Grow what we eat – Eat what we grow!

Author : teriann

Have you ever looked at the place of origin of your favourite snacks? You may be surprised by the number of  products that are imported from other countries. I did a quick survey in my own cupboard and realized that out of ten items only two stated that they were made in Jamaica.

Why are there so many imported items in my cupboard?

I decided to consciously select only items made in Jamaica on my next shopping trip but it wasn’t so easy a feat. My favourite items were simply not always the ones made in Jamaica.

However buying local products means that I would be supporting the economy which benefits everyone. If you buy local then you will be helping the economy by saving foreign exchange used to import food.

What about the origin of my favorite fresh produce? Well most definitely I found that I bought more locally grown products.

Why should consumers be more interested in buying locally grown products?

Benefits of growing and eating local

Locally grown ground provisions were not always the cheapest but I found that they were often superior in quality than the imported products.  I think that since the produce is grown locally there will be less preservatives and less time spent in transport.

This means that since there is a shorter time between harvest and your shopping cart so food is more fresh and has retained more of their nutrients.

Most farmers are small business operators who struggle to make a profit so by buying their produce gives them a boost and helps them to stay in business. It is also a case of providing more jobs as those who package or distribute the product will be supported when consumers buy local.

Buying local also enhances the environment as you are helping to maintain farmland and this also expands to include you starting your own sustainable garden in your community. Those who grow their own food even on a small scale help to cut their shopping bill and can be a great new move to a healthier way of life.

Eat Jamaica Day!

In emphasizing the thrust of buying local food November 25, 2019 was officially observed as ‘Eat Jamaica Day’.  In celebration of the day, the spotlight shone on the ‘Eat Jamaican Day Exposition’ at Devon House in St. Andrew on November 25, 2019 at 10 a.m.

The purpose of the expo was to showcase local produce, products and creative ways of meal preparation an d product use.

The expo was a culinary delight. I bolstered my courage to try jerk rabbit which was one of the innovate dishes for sampling and purchase. I must say it tasted just like chicken.

There were several booths as organizations such as Century Farms and RADA offered samples of their products or promoted their services to consumers.

The coconut water station was much appreciated because of the intense heat and the music which played over the loud speakers added to the jubilant spirit of the day.  Patrons had  several chances throughout the day to win baskets filled with food items by answering questions related to the event.

It was an interesting day and everyone who attended left with a better understanding that we need to buy local!

Do you buy local? Let me hear from you!

Teri Ann Renee Paisley

Gleaner online writer

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