Farm-to-Table Eating: 6 Health Benefits To Supporting Your Local Farmers

According to studies, almost 75% of Americans consume insufficient amounts of fruits, vegetables, dairy products, and healthy fats. This deficiency explains the high incidence of obesity in the United States, but a lousy diet also has many other detrimental effects on one's health.

Bad eating habits are connected to several diseases, including type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, dental decay, osteoporosis, raised cholesterol, and some cancers. Luckily, farm-to-table eating boasts a full slate of health benefits. Here's a roundup of the most important ones.


It's About More than Calories

Different foods contain different nutrients, and that leads to a healthier you. A diverse diet lowers the risk of malnutrition, which occurs when we don't obtain enough nutrients from our food. Remember, calories aren't the only important thing in what we eat! Among other symptoms, malnutrition can result in weak muscles, reduced range of movement, increased sickness, and respiratory difficulties.


No Additives, No Preservatives

Every 10 percent increase in consumption of highly processed foods corresponds to a 12 percent rise in cancer risk, according to a five-year study involving more than 100,000 participants.

Ultra-processed foods have harmful amounts of added sugar, salt, and fat. These and other synthetic additives enhance the flavor of what we eat, but consuming too much of them can result in significant health problems like diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and heart disease.

On the other hand, farm-to-table eating avoids all additives and preservatives. It is entirely natural, healthy, and delicious.


Nutritionally Dense And Oh So Delicious!

Farm fresh produce is more nutrient-dense than anything at a grocery store. Unfortunately, fruits and vegetables begin losing their nutrients within 24 hours after harvest. However, locally grown food is harvested at the peak of ripeness and nutritional value and arrives at your table immediately.

On the other hand, most produce sold in supermarkets arrives before it is ripe. Farmers harvest them early so they won't spoil in transit. A product's nutritional content also decreases through air exposure, artificial lighting, and temperature changes. Local food avoids all these because of its short (or nonexistent!) travel.

Person cutting cheese

More Satisfying than Grocery Store Fare

According to studies, meals prepared at home typically have fewer calories than meals from restaurants or ordering takeout. When you prepare your own food, you also control how much sugar and fat goes into it.

Nutrient-packed meals make you feel full more quickly and consume fewer calories. So, even starting a diet, you can still go to a farm-to-table restaurant and come away feeling satisfied.


No Need For The Deep Freeze

Processing facilities often blanch and freeze fruits and vegetables to keep them from spoiling in transit. Although these techniques are generally helpful for keeping much of their nutrition intact, specific vitamins are lost during blanching, particularly Vitamin C.  

Since there is no travel time, it is not essential to freeze or otherwise preserve farm-to-table foods. Therefore, you will enjoy the best taste and absorb all the vitamins nature intended.  


You Eat, Everyone Wins

Another happy consequence of limited transportation is lower carbon emissions. Farm-to-table meals are better for the environment since the ingredients travel less. Regular food from industrial farms has to move a long way before it reaches a table, with rough consequences for the air we breathe.

In addition, small farmers often practice hydroponics and other sustainable farming methods. Furthermore, eating local foods may help reduce the toxic pesticides and fertilizers used in industrial agriculture.

Incentivizing local producers with your money guarantees that the green farm-to-table trend keeps growing. And that's a healthy decision for everyone.

Garden table

Key Takeaways

  • Stay Vigilant – Farm-to-table does not always equal healthy. By all means, enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables in abundance. However, understand that overeating any type of food can be unhealthy.
  • Embrace Local Variety – The benefits of a varied diet are well known. What about the local species of edible plant? You may be pleased to meet some delicious new friends at your local farmers' market. If you're unsure, ask the farmer how to prepare them!
  • It Starts at Home – Take control of your food. Cooking farm-fresh ingredients is a healthy choice. So don't ruin it by adding a ton of extra salt, sugar, or other additives. Instead, allow the fresh produce to speak for itself.