Why support local?

February 17th, 2011

Whenever we shop for price alone and buy goods that are not produced locally, despite their availability, something has to give. We affect our local economy, slowly eroding jobs in and around our own communities. Our automobile sector is a prime example of lost jobs, security and pensions and the same is happening within our food industry. Imported foods are causing job losses in Canada, affecting local farmers, producers and meat packers. This indirectly is affecting you and narrowing your food choices.

We need to keep our local food sources viable for the future. Keeping our hard-earned dollars within our country is the sensible thing to do, and creating awareness is just the beginning.

You and I can do our part to encourage big grocery stores to buy and support local producers by continuing to request more local foods be available at their locations. We are seeing a few major grocery stores offering and supporting local, but by far not enough. If you read the labels, you will still find that a lot of foods, even when in season here, are imported from outside Canada. Why is that?

Partially because we, the consumers, have all been too busy to notice. For the most part, our food is being bought for price and not for value. And without concern for where it originates. Even when in-season local foods are available, they are up against less expensive imported foods. This definitely affects local farmers and sometimes, and maybe more often than we think, leaves them at a loss. Eventually they may end up deciding to change careers and no longer choose to be there for us. Often this may happen, not by choice. Our demand for everything all year long helps create this kind of environment.

We can protect our communities, farmers and producers, simply by eating local, keeping an eye on seasonal foods, and choosing to cook using them when in season. Eating imported foods once in a while may help us see how fortunate we are, and that there is a solid reason to not take our food for granted. Love your local food and where it comes from.