locally sourced diningThere’s been a big push lately to increase sustainability efforts across the board, with farmers markets, CSAs and farm-to-table establishments becoming ever more popular. As we look forward to the spring and all of the great produce that stands to be available at local farm stands, many people wonder if there’s really a benefit to eating locally-sourced food over rather than food you can buy in the big chain grocery store.

The truth is, there are many benefits to locally-grown food, and by choosing this path you’re doing the right thing not just for your health and lifestyle, but for the economy and planet as well. Explore these seven benefits to choosing locally-sourced food, and learn how you can improve your health and overall quality of life.

Better Flavor

When you buy local, you’re getting crops that have been hand-picked and chosen for their ripeness and readiness, so they’re almost always going to taste better than supermarket food, which is harvested en masse and shipped in bulk.

Seasonal Foods

While you can get off-season foods all year ‘round in the store, strawberries that are purchased off-season just aren’t going to be as delicious, sweet or large as ones that you get from a local grower in season. In-season food is always the best.

More Nutritious

Did you know that food loses nutrients the longer it sits? Food that you get from a local source hasn’t spent days or weeks in shipping and packaging, so it’s actually healthier for you than food that’s been shipped from across the country.

Supporting the Economy

By buying local, you’re supporting local farms, which in turn supports the local economy. If you’re looking to give your region a financial boost, buy local!

Supporting the Environment

Local food is a sustainable resource, which maintains local farmlands and green space. This in turn is good for the environment. We talk about pollution and often fail to think that the best way to keep CO2 levels down is green space, which consumes carbon dioxide and replaces it with healthy oxygen and nitrogen.

Promoting Safe Eating

You’ve probably heard the number of scandals lately about big-chain restaurants coming down with contaminated food, often shipped from other countries. When you eat local, there’s far less chance of contamination, which means the food you eat is actually much safer to eat.

Know What You’re Eating

If you eat food from another state or another country, you don’t know what methods were used to grow and harvest it. When you eat local, you can get information straight from the farm about how the food is grown, cared for and harvested. Know exactly what you’re eating by eating local.

The Mill Kitchen and Bar is proud to be a farm-to-table restaurant that uses sustainable, locally-sourced food from the lettuce in our salads to the chicken on your plate. Check out the list of farms we use, and if you’re ready to try some outstanding local farm-to-table Southern Comfort Food, stop in for a meal today!