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locally grown food
Local food tastes better. There are many reasons to buy local, but the best reason is flavor. Food that doesn't travel as far is fresher.
Small local farms are more likely to use sustainable farming practices and to grow a wider variety of crops. The heirloom seeds that your neighboring farmer grows will remind you what tomatoes (or green beans, potatoes, peppers, etc) used to taste like. They will also remind you that there is more than one kind of each, as local farms grow vegetables that are unique and inspirational to cook with.
The benefits of buying local produce
Supporting restaurants that support the local farming community makes sense on the most basic level. You can feel good about yourself while enjoying a tasty meal. Here are some of the benefits:
- The food is delicious.
- Locally-grown food obviously does not cause as much pollution due to less travel time.
- Keeping family farms alive keeps rural landscape alive, supporting less sprawl.
- Spending your money where you live keeps your community thriving.
- As a tourist looking for local flavor makes your visit more authentic. Folks don't travel to Italy looking for a good burrito. If you come to our town taste what we grow.
- Asheville is particularly blessed with a booming community of small farms and food producers. Try our mountain trout, our goat cheeses, our farmstead cheeses, our beef, our lamb, our jams and pickles and our seasonal produce.
- And if all of this is not reason enough, think of the health and safety of you and your family. Small, local farms are less likely to use hormones and more likely to raise grass fed or free-range animals, and organically-grown vegetables.
- If you know your farmer you know where to ask questions; the shorter the route from the farm to your table (at home or in a restaurant), the more knowledge you have at hand and the more flavor you have on your plate.
Article by Julie Stehling of Early Girl Eatery, an Asheville restaurant that serves dishes made from scratch with ingredients from local farmers.