How many of us buy honey off the grocery store shelves without looking at the label to see where it comes from? How many of us grab a carton of eggs without a second thought as to what kind of factory they came out of? How many of us grab a bag of Washington apples from the grocery store when South Okanagan Apples are available from local growers?
The health of our community, the health of our environment, and the health of our bodies are all intrinsically related to our grocery store bill.
The Health of Our Community
Shop local. Eat Local. Spend local. We all know that when we spend money in our own community our community prospers. When we support local businesses our money stays in our community, more jobs are created and the economic spin offs ripple out in continuous waves. Taking it a step further, when we buy our food from local producers instead of China or California, we are infusing our money into a sustainable system of localized economy. It certainly takes a bit more effort to buy your honey from a bee farmer, your fresh eggs from someone who raises hens, or your Okanagan apples from the orchard, but when you vote with your dollar you become part of the solution to a world spun out of control by globalization and its quest for cheap food. When we get to meet the person producing our food, ask them questions about their processes, and see with our own eyes how our food is grown, we become more entrenched in the incredible value of locally produced food and may even make some friends along the way!
The Health of Our Environment
Whether that honey has been shipped from half way around the world or whether it has been shipped from Alberta there is an ecological price tag we can completely avoid paying if we would only make the effort to seek out and support the farmer that is producing right here in our own community. If we can grow it in and around Oliver then we should buy it here! The environmental impact of shipping our food is staggering. It takes a small but conscious effort to consistently seek out local products and the environment will thank you!
The Health of Our Bodies
It is no secret that food that is consumed soon after it is picked is better for you. The best solution to eating your own food is, of course, to organically grow it yourself in your backyard. What you cannot grow you can trade for or buy from farmers in our community. If you look into the health benefits of a farm fresh egg in comparison to one that was commercially farmed, trucked to a grading facility, and then shipped to your grocery store I doubt you will ever buy a store bought egg again!
Finding Ways to "Really" Shop Local
One of the goals we have with ExploreOliverBC.com is to highlight local farmers and to encourage the growth of the local food movement. We will strive to constantly update our "Focus On The Farmer" section in the blog so that you can not only find all the amazing farmers in our community, but become a champion of community by choosing to support a local economy because....
A sustainable economy is localized!