"Eating local costs more!"
We have often heard this famous phrase in recent years, where many people think that eating local necessarily means increasing their food budget. However, when well planned, eating local is both healthy and affordable. In this article, we explain why eating local is important and provide you with tips to make eating local, healthy, and affordable a feasible option.
Why eat local
Eating local means eating quality products
Products that do not come from here have to travel thousands of kilometers to reach us. The more fruits, vegetables, meats, or fish have traveled, the more they lose in nutritional quality. In fact, as soon as, for example, vegetables are harvested, they enter a phase of decomposition and lose their flavor and nutritional properties over time.
Local products have fewer preservatives
Since they undergo less transportation and arrive more quickly on our plates, local products do not need artificial preservatives. They also do not undergo preservation processes that can reduce their quality. Eating local thus avoids consuming all those harmful chemicals for health.
Eating local also contributes to the development of the local economy
Eating local means supporting Quebec breeders and producers, as well as promoting the growth of the provincial biofood sector. It's simple, the more we support local producers, the greater the supply of local products will be. The more we consume food from responsible sources, the more the market will transform in this direction.
1. Choose seasonal foods
Seasonal foods are foods that grow locally. The trick is to choose local foods according to the seasons, which store well and freeze well. This way, you can eat local all year round and at an affordable price. For example, in summer, there are Quebec products at low prices practically everywhere. In the fall, it's the time for root vegetables. They cost practically nothing and last a long time. It's the right time to stock up on potatoes, carrots, parsnips, onions, radishes, etc. During winter and spring, it's the perfect time to eat the local foods that you have prepared and frozen during the previous months.
Choosing seasonal foods costs less, and here's why:
- Seasonal foods cost less to produce, and therefore, they are sold at lower prices to consumers. For example, growing greenhouse tomatoes in winter requires a lot of time, resources, and infrastructure. All these costs are reflected in the prices charged to customers.
- Farmers can grow more fruits and vegetables outdoors. A large quantity produced generally results in a lower individual cost.
- Seasonal products travel much less. Regardless of where they come from, imported foods are expensive in transportation. Seasonal and local foods, on the other hand, have no import costs and usually no transportation costs. Eating local simply means favoring the consumption of foods that have traveled the least possible distance from the land to your plate.
As it's often said, the worst enemy of your grocery bill is waste. To avoid throwing money in the trash, meal planning is important. This way, you can buy only the necessary ingredients to cook your meals during the week. Make a list of the foods you need and check the contents of your refrigerator and pantry before buying more food and even before planning your menu.
You can plan meals based on the foods you have before they spoil. When you're ready to buy your food, try to avoid impulse purchases. A good tip would be to order online. This way, you will only buy what you need. Also, try to stick as closely as possible to your plan. It's tempting to order take-out after a busy day? The next step will be very practical to avoid restaurants...
3. Prepare in large quantities
By cooking in large quantities, you prepare meals for several nights of the week and save time and money. You no longer need to think about rushed dinners during the week, and you also eliminate the temptation to eat out since you will always have something on hand. For example, by cooking twice as much food for your dinner, you can use the leftovers for lunches the next day.
Are you roasting chicken? Roast two to use your oven even more efficiently. Not only will you have leftovers for another meal, but you can also freeze some.
4. Opt for frozen foods
Frozen foods are just as nutritious, if not more nutritious than fresh foods. Freezing is an industrial technique that quickly cools products by exposing them to temperatures as low as -50°C. This cooling technique creates fine ice crystals that do not damage the meat's texture and, in addition to extending the shelf life of products, helps maintain the nutritional properties, flavors, and textures of the food.
In short, foods placed in the freezer can be stored for several months, can be purchased in large quantities, and allow you to always have a quick and simple dinner option. By opting for frozen foods, you are looking after the health of your body and your finances. To learn more about frozen foods, refer to our article!
In conclusion, eating local is better for your health, the local economy, and does not require emptying your pockets. Of course, since local products are of quality, they come with a cost. However, the mentioned tips allow you to buy local products at an affordable price. With a little organization, you can change your diet for the better and at a good price!
You can visit our "online shop" section to discover our frozen products from local and responsible farms: https://bit.ly/3Ol6OFd