuable possessions on this earth so fuel it with organic produce!
Well not only is going local tastier, great for the community and even better for the environment… It also makes you healthier and happier little vegemites!
Jump on board and go local! Make the most of your community co-op!