Whether you are trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle by eating a well-balanced diet or just trying to engage in some backyard gardening to produce your food, the benefits of eating local food over foreign ones cannot be overemphasized.
But, why would I choose to eat mainly local foods when there are a variety of foods from foreign lands to choose from, you probably wonder? There are benefits in eating local foods. They have an amazing impact not only on our health but the environment and the local economy.
ALSO READ: 10 Worst foods you can eat – and they’re not the ones you think
Local foods support the economy
Purchasing local foods supports the Ghanaian economy in diverse ways. Purchasing fresh local foods from your typical markets instead of those huge supermarket chains that import most of their foods will help place money in the hands of local farmers. Local farmers will then be able to expand their farmlands which will, in turn, lead to the hiring of more labour. More labour required means, one less unemployed. So, by buying and eating local foods you will be helping to reduce the unemployment rate, build local farming capacity and support the overall growth of the Agriculture sector which plays a significant role in contributing to our GDP.
Local foods support the environment
Local foods support the environment by helping to reduce carbon emissions produced by long food transport and even air pollution. Imported/foreign foods are often shipped over thousands of miles to our supermarkets for purchase. That being said, the more miles travelled, the more fossil fuels that are used which increases carbon emissions into the atmosphere. Excess carbon traps radiation at ground level, creating a layer that prevents the earth from cooling at night. The resultant effect is what we all call global warming.
Local foods support our health
Our local foods are rich in nutrients, have less use of pesticides and are mostly void of preservatives, unlike imported foods that are mostly genetically modified. Our local foods offer a variety of vegetables, fruits, and nutrition filled foods into our diet that strengthens our immune system to fight against foreign pathogens in our human system.
This is particularly essential for us during this COVID-19 season. In his 11th Address to the nation, President, Akuffo Addo recognized the benefits of eating our local foods in helping with the fight against COVID-19. “Eat our local foods” he urged Ghanaians. Our local foods are prepared with food items such as beans, spinach, garlic, ginger, sardines, tuna and the like that help to boost the immune system.
In summary, during this era of COVID-19, take in local foods to help support struggling farmers during this uncertain time, boost the overall growth of the agriculture sector and the economy as a whole and also boost your immune system and overall health.