Are you looking to expand your horizons the next time that you go out to eat? Do you want to experience more than just the typical chain restaurants around town? If so, then you need to start eating local more often.
Doing so won’t just benefit you, but the community that you live in. It can drive businesses forward, promote chemistry within your city, and generate more pride for the entire town. Not to mention… some really tasty eating along the way!
See below for a list of reasons why you should start to eat local and enjoy the food that your fellow neighbors are cooking up!
1. Fresh Food
It’s no secret that the food industry has become one of the most diluted industries in all of business. Even with all the restrictions and FDA regulations in place, international restaurants still find a way to cut corners.
There’s no better example of that than the way they distribute their food. Chain restaurants are more worried about meeting demand than meeting the nutritional needs of their clientele.
Granted, some companies do all they can to ensure that their food stays as fresh as possible, but even they can’t maintain the level of freshness that’s needed for a delicious meal.
The only way to get a meal that’s as fresh as possible is when it’s locally sourced. Otherwise, the meat, fruits, and vegetables you’re eating might start to expire by the time the food gets to the table.
Eating local is a great way to ensure you’re eating local meals. But be sure to do some research to make sure the local restaurant you’re eating at actually gets their food from local sources.
You can start by looking into farm-to-table restaurants such as Buckingham Farms in Fort Myers or Chez Boat in Naples. These are great examples of local eating done right.
2. The Chance for Niché Eating
There is a restaurant for every niché that you could think of. In fact, there are restaurant chains for any type of food you could imagine. Italian, Mexican, Bar food, you name it!
Even so, you may have noticed that these restaurants never get too adventurous with their menu. While they have many different options, those food options cater to the food people like most.
There’s a reason for that: restaurant chains simply want to appeal to the masses. That way, they can almost ensure you’ll find at least one thing you like when you look at their menu.
For those of you that are more adventurous, you want more of a challenge. You want to find food that is truly one of a kind.
The only way you’ll get that is by eating locally. When you eat local first, you’re introducing yourself to a whole new world of food options.
3. Drives Your Local Economy
These days, distribution makes it possible to transport food and other goods all around the world. While that’s great for the potential of the worldwide economy, it doesn’t come without a price.
We should preface this with one statement: dining out at restaurant chains won’t kill your local economy. Those franchises are still owned and run by local entrepreneurs in your community.
However, eating locally can help keep your communities resources close at hand. Without local restaurants to keep those resources in demand, they’ll go to the international clients that are searching for them.
Therefore, by choosing to join the eat local movement, you’ll be helping the business owners of those local restaurants, the employees of that restaurant, the farmers that raise those crops, and so on.
Not only does the food taste great, but it can give you more peace of mind that you’re helping those around you.
The money that you invest in good local eating stays within your community, and that’s a beautiful thing!
4. Budget-Friendly Eating
There are some out there that believe eating local comes at the expense of their wallet. They think that local restaurants are more expensive.
That usually isn’t the case, but even if it is, here’s something to consider: which one offers the bigger portion?
If you’re eating locally on a budget, then you can enjoy all the different food that local restaurants have to offer. No more eating away at your funds to feed the family.
Find yourself a local spot that you and the entire family adore. You’re far more likely to get discounts and free food (like appetizers or desserts).
5. More Nutrition
Perhaps the biggest consequence of eating from a restaurant chain is the lack of nutrition it offers you.
Even at health-conscious chain restaurants, the distribution can severely lessen the nutrients and vitamins you get.
In his book, SuperLife, Darin Olien points out a study that proved that broccoli loses over 70-percent of its nutrients once it’s frozen for distribution.
Instead, eat locally to diversify your nutrient intake. You’ll feel better and enjoy a fuller stomach!
Start Eating Local Today
Now that you have seen an in-depth guide on why you should start eating local more often, it’s time to take a trip to a local eatery.
Remember, it’s important to research any local restaurant that you’re going to visit. You want to make sure they share the same values in the community that you do. Do they give back? Where do they get their food?
Take the time to browse our website for more articles on eating local, as well as other topics you’ll enjoy reading.