A food cooperative is one way to purchase the freshest produce possible.
Becoming a member of a food cooperative provides you with fresh and healthy food that is grown locally and often organically. A food cooperative benefits farmers economically by increasing their profit and reducing food waste. The same food cooperative has multiple health, nutrition, environmental, economical and social advantages for you.
Health and Nutrition Benefits
A food cooperative increases the variety of fresh foods available to you. Eating a wide range of fresh foods helps you consume each of the vitamins and minerals you need for good health. A food cooperative also supplies the freshest fruits and vegetables possible because they are grown locally. The sooner you eat fresh fruits and vegetables after they are harvested, the more nutrients you receive from them. When fresh produce sits on conventional grocery store shelves, it loses valuable nutrients, making a food cooperative a more nutritious way to get your fruits and vegetables. Joining a food cooperative might also encourage you to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, which will improve your health.
Joining a food cooperative cuts down on environmental pollution by reducing the distance your food must travel to get to you. In many locations, food cooperatives operate farmers markets close to residential areas. Many people travel to the farmers markets by foot or bicycle, which cuts down on pollution from cars. The food doesn’t have to be shipped across the country either, which cuts down on the pollution emitted by the trucks that deliver food to grocery stores. Food cooperatives don’t package their fruits and vegetables, which reduces paper, cardboard and plastic waste.
When you join a food cooperative, you often save money because farmers don’t mark up the foods like grocery stores do. Most food cooperatives require you to pay a specific price up front, which includes several baskets or crates of what the farmer has harvested. This allows you eat what is in season, which is far cheaper than buying out of season foods at a local supermarket. Many food cooperatives also offer their foods in bulk so you can join as part of a larger group. This cuts down on your costs because you are sharing with everyone in your group. Food cooperatives support the local economy because you pay local farmers rather than large food corporations. Food cooperatives also supply jobs to the community, which keeps your local economy healthier and more stable.
Food cooperatives bring communities together. You learn exactly where your food comes from and you get to meet the farmers who grew it. Farmers get to network with local residents to expand their businesses. Members of the community meet one another at the farm or farmers market, which often leads to additional community events and activities. Many food cooperatives operate using volunteers, which is another way to bring members of the community together and build support for local businesses.
There are several local Food Co ops. Google the various local farms in the area and have a look!
Have a great week!
McNicholas Family Chiropractic