Brought to you by the Sustainability Office.
This week is Local Food Week in Ontario – celebrating food that is grown and processed in Ontario. To celebrate, we are diving into why and how you can eat local.
Now more than ever, we are seeing people engage with local food, and for good reason.
There are many benefits to eating local, for both you and your surrounding community!
Buying local is better for the environment.
Because your food doesn’t have to travel as far to get to your plate, there is less pollution and emissions from transporting it, leading to a lower carbon footprint.
Local food tastes better and can be better for you!
When you buy local, food can be picked ripe and sold to you fresh, leaving the food tasting better! Plus, certain foods are susceptible to nutrient loss when harvested and transported from longer distances.
Buying local supports your local economy.
Right now, it’s more important than ever to support local businesses. Choosing locally grown food ensures that more of your money stays in the community to support farmers, their suppliers, and other businesses in the food system.
How can you support local food?
1. Choose local when you’re shopping
When shopping at your local grocery store, market or co-op, look for the Foodland Ontario logo on products and/or signage to identify food that’s grown in Ontario.
2. Shop farmers’ markets and on-farm markets
Visiting farm markets is a wonderful way to eat fresh and support your community. Check out Hamilton’s Farm Map and Directory to search for local farms and farm markets that offer direct sales to customers.
Many farms are offering phone or online sales during the COVID-19 pandemic. Before choosing to visit a farm or market, make sure to call or check ahead online to see if they are open to the public or offering alternative sales methods at this time.
3. Sign up for a CSA or farm box
Several local farms offer weekly boxes of farm fresh food. These are known as “farm boxes” or CSAs, which stands for Community-Supported Agriculture. These can be ordered online or by phone for home delivery or pick-up. Check out this listing of CSA’s in Ontario’s greenbelt region.
4. Eat seasonally
Help support local by changing your eating habits to cook what’s in season.
Here is a list of vegetables that are seasonally available in Ontario.
5. Grow your own
You can’t get any more local than growing your own food!
Thank you for taking the time to learn about supporting local agriculture. While it’s not always possible to choose local, doing so when you can makes a real difference to help our local economy.