‘Locally grown’ is one of those terms that is bandied around like ‘organic’ without any real explanation of why this is better – for us, for the community and for the environment.
If there is a shortage of crops in a given area, food will have to travel. Here’s why this is not ideal:
1. Locally grown food tastes better. If your food has been grown locally, it is far fresher than if it has travelled 10 hours in the back of a truck, which will have lost some of its flavor by the time it reaches your plate. Sugars become starches, plant cells diminish and produce loses its vitality.
2. Locally grown food is more nutritious. Once produce is harvested, its nutrient levels go into freefall. Because local food is grown close-by and therefore reaches you far quicker, it packs a punch for your health levels.
3. Locally grown food supports local farmers, and means you are investing in your local community and local growers. It also cuts out the middle man meaning the farmer gets the full retail price, and can stay open for business!
4. Local food connects us to the food we eat. Increasingly worldwide, people buy their fruit and vegetables in a supermarket and have little understanding of how agriculture works or where their food came from. If you don’t know where it came from then you have no idea what chemical agents or hormones were used in its production.
5. Local food promotes crop diversity. In much of the modern agricultural industry, fruits and vegetables that can withstand packing and travelling are the ones most widely available. By choosing locally grown food you will find more access to more varied produce, and play a part in keeping certain crops genetically active.
6. Local food uses less packaging. Only applying to pre-packed supermarket stock, the absence of plastic wrappers is far more environmentally friendly.
7. Local food is important for our future. Many small farms are being driven out of business. By supporting local farms and keeping them afloat now, our future generations will never want for fresh, flavorful and abundant food.
One day we would like to see aquaponics farms all over India. Even small ‘backyard’ aquaponics systems grow so much produce that it is far too much for one family to eat, and is best sold to your local community. Local food all around!
Aquaponics in India will soon be offering consultancy services. Please get in touch for more information.