Buying Local: Why We Should

Lately I have been thinking about the idea of buying local, not necessarily just in foods, but for as much as I possibly can.  I remember when I was young and going on vacation with my family, and every time I noticed an item that had a “Made in Canada” tag or sticker, I would marvel at the thought of how I was so far away from home yet this object is right before me, also from Canada. I couldn’t help but have a sense of pride too, I guess it’s a bit like meeting other Canadians or Québécois in a place you’d least expect to, having what you might call an instant connection.

Now on an even narrower scale, buying locally, meaning anywhere near Montreal or the Province of Québec, I have to admit that I’m in a jubilant sort of awe, when I bite into a local apple or a pear; it’s got this crisp, sweet and juicy taste. I feel impressed that one of our own local farmers made a tomato that didn’t taste like water; instead a firm, mouth-watering slice that screams, YES, make no mistake, that’s a tomato from Québec!

The benefits of buying local are:

  • Getting tastier, and fresher produce or meat
  • Supporting people in your local communities with jobs (and we’re talking a lot more than the farmer’s job)
  • Local companies that these people work for are more likely to help local charities or organizations
  • An effortless way to help protect the environment because when you buy local, you cut down the transportation as we all know it’s a lot further to get that cauliflower from the USA than from your backyard
  • the knowledge of different types of produce your surroundings is able to produce

I took a quick look at different grocery stores recently just to get an understanding of prices.  Produce isn’t that cheap at all in the different chain grocers, $3.99 Cauliflowers, $4.99/lb of red peppers for example. I think at prices like that, why not get something local that will taste great as well? Also another reminder is this: some people are under the impression that buying locally means it will be quite costly or even more so than buying exports, the truth is that it’s definitely not the case, otherwise how do you explain Jean-Talon Market, or any of the large markets? What L’Autre Choix Mini Marché carries isn’t different from the markets either. The produce is very much local!

Anyhow, if for anything else, I know that I enjoy having a community, and when you know you can support your community (by buying locally) and your community can support you (by donating to local organizations), it’s a win-win situation for all of us.

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