Eat local for a healthier You |04 December 2021
Welcome back to our modest but enthusiastic weekly efforts to encourage you to eat better, and see food as a key part of your passport to a better health.
You've surely worked out by now that three quarters of the plate that we've been promoting through the concept of ‘my healthy plate’, as part of a balanced diet, is made up of mostly vegetables, fruits, tubers, breadfruit and plantains, some of which appear in the market stalls throughout the year, while some are seasonal. While the balance, one quarter, can be mostly our wonderful fish, some eggs and lentils, or once in a while a little lean meat.
Be a mindful eater
It all boils down to becoming very mindful of what and how you live and eat, and one of the best practices to adopt on this journey is to eat local as much as possible.
So this week we share with you why in composing your daily meals, you should try to lean on your best health supporters in your community – and these are your farmers and fishermen.
Local is Best
So here are some good reasons why Local is best:
1. Local food is fresher and more flavourful
Local food is fresher, tastes better and is generally more nutritious. At your local market or stall, most local produce has been picked within the last 24 hours, ensuring it is ripe and at its peak of nutrient-density.
In contrast, when fruits and vegetables travel over long distances and for several days or even weeks, their nutrient content begins to deteriorate, specifically for certain nutrients such as Vitamins C, E, A and some B vitamins as well.
2. Helps you discover new foods.
Buying locally helps you become more curious and inquisitive about food. Sometimes we may discover items that we have around us but that we weren't quite sure how to eat, or indeed if we could eat.
For example, did you hear on the news recently how a group of five-star hotel chefs were served snacks made from banana stem and young unripe Jackfruit?
3. Know where your food comes from.
When you eat local produce you are more connected to the food you eat; knowing who produced it, where it was fished, what farm it came from, and exactly how it got from the farm to your table.
Not to mention that if you discovered a problem with something, you can always go back to the farmer, fisherman or seller to discuss it.
4. Produces less waste.
Buying local shortens the distribution chain, ensuring that food moves directly from the farm to the table.
Not only does buying local mean less packaging via transportation and shipping, but it also means less environmental waste from pollution and less food waste in the process as well.
And as we've said before here, what is good for you is good for the planet and vice versa.
5. Supports local business.
When you buy food in a supermarket much of the cost you incur goes to the transportation, processing, packaging, refrigeration, and marketing of that food, and not necessarily to the farmers themselves.
When you buy from a local farmer, you are supporting your local community, and your money goes back into producing more local food for you.
6. Supports Seychelles sustainable agriculture.
Eating locally encourages diversification of local agriculture and crop variety. This, in turn, reduces the reliance on monoculture – single crops grown over a wide area to the detriment of soils.
The reality is that our food is only as nutrient-dense as the soil in which it is grown.
7. Gives power to you, the consumer.
Every time you buy from a local farmer or fisherman you have an opportunity to ask questions, learn about their farming practices or fishing techniques and gain a better understanding of your food.
Every time you buy local you are encouraging the farmer to grow more and the fishermen to be more sustainable with their fishing.
8. Less Imports, better Economy
And every time you buy local you are playing your role in making the economy better – by reducing importation, saving precious foreign exchange reserves, and requiring less visits to the doctor in the process.
The Bottom Line
The benefits of eating local food are endless, the greatest being the connection it gives you to your food.
The more you eat locally the more you are able to reconnect with food and recognise the importance of real food and how it impacts your health.
It's all interconnected
It's ALL interconnected. YOU after all are part of a chain that can make our community, our country, our nation, OUR PLANET, a better place.
Don't forget to look us up and give us a follow or a like on our Facebook page "Ear for our Health Seychelles" and our Instagram page "eat4ourhealth".