What is “local food”?
Local food is a concept that helps people to think about how they are spending their food dollars and what impact those decisions have on the community.
A Peterborough survey of more than 500 people found the most popular definition of local food was “grown in my region”. You might also think of it as “buying as locally as you can”.
We can grow many things in our area. If you ate only foods grown or raised in our region, you would have everything you need to be healthy. But…we have a shorter growing season than some other parts of the province. For example, Niagara has excellent conditions for growing tender fruits such as peaches, but we do not.
Why buy local?
- It builds local businesses: Local business owners, including farmers, live here. They use profits to buy things from other local businesses, which grows existing businesses and encourages entrepreneurs (including new farmers!) to successfully start new businesses.
- It creates new jobs: If you build local businesses, you create new jobs
- It reduces food miles: Buying local reduces the distance products have to be transported. Transportation is one of the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
- It increases community food security: The stronger we make our local food system, the more assurance we have that our food supply will be maintained in a crisis such as the Covid-19 pandemic.