Kelly Flannery, Nutrition Intern, The Open Door
You may have heard the term “eating local,” but what does it mean and why is it beneficial? Eating local means that the food
you’re eating was grown, raised or produced relatively close to where you buy it.
The Open Door is a hunger relief organization serving 10 cities and towns in the greater Cape Ann area. Our mission is to alleviate the impact of hunger in our community. We enter the “eating local” realm by providing almost 8,000 unique clients with more than 1.65 million meals every year from the Greater Boston Food Bank and more than 50 different local farms, local fishermen and numerous organizations in Essex and Middlesex counties. In 2018, we distributed 1.98 million pounds of food with fresh produce making up 34% or 673,181 pounds of produce!
Some benefits of eating local are:
- More flavor. Local food doesn’t have to travel thousands of miles to reach your grocery store. The local produce is picked at peak ripeness and sold to you within hours or days.
- Supports your local economy. Farmers and food processors in your community benefit from your business and can put that money into their farms to continue providing food for everyone.
- Benefits the environment. Less transportation is needed to get products to farmers markets and grocery stores. It also preserves farmland and green space in the community.
- Community engagement. Shopping at a farmers market allows you to build relationships with the farmers and learn what practices were used to raise the crops or livestock.
So, when possible try to eat local!