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Did you know that being a lovacore is good for both our health and the environment. But what is a locavore?  I first heard the term on a podcast. A loca-huh? I was instantly intrigued and wanted to know more.

A locavore, or sometimes also called a localvore, is defined as “someone who chooses to eat food grown locally.” They make an effort to restrict their food purchasing, from meat to dairy, vegetables, and fruits, to local sources. One of many reasons I love the warmer months includes my frequent trips to the local farmer’s market. Which is what, to my surprise, makes me somewhat of a locavore already.

Many benefits from being a locavore include reducing carbon footprint, helping the environment, and supporting local farmers. But did you know choosing to purchase locally can also improve your health and wellness? You know I am all about that!  I am here to hopefully persuade you to buy foods from local vendors as a way to improve your health and well-being. An added bonus: fresh food always tastes better.

Here are 4 motivating reasons to join the locavore tribe:

1. Local foods have higher nutritional benefit

When you choose foods from a local source, you will likely get them closer to harvest. When the gap from food harvest to food consumption is decreased, the food’s nutritional quality increases. Foods eaten close to harvest will dish out more nutritional benefit. When purchased from a grocery store, food is typically delivered days or weeks past harvest due to packaging and shipping, thus decreasing nutritional quality.

2. It can improve your health

With only fresh foods and limited processed products available at the farmers market, shopping locally will improve your health purely because just healthy, whole foods will fill your kitchen and your belly. One study showed that roughly 2/3 of grocery store purchases are of highly processed foods. It’s much easier to fill your grocery cart up with processed shit when it takes up the majority of the store.

Also, as mentioned above, you will reap more nutritional benefit from buying locally. Local farmers and vendors only sell seasonal foods. Buying and eating fruits and vegetables in season will widen your consumption of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants since each fruit and vegetable contains different phytochemicals.

3. Local foods have less preservatives

For grocery stores to provide buyers with food that has not spoiled, produce is often coated with chemical preservatives to extend the shelf life. I don’t know about you, but the thought of feeding my body unnatural chemicals makes my skin crawl. Buying locally also gives you the opportunity to talk directly to the farmer – merely ask them if their foods have been treated with unwanted preservatives.

4. It will diversify your diet

Typically, only seasonal fruits and vegetables are sold at farmers markets. When limiting your food shopping to farmers markets, you will be able to buy only foods in season, creating a food menu that varies through the year. You may even see foods yo’ve never even heard of before. And who knows – you may discover several new foods that quickly become a family favorite!

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