July 31, 2012
I noticed this Facebook posting on the Wild Ramp page:
Bought the best tomatoes and cantaloupe EVER!!!! Brought them home to Illinois….Thank YOU!
Simply, this woman discovered something that you can also…farm fresh food, is great!
Let’s review a few things:
1. Local food is generally healthier. Knowing your farmer permits you to understand their farming practice. You can learn if they use conventional methods or organic practices and chose accordingly. By selecting foods that are grown without pesticides or herbicides, you are eating less chemicals. In addition, testing has shown that grass-fed beef has higher nutritional content than that of cattle that spend a lot of time eating corn in feedlots. If you are looking for nutritious food, eat local products!
2. Local food is price competitive. I presented a cost comparison last week, showing the prices of items available at the Wild Ramp compared to similar items at the local Kroger and the local Wal-Mart. Only one Wild Ramp item was significantly more expensive. The rest were about the same or even lower in cost. So the old concept that healthy food is more expensive is not correct!
3. Buying local food keeps money in the local economy. When you shop at the supermarket, the money you spend goes to the corporation which is not located here. Sure, the employees get their salaries. But the corporation itself is making its purchases outside of our local economy. When you buy from a local farmer, you are helping pay for that family’s living expenses and since they live here in our area, their purchasing generally stays right here. We can’t do much to fix the national deficit but we can chose to help our own local economy.
4. If you scoff at people who are concerned about the environment as tree-huggers, you probably don’t think about the fuel used to transport the food you eat, but consider it for just the few seconds it takes to read this. You know it costs more to drive from Florida than from Milton. Multiply that a whole bunch to realize that buying locally reduces the consumption of gas, and the resulting emissions into the atmosphere.
5. Finally, and this is really something you can learn first hand and it will be enjoyable: fresh food tastes better. The food in the grocery store comes hundreds and thousands of miles before it gets here. It heads from the fields and orchards to some large distribution point and then again in trucks out to our local store. Since this takes time, produce must be picked a bit green…that means unripe. Some fruits and vegetables ripen after picking. Some never reach that full flavor. I learned that one first hand at age 14 when I was selected to attend a Girl Scout program in Puerto Rico. One field trip took us to a pineapple plantation where a slice of a pineapple cut off the plant right before my eyes taught me that the pineapple my parents served at parties was horribly deficient in flavor. Our local farmers, knowing they can bring tomorrow’s ripe produce to us tomorrow, pick only what is ready today. When you purchase fresh local produce, you are tasting that fruit or vegetable at its optimum flavor. As one tv food guy says..ooooh, it’s so good!
We are so fortunate to have the Wild Ramp now in Huntington! Store hours are Wednesday-Friday 11-7 and Saturday 10-4. It is located in Shop 13 at Heritage Station on the lower level. Heritage Station is Huntington’s first historic railroad station and is now a wonderfully eclectic selection of shops as well as the Convention and Visitors’ Bureau. If you have not visited recently, please do.