1. It's easier than you think. Farmers markets are abundant, especially from April to November. Visit Local Harvest to find a farmer's market near you.
2. Reduce the distance from farm to plate. 10-13% of the total energy used in the U.S. is for transporting food. Much of what we buy in the grocery store travels 1500-2500 miles before it reaches your plate. Buying locally can help to reduce your carbon footprint.
3. Get the freshest available. Local produce is usually picked within 24 hours of being purchased by the consumer. Nutritional value decreases the longer time passes from the harvest.
4. It tastes better. Locally produced fruits and vegetables are not prematurely harvested-- they don't need to survive a long cross-country trip.
5. Support responsible land development. In the U.S. we lose two acres of farmland every minute. Most of the land that farmers grow crops and raise livestock on is threatened by sprawling development.
6. Support independent farming. Small, local farms are stewards of the land, not industrial, mega-commodity farms.
7. Provide farmers with a living wage. Your food dollars go directly into the pockets of farmers and producers.
8. Support the local economy. Buying locally supports the local economy. Local farmers and producers create and save local jobs.
9. Know where your food comes from. When you shop at a farmer's market, you can ask important questions about how your food was grown and how it was transported to market.
10. Preserve biodiversity. Local farmers markets often have heirloom varieties of fruits, vegetables, and livestock.