By Ashley Suckling, Owner of Peppercorn Natural Foods
Peppercorn Natural Foods has been serving folks in the foothills of the beautiful White Mountains in downtown Plymouth New Hampshire for 45 years. Our goal is to carry as many locally made products as possible. We support dozens of farmers, and feature a “Made in NH” item every day on our Facebook page.
We provide many locally grown foods in one convenient stop, and support local farmers and makers. I enjoy presenting to local students and community members about the importance of eating local. However, a challenge is competing with the “big guys” when people expect cheap food.
Eating locally is important because it is good for the farmers, good for the environment, good for the farm workers and good for the health of all. When it comes to what you eat, it is best to stay close to home. Local food tastes better – we encourage people to tantalize their taste buds with fresh local food.
We want to be more connected with our food- where it comes from and where it was grown. I want to know what was used in helping it grow and to know it was grown in healthy rich soil or as humanely as possible. One of the best and more important ways we can treat ourselves well is to ensure what we put in and on our bodies is of the best quality. Buying local also strengthens the economic base of our community. Money spent local stays local!
In NH, we can look forward to eating local produce all summer long, and enjoy the shift in the fall to apples, squash, and root veggies. We can place orders for local poultry for the holidays. When you buy from farmers, farmer’s markets, and independent health food shops, more of the dollar spent gets into the hands of workers. Eating local offers a better quality of life for the farmer and the planet.
Local farms offer more biodiversity, too. Mono-culture, the cultivation of a single crop, does not promote biodiversity. It is large fields of the same crop (cotton, corn, soy, wheat) and not a sustainable form of agriculture. Natural small farmers have a wider diversity and keep it clean. We encourage people to make it their business to buy local and know their food sources!
This blog post has been lightly edited by NH Eat Local Month for clarity and conciseness. Submit your own story here!