Locally-sourced food is noticeably fresher! Produce can be picked closer to ripeness instead of being artificially or chemically ripened, and its longevity is increased due to a much smaller proximity from farm to kitchen. All of these factors amount to better quality food.
With better quality comes better tasting food. With the emergence of Farm-to-Table endeavors in restaurants, consumers can clearly taste the difference, and have come to appreciate local food across all of their food sources.
Local food promotes much more sustainable practices across the value chain. With shorter distances for the food to travel, far less greenhouse gas emissions make their way into the atmosphere. Fewer preservative measures like temperature controlled vehicles or chemicals are needed when sourcing locally. Local farms are also far more likely to have a diverse crop offering, which is much better for the soil and environment than “mono-cropping” or growing a very large amount of just one crop.
Purchasing local food keeps money in the local and regional community for longer, which circulates and has a compounding factor. This supports jobs, infrastructure, and contributes to the longevity of local and regional economic vitality.
Oftentimes schools, hospitals, and universities have goals related to the amount of local food they would like to purchase. For all of the aforementioned reasons and more, it is a priority for many institutions in a position of purchasing large amounts of local food to provide it to their stakeholders.