Why we switched to buying local (and never switching back)
It took the world a pandemic to realize that buying local is probably better for them.
Decades back, our forefathers knew in which farm their potatoes were plucked, who cultivated the rice they eat, and the breed of chicken they eat eggs of. Fast forward to today, sitting on a couch in Germany, we are munching on bananas from Ecuador, probably harvested a month back, who traveled 10 days in a cargo ship and waited 7 days before being picked up. But novelty is fun! Exotic is fun too.
Until it isn’t.
When globalization started, we didn’t know our carbon footprint was going to push the climate crisis to the brink. Goods were cheap or just as expensive as local, ads promised freshness and quality, and let’s admit it, it sounded nice to say your apples came from a village in the Himalayas. But as our technology grows, we are now equipped with data on just how expensive our thirst for global products is to the environment, we now know better.
The interesting fact we came to know is that a dollar spent at local businesses, about $0.80 stays in the community. But there is more than just balance sheets to buying local.
Let’s dive into the pool of perks that could be acquired by shopping local.
1. A Less-Waste Choice
Buying Local is a sustainable option since most of the products manufactured or grown locals do not need to be packaged robustly. A trip to the farmers market can show you that your supermarket has uptop 90% more plastic packaging than the food sold in stalls. And guess where all that waste goes when you are done using the packaging? In your own city, polluting your waterways and soil.
2. Low Carbon Footprint
An item, however superior quality and recommended that be, still journeys via trucks, then flights/ships, then trucks, cooling warehouses, and then trucks again before it reaches you. The carbon footprint of this product is way higher than a locally produced food that came directly from farm to table. Even for non-perishable items, a similar process applies.
3. Boost to Local Economy
Buying local increases the economic condition by circulating your money spent on a purchase. When you buy local, it increases the job opportunities for your friends, neighbors, and community people, who are then able to afford your own services better. It is the driving idea behind circular economies.
4. A nutritious choice
We are happy to pay a premium to buy organic, bio-certified produce. Rightfully so, with the end intention of receiving maximum nutrition in each bite. But when the food travels from far, several factors may affect its nutritional value.
Don’t take just our word for it.
Here is a beautiful excerpt from Diane M. Barrett’s work, Maximizing the Nutritional Value of Fruits & Vegetables, that explains it better...
“Most fruits and vegetables are composed of 70–90% water and once separated from their source of nutrients (tree, plant, or vine) undergo higher rates of respiration, resulting in moisture loss, quality and nutrient degradation, and potential microbial spoilage. Fresh fruits and vegetables may not be consumed for a significant length of time following harvest, during which time, nutrient degradation may occur. In some instances, fruits and vegetables may be harvested immature to reduce mechanical damage during harvesting and transportation, and they may fail to reach nutritional maturity.
5. Relationships & Loyalty
When you get products from local shops more often, you make a relationship with them, which only grows over time. This makes your shopping & consumption less mechanical & more joyful. You know your praise & feedback is going to the right person, and you can always expect a direct impact from it.
Facing a pandemic has only accelerated the shift from global to local produce, a lack of imported goods just highlighted how dependent we actually are on local manufacturers. But they are dependent on us even when the world is back on its feet again. Buying local is not a favor to them, being able to buy local is a privilege.
And an opportunity to create a symbiotic relationship with the land you live on.
All points here are our personal opinions. Everyone is free to choose what suits their lifestyle & budget permits. Fyppit is trying its best to make sure local businesses in Berlin can offer customers the same convenience of at-home delivery as any bigger chains, via offering pick up & drop service, as well as farmers market mix boxes. If you would like to share your journey & how we can help you switch to local goods, send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org