One of the primary goals for the Office of Sustainability and the S.H.E.L.F. project team is to inform Hartford residents about all the benefits that come with eating locally. Below are a number of reasons we came up with as to why eating locally is important.
Eating locally helps reduce the negative impact on the environment. one way to measure this is in Food Miles. Food Miles refer to the number of miles food travels from where it is produced to where it will be purchased by the consumer.
Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases are created by the production and transportation of food and food products. Gas emissions can be measured by which type of food is involved in the production and the location of its origin and final destination.
This graph shows the percent of carbon dioxide produced by certain sectors of the U.S. food production. Buying produce can significantly reduce the emissions produced by your food.
This graph breaks down carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions by the method of production. The transportation of food produces 11% of greenhouse gas emissions in the food system. Buying local foods have fewer emissions caused by the transportation of food from farther distances.
Most produce lose 30% of their nutritional value within 3 days of harvest. Eating locally reduces the time it takes to get from where it is harvested to the person consuming it, allowing the produce to maintain more nutritional value!
By supporting local farms, jobs can be created within the community.
Shopping locally keeps money in Hartford instead of giving it to large supermarket chains. Shopping locally helps individuals in the community make a living.
“Nearly 32 jobs are created for every $1 million in revenue generated by produce farms.”
Farmer’s Markets are a great place to listen to music, see other members of the community, and bring children to play.
Cooking together with family and friends can provide a sense of community.
Five different farmers’ markets in Hartford offer SNAP benefits and double their value when purchasing produce.