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Local products have benefits

There is a problem with the food we consume. A large percentage of it is imported; a lot of our food comes from foreign countries, especially China and various South American countries.

It may be cheaper for big companies to produce food on foreign soil, but at what cost to consumers?

There is one way we can stop this trend. Buy local.

It is no secret that many Americans have suffered because of imported food.

Often in the news we see mass recalls of produce, dairy or meat products.

These imported foods usually contain pesticides, growth hormones, preservatives and other various chemicals that are harmful to health.

Not only are these potential carcinogens present in food imported from other countries, but they are also present in foods produced in our country, products that may come from another state less than 2,000 miles away.

Like many jobs in the United States, food production does not need to be outsourced to other countries.

Recently, organic grocery chain Whole Foods came under fire for selling a bag of organic mixed vegetables under the name “California Mix” which were produced in China.

The company ensured buyers that this was a common name for a medley of carrots, broccoli and cauliflower and that the vegetables, although grown in China, were up to U.S. organic standards.

Regardless, why not buy products that are produced in home soil?

Buying locally cuts costs all around in the long run. By supporting local producers the grower gets top dollar for their crop and they get to keep a greater percentage of their earnings, according to the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardener’s Association.

When this happens more money goes back into the farm and they may eventually have a surplus of money and lower the price of their crop.

There are also health benefits to buying produce from the community.

First off there are less preservatives used in the product, because it does not need to stay “fresh” over a long trip.

This means you will take in fewer preservatives which harm your body.

Chances are the buyer will be more aware of the pesticides used on the product, if there are any pesticides used at all when they buy locally.

Buying local may not even mean “buying” and local may be as local as right at home.

Buying local would support local businesses and local jobs employing more people in the United States.

Those with the necessary resources should consider starting a home garden, that way they know exactly how their food is being produced.

The only setback to buying local is that some items, specifically produced such as strawberries, apples and other fruits, are seasonal and are unavailable during certain times of the year.

We encourage the support local farmers markets in La Verne, San Dimas and Claremont because they are local enough because they benefit our community.

Although buying local appears to be more expensive, it is something that will surely pay off in the long run.

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