Why Are Local Foods Better?
Local food is food which is made within a certain small distance from where it’s consumed, frequently with a more organic and sustainable social structure and more responsive supply chain than the big-scale, global supermarket model. This kind of local food is often grown in a place with a limited amount of fresh water or resources, making local food production more dependent on rain, the soil and the weather than on commercial agricultural production. It is produced using local means, not on a global scale, which makes it distinct and more local than food bought in a box at the supermarket. By its very nature, local food consumption has to be direct, with the producer and consumer directly interacting, and this direct interaction plays a key role in the way it’s cooked and presented.
Small-time rural producers and traders can’t afford to have mass production processes, let alone the sophisticated machinery needed to produce high volumes of local foods. This is why they tend to use local methods to get to the heart of their food, often by slow, traditional and artisanal methods, which are more productive and less expensive than large scale productions. One example of a traditional method of meat preparation is’slow food’. In this case, the process itself is the source of food, and so is the product produced as a result – this is a key point in local food production, as well as being an essential way of preserving it. Slow food hubs spring up around various regions of the world, bringing together producers who use traditional ways to feed their communities.
Many of these farms are part of communally-owned cooperatives, and so the farmers get their products directly from the local food hub, without having to pass them through corporate hands first. By cultivating their own gardens and farming their own lands, they are able to control the quality and variety of their foods. They are also able to raise animals on their land, and so control the diet of the animals that they raise. Indeed, some farmers in many local food choices are also organic – a further example of sustainable farming. Indeed, in many cases, farmers involved in local food choices tend to be strong supporters of sustainable farming methods, and thus are actually trying to make things better for both themselves and for the local environment.