What is Buying Local?
Buying local means looking at and purchasing food grown in our immediate community - then state, region, and country. For some parts of the year or for some products that thrive in the local climate, it may be possible to buy closer to home. At other times, or for less common products, an expanded reach may be required.
Why Buy Local?
Most produce in the US is picked 4 to 7 days before being placed on supermarket shelves, and is shipped for an average of 1500 miles before being sold. And this is when taking into account only US grown products. Through buying locally grown and produced products, we can cut down on “food miles.” Food miles means the distance a food item travels from the farm to your home. The food miles for items you buy in the grocery store tend to be 27 times higher than the food miles for goods bought from local sources. In addition to reducing the fuel, fuel emissions and and transportation time for that product, by buying local we also reduce unnecessary packaging as there is less need for added preservatives. Finally, we can help reduce processing, for a more fresh and healthy product!
Why it is important to eat local foods:
"When we purchase foods we have a choice. Choosing to buy local agricultural products is good for everyone. Not only are we getting the freshest, safest and often the most sustainably and environmentally produced foods possible, we are supporting a local network of Oklahoma growers and farms - our neighbors, our community."
Former Associate Professor and
Department Head of Horticulture
at Oklahoma State University