Think Global, Eat Local – that phrase has been around for donkey’s years. It’s always been good food for thought, pun intended. With the price rises, and the many theories about global food scarcity (that it exists, that it does not exist and so on), there are some benefits of eating local that make solid sense. Here are some of the benefits of eating locally produced food instead of the imported stuff.
Eating local is eating seasonally, which means your food will be ripe and full of flavor when you eat it!
Eating local is eating healthy. Food imported from far-away countries has been away from the farm for weeks traveling by ship, plane, and truck before finally reaching your kitchen. All that idle time means nutrients are lost!
Eating local means supporting your neighbors. Eating carrots grown in Bedugul, granola produced in Karangasem, and rice cultivated in Tabanan means you’re supporting the local Balinese economy instead of multinational corporations from abroad. This is not hyberbole, you don’t have small farmers in other countries exporting to Indonesia.
Eating local benefits the environment. When you drink coffee from beans grown on the slopes of Mount Batur, your impact on the environment is minimal. For comparison, imagine the greenhouse gases that are emitted by importing coffee from Brazil, or Guatemala, or Ethiopia?
Eating local preserves genetic diversity. Large-scale producers narrow their crops’ genetic diversity to focus on items that can withstand harvesting, packing, transport, and a long shelf life. In contrast, local producers can produce a wide variety of seasonal crops delivered from the farm to your table within hours.
Local food tastes and looks better! Local producers optimize for taste. Exporters optimize for durability and shelf life. Which one do you think tastes better?
Eating local preserves open space in your community. When local producers get paid fairly for their work, they’re less likely to sell their land for development. That means that by buying locally produced food you’re proactively preserving the landscape of Bali. Well, at least a little, it’s a tough trade-off when you are a farmer in a tourist zone.
Eating local benefits you, it benefits producers, and it benefits the community. That’s why we do what we do! Now more than ever, whether there is or is not a global food crisis (opinions abound) eating local makes good sense.