With the holidays nearly upon us, many parents are starting to draw up menus and shopping lists to make sure they get all their favorite holiday foods before the Christmas rush begins in earnest.
Crazy mid-December shopping trips are just as much a part of the holiday tradition as the big day itself, and while many things are different this Christmas, the desire to find the perfect ingredients for your holiday feast and the perfect gifts for the loved ones in your life is the same as it’s always been.
But this year more than ever, it’s worth taking some time to reflect on the importance of shopping local. With many small shops, producers, and farms struggling against the unprecedented economic challenges that have been precipitated by the coronavirus pandemic, ordinary people can do a lot to support their communities by choosing to spend close to home.
To that end, here are three reasons why you should make shopping local as much a priority for your holiday groceries as it is for the rest of your gifts.
1. It’s Been a Hard Year for American Farmers
Even before the coronavirus pandemic hit, it was shaping up to be a tough year for farmers. Lockdown measures only exacerbated the situation further by causing restaurants to close, thereby jeopardizing an income stream that agricultural operators have long relied on.
Choosing to order local food products and alcohol both as gifts and for your own celebration provides a much-needed economic boost at a time when it can make a big difference for farming families.
2. Buying Online Helps You Connect Directly with Producers
The modern food system is particularly sensitive to shocks because there are so many steps between the farmer and the consumer. Supermarkets rely on extensive and at times labyrinthine logistics networks, and when there is a sudden drop or shift in demand, it’s the farmers who are usually left holding the bag.
The good news is that when you buy meat online through a delivery service like truLOCAL that sources products from local producers, you are able to connect directly with the farmer raising your beef or the fishery workers catching your salmon.
3. Shopping Local Puts Good Food on the Table
The best part about shopping local is that it is also a great way to get really good food. Whether you’re supporting a CSA or buying grass-fed beef from a ranch in your region, the product you get is going to be fresher, tastier, and healthier. This, in turn, guarantees that your favorite holiday dishes taste better than ever.
When you put on a Christmas celebration that features hearty food straight from local farms, you’re sharing the holiday spirit in a truly meaningful way. By supporting local farmers during a particularly difficult time, you ensure that good local food will always be available, and your table always filled with the best vegetables and meats.