The term “local” or “regional” food system is used to describe a system that is geographically localized, rather than national and/or international. Food is produced (grown/raised and harvested) close to consumers’ homes, then distributed over much shorter distances than is common in the conventional industrial food system. In general, local/regional food systems are associated with sustainable agriculture, while the global industrial food system is reliant upon industrial agriculture.
We, as individuals and organizations, can enhance our local and regional economy, improve food and environmental quality, and foster community food security by buying food from local and regional farms and producers.
Consumers can encourage farmers in their area to practice excellent environmental stewardship by becoming knowledgeable about diverse farming approaches—from conventional to organic, biodynamic, and permaculture. We can encourage development of farm systems that protect our land and water—improving topsoil and groundwater quality, enhancing biodiversity, and creating healthy soils. We can ensure more food to be grown without using synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, growth hormones, and growth regulators. We can lower the impacts—to energy use, climate change, and air quality—of transporting food over long distances.
By knowing our food and knowing our farmers, we can improve livelihoods and quality of life for farmers and farm workers who grow the food in our communities. We can enjoy fresher and healthier foods when we buy them directly from a farmers market or CSA, a buyers club or a produce stand, while farmers earn a greater share of the dollars spent.
We must all work to conserve land for growing food in and around our population centers over the long term, providing farmers with job security and retirement income without having to sell their land.
(SOURCE: Angelic Organics Learning Center).