Locally sourced food will mean different things to different people. Depending on where you are from will depend on whether you consider ‘local’ to be within your town, region, county or country. Generally speaking locally sourced food originates as close to home as possible.
The cost of food will often be added too if food has to travel a long way to be with you. This is because it has to be more securely packaged, will often have preservatives added to it and will in some cases have the energy costs of keeping it refrigerated attached to it.
The knock on effect of locally sourced food is that delivery times can almost be guaranteed and supply chains are shorter meaning more profit goes directly back to its producer. Many supermarket brands have setup fair trade agreements to ensure as much profit as possible goes back to the international producers of foods we cannot source locally and nationally.
Quality of all food is determined by a number of factors such as growing conditions, but one that is for sure is that if the food has traveled less distance to be with you it is generally fresher than food which has gone half way around the globe.
The shorter the distance your food has traveled the less likely it is to have been contaminated in the process. It is because of the shorter distances that food producers also take on more accountability and must therefore guarantee the safety of their produce in order to protect their local reputation.
In times of economic decline communities often come together to support one another and this can be no more prevalent than in food. With community you make more connections than you would in a supermarket where food is merely but a package on a shelf.
Locally sourced food will have less of a carbon footprint attached to it, which in a world obsessed by organic and ‘green’ produce can only assist in supporting locally sourced food.
With advances in technology many scientists are now exploring how we can grow all types of foods and ingredients, which wouldn’t otherwise be available in our country, vertically and in urban spaces.
Research is now underway to determine the best and most cost-effective ways of achieving this, with the major underlying benefit being the supply of food to remote and uninhabitable places.
Food will always benefit us and our neighbours more if sourced locally and the closer to home it is the more benefit we are all going to see.