We’ve heard the message: Think Globally, Act Locally. We know that it’s important to eat locally-sourced food – but why? We spoke to the leaders of the Progress Place chapter of the GO GREEN employee resource group to help us understand. Here’s what they had to say:
Local produce can be eaten at peak ripeness, which means it contains the most nutrients. On the other hand, fruits and vegetables at the grocery store are picked unripe and shipped from about 1,500 miles away in refrigerated trucks, causing the vitamins and nutrients to break down.
Another interesting fact: when you eat local honey, you’re consuming local pollen, which can reduce your chance of suffering from seasonal allergies.
Shopping locally means your produce sees fewer plains, trains and automobiles. By eliminating the need for transportation, we cut out the CO2 emissions out of the equation.
The best part? If you want to know if farmers have used pesticides or other chemicals that can be harmful to the environment, you can simply ask the seller.
When you support your local farmers, you are contributing to your community’s economy.
The Progress Place chapter of GO GREEN empowers its colleagues to buy locally-sourced food by bringing a market to them monthly at a Pop-Up Farmer’s Market, held in the parking lot.
At the Progress Place Market, which is open from May through July, and again in September and October, colleagues can pick up goods from five to 10 unique vendors. These vendors, all local farmers and artisans, produce their own honey, fruits and vegetables, freshly-made pies and cupcakes, as well as seasonal goods like pumpkins and gourds. Due to high demand for berries, Market Days will begin earlier this year in May, a clear indication of success.
Since its inception in 2015, GO GREEN co-leads Reen Hunt, manager of Sustainability, and Rachel Wardwell, manager of Invoice Processing, have tested and learned from different locations and different vendors. They shared their vision: “We want Market Days to inspire people to grow their own gardens.” Reen and Rachel are more than dedicated to this initiative, selling what they grow in their onsite employee garden and putting the profits back into GO GREEN.
In addition to its many benefits, visiting a farmer’s market can expose us to new culinary experiences – like multicolored carrots – and new people in our communities. Give it a try at your local farmer’s market!