It’s a fact - buying local helps support your community and the state you love. And while recovering from recent times, that’s more important to all of us than ever. After all, there’s so much power in sticking together, right?
But, besides supporting your community, what is another benefit of buying local? We’re so glad you asked! In this blog, we’ll show you why local products are also recognized as being extra fresh. From seasonality to travel time, there are a few different things that go into the correlation between local and freshness.
So, let’s not waste any time. Let’s dive into the details!
Buying Local & Seasonality
As you probably know, local produce is grown during certain times of the year (aka seasons). That’s why it’s called “in season” when produce is ready to be harvested and sent to stores.
In the spring, be on the lookout for produce items like berries and asparagus. In the summer, corn, peaches and watermelon should make an appearance. Autumn is apple and pear season, and winter is the perfect time for squash. Want more information about seasonal produce? Check out Our Guide for Eating in Season infographic!
But, what does seasonality have to do with freshness? The seasonal local produce you’ll find in stores is grown in your state versus another area in the nation or world where that produce item can be grown year-round. And closeness equals freshness.
However, thanks to consistently warm regions like southern California, we get to enjoy things like strawberries year-round. Thank goodness for that, right?
Know Your Food’s Story
By buying local, you’re supporting your neighbors and the brands you know and love. These farmers may have kids that go to the same school as yours or you may share a zip code. But no matter what, there’s at least one thing that connects you - you share the same state pride.
So, when you shop for their local products, you know exactly where it came from. It may be from a small town that only people from your state would have heard of, or it could be from a few miles down the road. Either way, you know that you’re supporting your state when you buy local. And like we said above, closeness affects freshness. In the next section, we’ll explore exactly why that is.
Distance from Farm to Store
As you know, local products are grown and made in your state. That means the distance from the farm or manufacturer to your neighborhood Food Lion is shorter, thus less time between harvesting or production and being placed on the shelf. And that makes those items even fresher. Yum!
Local Flavors & Recipes
Leaning about how fresh local produce and other items are has probably got you thinking about how to incorporate something local into your next dish, right? That’s why we’ve pulled together a couple of recipe ideas all made with local flavors within our 10-state footprint!
Black Walnut Apple Cake
This traditional West Virginia recipe is the perfect way to incorporate local apples into a sweet, indulgent dish you and your family will love. Use your favorite apple variety - whether it’s Red Delicious, Granny Smith or Gala - as well as walnuts, cinnamon, flour and other cake baking essentials. You’ll also need powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract and milk for the sweet glaze. Get the full list of ingredients and directions here!
Tip: Buy a box of spice cake mix from your local Food Lion and just add apples, walnuts, eggs, water and oil to make mixing up your cake even easier!
Georgia Cracker Salad
No need to question which state this recipe originated from! This southern salad is savory and creamy with a little crunch. It’s also quick and easy to make, taking a total of 15 minutes or less to craft. For this recipe, you’ll need:
- Green onions
- Local tomato (if available)
Once you’ve prepped all of your ingredients, simply stir together and serve. That’s all there is to it!