The Benefits of Eating Local Food
I always love to discuss whole-ism, holistic health, and interconnectedness; after all I am a Nature-o-pathic doctor and Nature is always in harmony, when it's not interfered with too much! The more one studies Nature the more the reality of interconnectedness becomes obvious. The same is true when we look at the various ways people's health is affected - bio-pyscho-social-neuro-immology is one term used to look at how our immune systems are affected by a myriad of factors. These factors include, economic, social, cultural, material, physical, spiritual, emotional and psychological. Most importantly they are all related- health and wellness is not a simple thing!
So how does Interconnectedness and Holistic Health relate to Local Food?
The new wave of local food production is often about small scale, sustainability, increasing biodiversity and often about the desire to work with Nature's natural ways. We all intuitively know we are all better when more people in our communities are doing well; this includes improved health when nurturing the lands on which we live since we are ultimately nurtured by the Earth. Many local producers have this in mind.
In naturopathic medicine we have a concept called the ‘vis medicatrix naturae’ that translates to the healing power of nature which among other things teaches us that the more we care for nature the stronger its ability to heal us. This also applies to eating locally and appreciating the resources that nature offers us in our local environment. Our area can provide a ton of great seasonal nourishment. Here in Inverness county we have a tradition of being able to sustain ourselves and with available new technologies and wisdom we really have a great opportunity to build on the knowledge of our Ancestors, First Nations Peoples and people living here like fishers and farmers to create resilient local food security.
When is comes to local food I think we can all agree that it tastes better and I would argue it is healthier for us if for no other reason than it makes our local economy stronger!
Some more reasons buying as much of your as you can from local producers:
-decreased environmental impact by decreasing fuel consumption from transportation
-vitality (nutritional quality) of local food is usually higher because it is fresher (and often organic or low chemical inputs)
-improved local economy with more local businesses
-creates food security for local communities
-you can talk to your farmer about how your food is grown
So try to find local producers and grow your own food and know you’re making an important impact on our communities and therefore your own health. We are all connected and we all need to eat great food for great health!