I received a wonderful article recently on the benefits of eating locally from Trish Strawn at Growing Synergy, LLC and felt like it should be published for everyone to enjoy.
Around Charlotte the 7th Street Public Market is a wonderful place to visit! I recently visited there after my previous article in 2012 and enjoyed Orrman's Cheese Shop, Salts of the Earth and a whole bunch of others. Part of the market includes a fresh farm section including organic favorites. I enjoy a Grilled Cheddar, Gouda, Pickles and Mustard on Sourdough sandwich. Baby Chef Rania had a Grilled Appalachian with Shallot Confit on Whole Wheat and Chef Stormy decided to order up a Gouda with Preserved Walnuts and Shallot Confit on Sourdough. I combined mine with a Ginger Beer, WOW! Orrman's is supported by Meadow Creek Dairy, Big Spoon Roasters, Copper Pot and Wooden Spoon, Bosky Acres, Emily G's, Lusty Monk, Sweetwater Valley, Quince and Apple and McClure's. You can find them at the market or on Twitter @orrmanscheese and on Facebook @facebook.com/orrmanscheese 224 East 7th Street, Charlotte, NC. Salts of the Earth had a terrific "Millionaire's Salt" among hundreds of salts to choose from. They also demonstrated their many products during the terrific show and visit by Chef Sam Morgante at The Presidential Service Center and Presidential Culinary Museum last month (the author of this article has a financial interest in both locations).
On the Western side of Charlotte is the massive (official) Farmer's Market and various others are continuing to open up. Kings Mountain, NC recently joined in the fun and opened up a Saturday morning Foothills Farmer's Market with the help of Margot Dye Plonk at 218 Railroad Ave, Kings Mountain, North Carolina 28086. She is a local teacher in Cleveland County. And speaking of teaching and teachers, take a look at today's video of what kids can do when taught how to farm! The Kings Mountain, NC Foothills Farmers' Market is open from 8 to 12 each Saturday and Jason Rhodes can always be found there. He has one of the most successful farms I know of at Rhodesdale Farm that he recently opened up a Rhodesdale Farm retail store to sell from also. Be sure to stop in at 1811 Shelby Road, Kings Mountain, North Carolina 28086.
Sincerely, Chef Marti
Here's what Trish had to say: Eating Local provides a multitude of benefits including personal health, community health and environmental wellness. These benefits are passed onto the people consuming the food as well as the farmers providing the food. Further, Eating Local also means eating seasonally, just as Mother Nature intended. By choosing to eat with the seasons, the products are abundant in taste, freshness and nutrition as well as being less expensive.
Choosing to Eat Local supports our local economies. When you purchase products grown by local farmers, local distributors, or at local farmers markets your dollars stay within your community and strengthen the local economy. A dollar spent locally generates twice as much income for the local economy. When businesses are both owned and supported locally, money stays in the community with which creates a strong infrastructure. When you buy local, you give farms and pastures an economic reason to stay in balance with development and growth while preserving open spaces.
Locally grown products such as meat and eggs are fresher, therefore containing a higher nutrient value. Often, the produce has been harvested within 24 hours of purchase, including the collection of eggs. Another advantage is yours when you can actually pick the product yourself. It is important to note that the producers usually harvest based on the demand for their product.
Eating locally grown food is better for your health. Small farms tend to be less aggressive than large factory farms about dousing their wares with chemicals. Further, small farms are also more likely to grow more variety, says CNAD, protecting biodiversity and preserving a wider agricultural gene pool, an important factor in long-term food security.
Eating locally grown food helps in the fight against global warming. The average fresh food item on our dinner table travels 1,500 miles to get there. Buying locally produced food eliminates the environmental issues associated with cargo and transportation.
Locally grown food simply tastes better. Small local farmers usually do not have any preservatives added because their products do not have to be transported and stored for long periods of time. John Ikerd, who writes about the growing “Eat Local” movement, states that farmers who sell direct to local consumers need not give priority to packing, shipping and shelf-life issues and can instead “select, grow and harvest crops to ensure peak qualities of freshness, nutrition and taste.”
i New Economics Foundation in London.
ii Center for a New American Dream (CNAD)
iii Rich Pirog, Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture
iv John Ikerd, a retired agricultural economics professor