As Americans we’re used to the comforts of the modern industrial food market. We can get food items from anywhere in the world at almost anytime of the year at any number of large grocery stores in the area. It’s this convenience that we love. But emerging from our love affair with the way things are is the discontent with the system. Everywhere people are looking to “local grown” goods to sustain themselves. “Local” can mean a lot of things to a lot of people but the USDA classifies it as being sold “less than 400 miles” from where it was grown. Typically, farmers in your area produce food items to be sold at local markets, e.g. farmers’ markets.
The buying and selling of such goods supports local producers as well as the local economy. For many, this is the main reason they support local foods. Proponents of this buying practice are known as localvores or locavores. Others choose to shop local because it means not buying from highly “globalized” businesses. Such places are sometimes equated with the poor treatment of animals; lack of accountability as to the quality of the food; the disregard of the environment and so on. Whether any or all of these are accurate of all heavily industrialized food businesses is a different matter entirely. The perception is there and it’s hard to shake off.
Being organically grown tends to go hand-in-hand with the reasons why people buy local foods. This, as well as sustainability. People like to know that their food hasn’t been touched by growth hormones or strange pesticides that larger agricultural businesses are suspected of using. Sustainability as a reason to support local business comes from the view that farmers don’t produce as much waste as the bigger businesses. They use as much as they can as efficiently as they can which lessens the environmental impact of their farming. The host of reasons in favor of buying local definitely puts this trend on the forefront of consumer buying habits today.