When buying groceries, some may tend to look for bargains, convenience, and a wide selection. Major supermarket chains often have you covered in these departments, but they’re rarely the best option when it comes to how food is sourced.

Heading to a nearby farmer’s market or buying directly from a locally-owned and operated businesses is a pretty gratifying experience. In fact, most Canadians feel that way, with one study from BDC showing that 97% choose to shop locally.

There’s no doubt that people are catching onto the negative effects of depending on major retailers for groceries, but it’s still more important than ever to make sure everyone’s on the right track. Why exactly is buying local so great, anyway?

stalls of produce vendors at a farmers market

It’s Better for the Environment

Let’s get straight down to business here. You’re environmentally conscious, so you probably want to source your food in a way that puts as little strain on the Earth as possible. Keeping things close to home can accomplish exactly this.

For one thing, when you buy food from local vendors, you’re minimizing food miles (the distance the food travels from the supplier to you). This means less consumption of resources for transit, refrigeration, and packaging, which means a lower carbon footprint.

tomatoes and fennel bulbs in baskets at a market

Secondly, you’re helping to preserve land and keep it biodiverse. Without the support of their communities, local farmers are more likely to close down their operations and leave that land vulnerable for industrial, commercial, or residential development.

Lastly, local vendors tend to meet higher standards when it comes to transparency, accountability, and quality. The personal relationships they develop with you and other local patrons can encourage ethical, organic, and ecologically-sound cultivation.

A man shops for produce in a city farmer's market

It’s Healthier

Having the opportunity to ask local farmers the right questions can offer you greater peace of mind when it comes to food safety and knowing what you’re eating. It’s much easier in this case to avoid what you want to avoid, whether it’s pesticides, preservatives, hormones, unsanitary practices, or other nasty stuff. This is increasingly important among food buyers today.

The food you find at a major grocery chain also isn’t always a model of freshness, especially when it comes to produce. Once again, this is thanks to large transit distances. Despite delayed ripening methods such as gases, refrigeration, and waxes (which are questionable in their own right), it’s common for this produce to over-ripen and lose nutrient density. Oh, and it may be grown and picked despite not being in season. And it tastes bad.

The local stuff? It’s seasonal and brought to you at peak freshness, making it both more nutritious and more delicious.

a large crate of fresh strawberries

It Promotes a Strong Local Economy

It’s hard to go wrong when you’re keeping more money and resources within your community. One economic study in Chicago found that for every $100 dollars spent at a local business, $68 returns to the local economy versus $48 if spent at a major retail chain.

In addition to this, supporting farms close to home enables them to profit more from their work by cutting out the middleman, empowers them to supply and support their fellow local business owners, and helps to create more local jobs. It turns out that strong local businesses mean a strong local economy, who knew?

This, of course, goes beyond mere dollars and cents. High-quality food for a community and a sense of fulfillment for those who work hard to make it happen are both essential to collective happiness and wellness. You might have trouble finding that at a supermarket.

Whichever household goods you choose to buy locally, it’s always important to know as much as possible about how it was sourced or manufactured. Transparency, sustainability, and ethical practices are at the heart of what we do at Kana, and our pre-cut biodegradable parchment paper is the perfect embodiment of this. Explore our range to see what we're talking about. 

 

kana en papillote bundle

 

 

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