Buying Local Makes a Big Difference

in ecotrain •  6 months ago

This is the Ecotrain Question of the Week

Name one small change you have made or could make to your life that would be of great benefit to the world if everyone did the same?

This fits right in with my Little Changes, Big Difference series, and I have several more I want to do, but I thought I would come up with something different for this one. There are plenty of things to choose from, things we can do that are really simple. If we all commit to them, the change will be significant.

Buy Local

The significance of this has become so much more clear to me since moving here to Belize. Customs duties are very high on imported products, and certain things that are critical to the Belizean economy, like sugar, cannot be imported at all. They have strong protectionist economic policies. Of course we have some vegetables that come from Mexico and Guatemala, but even that is fairly limited. Most importantly it is also seasonal. Canned and packaged foods are ridiculously expensive here. I don’t even look at them.

It’s a bummer to only be able to get avocados for a short time each year, but we eat very locally. Right now we have more mangoes than we know what to do with, but that won’t last long either. I need to get hopping on some dried mango, mango jam, frozen mango, and mango chutney. Our rice, beans, and sugar are all produced locally. Almost all our vegetables and fruits are local. All our meat and eggs are local. Hell, even our toilet paper is local.


Honest to God I would eat them every day if I could

Of course here in Belize it is so easy to eat local because we don’t have a lot of options. It is possible in more developed areas too, though, and I was making a pretty good go at it when I lived in the US. Go to farmer’s markets to shop. Can, dry, and freeze when things are in season and cheap. Connect with local farmers. Honestly, this was a big piece of my motivation to give up my vegetarianism. I was finding it very difficult to eat a vegetarian diet and stay local in a temperate climate with several months of winter. Of course animal husbandry comes with it's own set of ecological nightmares, so it may have been a zero sum decision.

Transporting food is a tremendous resource user. I love kiwis as much as the next gal, but it’s a bit ridiculous to ship something across an ocean and then across a continent just so I can eat it. That’s shipping and trucking. That’s a hell of a lot of diesel just so people can have fruit that only grows on the other side of the planet. Processed food is of course even worse, as it is shipped, processed, and then shipped again, sometimes three or four times. Fresh, local, and unprocessed food is so much better for your body and also so much better for the environment. It is also a tremendous benefit to your local economy, as all that money you spend on food stays right in your community!

At first it will seem like a big production, but I promise it gets easier, and you will get the added benefit of being connected to your local farmers. Many of them have days and times where visitors can come, so if you have children, especially home schoolers, this is an added benefit. I am certainly not militant about it. I do occasionally buy canned tomatoes, and though our flour is milled in Belize, the berries are imported from the US. Even committing to 75% of your food coming from within 200 miles could make a tremendous difference in the amount of diesel fumes we are pumping into the air if we all come together and make this commitment.

Healthy food and clean planet are really good outcomes!

Much love, y’all!

As always, all pics are mine or pixabay unless otherwise noted.

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Also, check out @tribesteemup for more information on how to follow the curation trail or delegate. This allows you to help yourself and empower a beautiful, positive community of world changers.

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Buying local with everything can only help the economy of the country, but with imports being so cheap, local companies cannot compete with imported goods. Unfortunately, the best of our local grown fruit and veggies are exported and we are left with second grade. I have found it best to grow my own vegetables as far as possible. Not all vegetables are suited to grow in sub tropical climate.

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In most cases it is hard for them to compete, but in Belize they tax imports heavily, so that helps local business, though maybe not poor consumers. Definitely growing is best.

Buying local can be expensive due to the cheaper options available from imported goods. We export all the best quality fruit and vegetables and the public is left with second grade produce.
I find it better to grow my own vegetables where possible. Not all veggies do well in a sub tropical climate, and those I buy from local market.

I agree people should eat local as much as possible but that depends on where you live.

For example, in my country Venezuela sometimes there are intense scarcity because the local production is pretty much destroyed, so we found ourselves in a situation where people have to consume imported food.

Having the opportunity to consume local food is a blessing everyone should be able to have.

Cheers @solarsupermama

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Without a doubt. Sometimes we have to import when our crops take a hit. Diversifying what we grow can help a lot.

Eating local and sustainibily is the most important in this case above vegetarianism unless your a fruitarian it would be paradise. I still wouldn't be able to eat meat tho even if I was there, since veganism is energic for me too. I would have to choose somewhere in Central America with more options like Costa rica Was never a problem because they were growing so much organic food up in the mountains where there was volcanic fertile soil. Spent a month there was no problem staying 100 percent vegan.

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Oh, it wouldn't be a problem here either. When I stopped being vegetarian, I was living in Asheville. We have year round growing and loads of local rice and beans here, so it wouldn't be hard here at all.

Yet another great answer to QOTW - my favourite question so far!! Eating seasonally and locally is such a great thing to do. Airmiles and truckmiles are so bad for the environment!!!

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I totally agree. We get so used to having whatever we want at the grocery store, but it's a terrible practice.

I very much agree @solarsupermama. Supporting local farmers or products can go a long way to help the community, and the entire environment. It reduces carbon footprint plus you are consuming a produce at freshest state as possible. Thanks for emphasizing this.

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Thanks for stopping by! I think it's a great and easy way to make a big difference.

This is fantastic! I love buying and supporting local!

Did you know, you can freeze avocados!? Open, scoop out into baggies & freeze. Can be used later into smoothies, salad dressings, and even mashed for guacamole.

Mango avocado salsa is amazing btw ;)

And yum mangos! I wish they were local here!

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Oh my goodness. I did not know this. This is absolutely revolutionary. I feel like I might cry. Avocados won't be back until march, but I will be ready!!

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Yesss! 🙌🙌
I try to stock up when they are on sale here!

The colours at the market are so nice!!! You took all these photos, @solarsupermama? Very impressive!

I do agree that we should go local for fresh produce, and we can learn so much by interacting with the vendors!! :) Lovely market you have!

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Local produce and farmer relationships are really important to us for sure. I didn't take those pictures. I always have a note at the bottom saying all pictures are mine or pixabay. These are pixabay, but I think I should start labeling them individually because it has caused some confusion.

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Oh yes you did! Sorry I must have missed it. I think it is fine to keep it that way since you have got your disclaimer out. It's readers like me who missed it :)

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Yeah. I think I might just start labeling all of them because it's come up before. I think it will be less confusing.

this is such a great way to make a difference and one that everyone can easily do. Great answer mama, and i'm with you on the avocados, we have 2 trees were we are and now they are out of season, what to do, I am a huge fan of them xxxxx

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Did you see someone commented that avocado can be frozen? I feel like the universe has exploded.

it’s a bit ridiculous to ship something across an ocean and then across a continent just so I can eat it.

It's funny, I had that same thought about bananas the other day! I'll admit to some selfishness though in that I don't particularly want to give up things like pineapple, oranges, avocado, coconut...and bananas. Ooooohhh and coffee!! Nope, I can't only buy local😂

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Oh, I feel you. All those years in the US, I was the same way. I'd go without pineapple, mango, coconut and usually oranges, but I often had avocado and banana. And no one wants me to go without coffee. I will say, though, I'm very glad to now live in a place where they're local.