The benefits of eating locally grown food

The benefits of eating locally grown food


People the world over are beginning to realise the planet-saving benefits that eating local can bring, in a big way. Huge issues like climate breakdown, food miles and animal welfare are now firmly on the political and societal agenda. Globalised convenience is being rejected in favour of eating locally grown, seasonal produce. It may cost a little more, but the satisfaction lies in knowing that your money is going to smaller, independent producers, that your food hasn’t racked up a carbon footprint to reach your plate and that it’s probably better for you too.

Let’s look at some statistics – even way back in 2011, a study concluded that at least two thirds of people consider buying British produce important and nearly three quarters look to buy British fruit and vegetables. Fast forward to 2017, and a combined total of 75% either ‘very frequently’ or ‘occasionally’ buy locally sourced food. The movement is growing, and it shows no signs of slowing.

But what are the benefits of eating locally grown food? Why is it important? And how does this relate to our honey?

Saving the environment

Take a cursory stroll through the fruit and veg aisles at your local supermarket and you’ll be presented with blueberries from Argentina, rocket from Italy and sweet potatoes from Morocco. That’s a lot of miles right there – plus the food will often have been flown into the UK. Eating locally grown food helps to reduce the amount of fuel-intensive transportation required to simply feed you.

Our British produced, pure honey is made by bees that pollinate the flowers and crops of these fair isles. Every jar sold helps to provide a fertile ground for British crops to flourish. It also saves our precious honeybees, an essential part of not only the environment but also the very food chain itself. So ditch that New Zealand Manuka honey that’s had to travel across the planet to reach you and add local honey to your local food shop.

Investing in your local community

Surely it’s better to give your hard earned cash to an independent, local producer, providing jobs for the local community with high standards of ethics and welfare, than to a somewhat faceless conglomerate that values efficiency over quality? Buying local helps to keep money in the local economy, creating more jobs, helping businesses to invest more in quality and most importantly, to continue to flourish in the face of stiff globalised competition.

Helping to keep local food businesses going in this way is so important. It’s an investment in ours and our children’s future, as climate-protecting legislation means we must reduce our reliance on fossil fuels to produce, package and transport our food.

Eating seasonally

Local farmers can only grow what’s in season. Luckily, the British growing season aligns nicely with our health and wellbeing. Leafy greens including kale, spinach and sorrel that are abundant in the Spring help our bodies detox after those heavy, carb-laden foods of the Winter. In Summer, berries, watermelons and cucumbers keep us hydrated.

Better quality

Food that has had to travel thousands of miles to reach you will not be at its freshest. It will most likely have been frozen or refrigerated to extreme temperatures, negatively impacting the flavour of the food. Other afflictions such as moisture and nutrient loss, not to mention excessive use of preserving chemicals, are issues over the travelling period too.

Local food that you find at a farmer’s market or local farm shop will have been picked a matter of days earlier. Smaller producers tend to rely less on artificial pesticides and promote organic farming methods, which is better for both you and the environment. Being under less pressure to mass produce food, instead focusing on feeding the surrounding area, producers are driven by quality over profit.

And most importantly, all of this means that local food simply tastes better!

Helping local farmers invest in training and education

It’s in local producers’ interest to invest back into their businesses from an education and training perspective. Not only does it help to build interest in the local food scene, but it also provides the skills and enthusiasm required for people to start their own food business, thus safeguarding local food now and in the future.

Here at Local Honey Man it’s massively important to us that we preserve the art of beekeeping for future generations, so we run regular beekeeping experiences to arm people with the knowledge to do it themselves. Every jar of honey sold, or training course undertaken, helps us to promote the importance of honeybee conservation as well as continue to support British beekeepers and crops.

It’s a win-win situation, whichever way you look at it.

Ready to get started on your local food journey for life? Head on over to the links in the menu at the top of this page to explore how we are helping safeguard the local British food community.