What is “Local” Food?
There are different ways of defining “local” food. Many people and organizations consider local food to be food that is produced or harvested in their community, such as the food grown right here in Leeds, Grenville and Lanark. Others, like Ontario’s Local Food Act consider local food to be any food that is grown or produced in Ontario. Finally, certain groups might say that local food can be any food that originates from anywhere in Canada. Depending on where you buy food, “local” food might be defined differently. When you’re buying food, be sure to ask the store, market or famer what they consider to be local to find out just how local the food is.
Why Buy Local?
Buying local food is beneficial for a number of different reasons. When you buy food, like fruit and vegetables that are grown close to home they are fresher and tastier. This is because they are in-season and haven’t been transported over a large distance, which also helps reduce the environmental impact of food production. Buying local helps to support your local community, and it helps to create jobs and support economic growth in Ontario. And, of course, eating lots of vegetables and fruit is nutritious and helps contribute to a healthier lifestyle.
For more information, visit our website at healthunit.org, connect with us on Facebook and on Twitter, or call the Health Action Line at 1-800-660-5853.
Submitted by: Dana Hawthorne RD, Registered Dietitian/Public Health Nutritionist; Leeds, Grenville and Lanark District Health Unit