For too long, too many have lost touch with the knowledge of where their food comes from. There are kids walking around still who think tomatoes grow underground and that carrots come from the grocery store instead of the garden. And there is no question that locally grown food gets to you faster, fresher and packed with nutrients that just taste better.
When we buy produce that’s delivered from across the country, or maybe even from the other side of the globe, it takes time, sometimes weeks, before it arrives in our kitchens. Buying local gives us the chance to get our fresh produce at its peak, practically out of the ground and with the best imaginable flavor. It only makes sense to buy locally to get fresher food. But that’s not where the benefits end.
When we buy from our local farmers and growers, we are also supporting our local economy by keeping our dollars working in our local communities. Subsidized farming in America is shit and the growers would be better off on welfare! But without these local producers the monitary impact would be huge! Not just localy , but on a national scale. The economic footprint is huge and allows real progress to take place. Our local growers grow … and they hire people, advertise, go out to dinner and buy more supplies to keep growing.
Even better, when you buy local, you start to meet the people that grow the food, usually at the farmers markets, and food becomes personal again. Not only are we getting ingredients that are fresher and better tasting, connecting with more people in our local communities and making a positive impact on the local economy, we actually have an opportunity to learn where our food comes from and who is growing it. Lots of the farms offer tours and make it even easier to know where your food comes from.
San Antonio is at the heart of this movement, surrounded by farms that grow everything from olives and grapes to arugula and kale. We have beekeepers and soap makers. We have great meats, cattle, lamb, pork and chicken, raised humanely, fed well, and close by. Our growers use organic methods, too, increasing the health benefits exponentially. And they bring their goods to market practically out of the ground almost every day of the week, with more and more farmers markets finding a place in our city.
San Antonio chefs understand how important buying local is at every level and integrating locally grown ingredients whenever possible. I’m now participating with a group of chefs in San Antonio (chefcooperatives.com) who are working to support our local growers with a series of dinners. The idea is that we can‘t do what we do without their fresh, GMO-free, organic products, so the dinners, which are truly Farm-to-Fork, will allow us to raise money to help the growers bridge the gap and keep growing great produce and their businesses.
Keep the cycle going – support your local farmers and ranchers, eat local, buy local, and I’ll bet all those New Year’s resolutions to get healthy won’t be so tough at all.