By Jamin Mendelsohn
Today is “Super Tuesday” in the U.S., and depending on how politically minded you are, that might mean a lot or it might mean very little. (and if you’re not from the U.S. it probably means nothing at all!) But what does bear mentioning is that one of the issues on the top of everyone’s minds these days is JOBS.
Now, maybe you’re thinking, why is there a post about jobs on a wellness website… Well the interesting thing is, there are food-related actions that you can take which may strengthen job growth in the areas in which you live.
In a recent story on NPR’s blog The Salt, it was said: “’Every million dollars in sales through local markets supports thirteen jobs,’ USDA’s Kathleen Merrigan said in a conference call with reporters. This compares to three jobs generated from every million dollars in sales by agricultural operations that don’t have a local or regional focus.”
That is a significant difference; one that may directly affect the livelihood of your own community or region. Understanding the impact our purchasing choices has on our communities is yet another reason to make more informed decisions and focus on our food sources. And supporting the local economy is not the only reason to choose local foods. Some of the other reasons that resonate most strongly with me are:
1 – Local produce can be higher in nutrients because it’s often eaten shortly after it was harvested.
2 – Local produce often stays fresher longer, because it reaches the consumer more quickly when traveling shorter distances. Bonus points if you buy direct from the farmer!
3 – Purchasing local foods means a decrease in the energy required to transport it across long distances
Check out an earlier Reboot blog post here for even more reasons to choose local foods.
For more information about buying local, visit http://www.localharvest.org/ There is a good deal of useful information on CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture) and Farmers’ Markets across the U.S. And if you’re interested in finding a job related to local foods and sustainable agriculture, check out http://goodfoodjobs.com/ — not every listing falls under this topic, but there are a good deal of related opportunities.