Did you know that when you eat locally grown produce, you’re making a choice to do something that’s better for you and your family, but that also benefits your community and the environment?
Well, it’s true. Not only do you prevent the negative consequences that come from shipping, trucking and flying produce long distances, but you also boost the health, economic and cultural vitality of your community in ways you might not have thought about.
Here are some ways, both direct and indirect, that buying and growing locally (like Pindfresh does use hydroponics) benefits everyone.
Local means more genetic diversity.
Modern large-scale farming favors plant varieties that produce high yields, can withstand packing, shipping, and storage, and ripen uniformly for efficient harvesting. Over time, this has narrowed the options available to both consumers and farmers, which is why you see the same type of broccoli, the same three varieties of lettuce, and the same two varieties of nectarines wherever you go. Local farmers do just the opposite; they seek out heirloom and other specialty varieties in a rainbow of hues and distinct flavors, extending their growing season with varying times to harvest. With Pindfresh you can do the same by trying out different varieties of vegetables at various times.
Local means better flavor.
Along with this diversity comes a direct benefit to you, the consumer: a completely different eating experience. Compare a salad made with tender baby lettuces and arugula or a bowl of strawberries picked at peak ripeness to the usual supermarket offerings and you’ll never go back.
Local teaches kids to eat healthier.
There’s no question that a platter of ripe purple, yellow, red and maybe even green tomatoes look more appetizing than the pale, mealy and beefcake tomatoes of yore – and of course, they taste way better, too. When kids grow up with access to delicious, full-flavored fruits and vegetables, they learn to eat healthier, a habit that will stay with them all their lives. At Pindfresh, we encourage children to be a part of the growing process too so they feel more motivated to eat healthily. We actively participate in school programmes and get children to grow their own food.
Local is supporting your community.
When you buy from a local producer, you’re participating in a time-honored transaction that supports your local economy at every level. Local farms provide jobs, and by cutting out the middleman you ensure that most of what you pay goes to those that grew the food. With an increase in local farmers’ markets, people feel more incentivized to meet the grower directly, learn more about their food as well as contribute to the community. Pindfresh also encourages community growing with capitalizing on the space available in building societies to meet their in-house food requirements and helping sell the excess food.
Local increases food security.
Our food system is concentrated to large farms in rural areas, which ship to their customers (an average of 1300 miles!). This means that access to food in cities is dependent on a reliable supply chain across the country. Cities can increase their food security by supporting local farms closer to home.
By growing locally, like Pindfresh, you’re helping ensure that farms remain in your home and community, even as the population grows and development spreads.
Local is more nutritious.
Fruits and vegetables begin to lose their nutrient content as soon as they are picked. Spinach, for example, can lose 90 percent of its vitamin C within 24 hours of harvest, peas lose 55 percent, and other vegetables lose anywhere between 15 and 55 percent. The same degradation occurs with B vitamins, phytochemicals and other valuable nutrients and compounds; researchers use vitamin C as a marker because it’s easy to measure. Eating local is the only way of ensuring that the produce you put on the table is as nutritious as it can be.
Local leads to less waste.
By some estimates, half of all the produce grown in the world ends up in the garbage. One recent report from the Potsdam Institute put current food waste at 1.3 billion tons a year and called that a conservative estimate.
And when it comes to agriculture, waste leads to more waste; the U.N. recently estimated that almost a quarter of all of our freshwater water use goes to grow food that was then wasted. Buying local is key to ending this waste, because most of the losses occur “upstream,” with produce rotting before it reaches the stores. The more you shorten the distance between farm and table, the less waste.
Local contributes to cleaner air.
All those trucks, ships, and plane cargo holds filled with produce come at a high environmental cost, polluting the air, sucking up gas, and contributing significantly to climate change. In the U.S. alone, food trucking contributes 12.5 percent of total emissions, according to government data.
Local is safer.
The longer food is stored, the greater the risk it will rot or become contaminated. That’s why so many fruits and vegetables are treated with fungicides, disinfectants, gas, fumigants, coatings, and other chemicals. Buy or grow local and you won’t have to worry about what’s been done to your food in the name of preservation. With Pindfresh, you can grow hydroponically and hence there are no sprays, pesticides, fungicides etc.
Local brings people together.
Food is an important part of our lives. Not only is it important for our sustenance but also helps people bond and forge relationships. There’s something very satisfying about buying herbs, greens, fruits, and vegetables that were grown right in front of you or by people who are part of your community. By constructing indoor vertical farms in cities and suburbs that don’t have access to open fields, Pindfresh helps bring together a community of conscious buyers and local growers.