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Buy Local

Buy Local and Keep the BVI Green – If you are ever in Bobby’s Supermarket, Riteway or OneMart to look for fresh vegetables, head for the sections entitled ‘locally grown produce.’  You will have the opportunity to purchase fresh produce compliments of a local farmer.The Territory’s farmers are providing a great service to the rest of us.  Apart from providing fresh food on supermarket shelves that are healthier for consumption, they are also assisting consumers to be more environmentally friendly.

In a study published in the journal Food Policy, it was found that it is better for the environment when consumers purchase foods grown in their area.  “Food miles are more significant than we previously thought, and much now needs to be done to encourage local production and consumption of food.” Ergo, it is better for the environment when residents preference locally grown products.  Foods grown locally only travel from farmers’ farm to grocery stores in order to get to consumers, whereas produce purchased overseas acquires food miles.  Food miles accumulate as food is taken from farms, to factories for processing and packaging, then to couriers to get to airlines that travel across the world to place that produce, which includes meats and other goods, on supermarket shelves.  

Even in our quest to eat healthier products by purchasing foreign grown organic products, the study stated that organically grown products usually travel further distances in order to get to our plates, and the damage that does to the environment far outweighs the benefits. Air pollution accumulates in the travelling of these products while additional gas is used for its travel as well as its maintenance. Additional packaging also presents materials that can be harmful to the environment, both in terms of its manufacture and its disposal.

There are a number of other reasons why purchasing local foods are better for you, the community and our planet.  Significantly, by continuing to patronise local farmers, you are also helping the Territory’s economy by providing continued work for our farmers.

In the long run however, purchasing locally grown food will have a lasting effect on not just the BVI’s environment but the world.  We currently enjoy an almost pristine environment on our islands.  Our waters are blue, hills are green and unsightly garbage is more manageable.  Do your part by purchasing locally grown foods in supermarkets to keep the BVI beautiful.

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