Local and Regional food systems are about opportunity!
Local Food Grows Local Economy
When buying locally produced food products, farmers and ranchers are paid
directly and the money is circulated and reinvested in the local economy over and
A Healthier Environment
It has been shown that a meal created with locally grown ingredients has travelled
a total of 100 kilometres from origin to the dinner table; the average North American meal prepared using conventional imported ingredients travels over 2000 kilometres.
Make Local Food Our Future
Supporting local producers today helps to ensure that there will continue to be
farms supplying healthy, fresh food in your community into the future.
Invest in Your Health Studies have shown that increased awareness of locally produced food leads to increased consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Local Food Tastes Great
By buying local, you are receiving the freshest possible produce often picked just hours before being purchased.
Locally grown food from locally grown farmers.
Find Your Local Producers
Use the Connecting Consumers and Producers Directory in the this guide to find suppliers of local food in your area or visit a farmers’ market to meet your local producers in person.
Learn What’s in Season
Use the BC Farmers’ Market Seasonal Availability Chart on page 56 to see what local foods are in season.
Celebrate Local Agriculture
Celebrate with local producers at farmers’ markets, food festivals, fall fairs, and Connecting Consumers and Producers Community Events.
Think Beyond Fruits and Veggies
When you are thinking about eating locally produced foods don’t forget to incorporate meat, dairy, eggs, honey, and grains into your meal plans.
Preserve When it’s Available
Living in a northern region means there is a short growing season. There are many ways to eat local agriculture products all year round if you practice the art of freezing, drying, canning, and smoking foods. Use this brochure to get you started eating local all year round.
Thinking Beyond Vegetables
Benefits of Buying Local Meat, Abattoirs, Other Foods Produced Locally, Support Our Bee Keepers.
Benefits of Buying Local Meat
Meat is a valuable source of protein and a vital component in maintaining overall health and well-being. Meat is rich in iron, zinc and selenium as well as vitamins A, B and D. There are benefits to buying locally produced meat products. Some of these benefits include:
- Cost savings. Splitting the cost of a beef between multiple families can save you money.
- Promoting energy conservation. The average distance our food travels is 2000 kms. Food grown and harvested in the community, that stays in the community, does not have to travel far.
- Local farmers take their responsibility seriously. They know their customers are their neighbours.
Abattoirs are facilities that process animals for food consumption. Meat processed in these facilities can be sold at farmers’ markets or directly from the local farmers. Animals can be purchased live from local farmers and processed in abattoirs. In the Bulkley-Nechako region we have three abattoir facilities.
Find more information at bcabattoirs.org.
Support Our Beekeepers
Bees are incredibly vital to so many aspects of the health of our communities. The list of locally grown produce that depends on bees for pollination is a lengthy one. Purchasing locally produced honey supports our local beekeepers. The Benefits of Raw Honey include:
- Raw, unprocessed, honey is better as a sweetener than white sugar because your body expends more energy breaking it down.
- Because it is not pasteurized, honey still contains natural enzymes.
- Honey naturally contains Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6 & C.
- Minerals found in honey include potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron.
- Honey aids digestions and can soothe a sore throat.
Put honey and lemon juice into a teacup or mug. Add hot water and stir. Add more lemon juice, honey, or hot water to taste. Find more information at bchoneyproducers.ca.
Other Local Products
Grains and Seeds
Not often thought of as a locally produced food item in the north, there are several grain producers in the Bulkley-Nechako region. See the Connecting Consumers and Producers Directory for listings.
Buying eggs from a local farm is a great idea! Different breeds of chickens lay different coloured eggs. Ameraucana chickens lay eggs of various shades of blue to blue-green. With the exception of some of the rarer heritage breeds, white chickens lay white eggs and brown chickens lay brown eggs. The nutritional quality of eggs is determined by the chickens' diet, not the shell colour.
Freezing locally produced meat is the best way to keep it fresh all year, but did you know you can also freeze locally produced eggs? Just crack into a container, add 1/2 tsp of salt per 1 cup of egg, and freeze. "Eggcellent" way to stock up while the hens are laying.
Use raw sheep's wool for spinning or as a natural mulch! It’s good at suppressing weeds, has good water retention, is 100% natural, and bio-degrades over time. The wool also holds the heat of the day and warms the soil, the lanolin in the wool acts as a natural slug deterrent, it will be great for the local bird population who’ll have the best nests for miles around, and as it rots it’ll put nitrogen back into the ground. Find a farmer that produces raw wool near you today!