Buy locally, support your community of farmers, and cook better food.
local tastes better
Buy local produce, support your local farmers
This is an increasingly common mantra heard these days; and it is justifiably important to use your dollars to support those in your community that are producing good food. Your buying power will influence not only the economic livelihood of those farmers in your community, but will also reduce your footprint on the planet, and will generally allow you to cook better tasting, and healthier food.
Firstly, you should support your local farmers and artisan producers; and your dollars are better served going to a person that is committed to food production as a calling. Not many farmers or artisan food producers are in it primarily for the money, as it's a hard life, and although everyone hopes to make a bit of money; there are easier ways to do it. A local farmer or artisan food producer will be committed to a quality product, and will be far more committed to this product than a massive factory farm run by a multinational. These mega farms increase margins in ways that don’t often translate to better tasting, or better for you food. Genetic manipulation, harvesting in preparation for long storage and transporting, and the use of increasing amounts of chemicals; are generally bad things.
Secondly, asparagus in January probably wasn't grown near your house, unless you happen to live somewhere near Mexico City. Products shipped out of season often have to travel enormous distances to meet the demands of disparate markets across the continent, and across the world. Consider how many hundreds of gallons of diesel fuel were burned in the trucking of that asparagus, and whether this is a wise ecological choice, for what is surely to be a rather inferior product in any case.
Lastly, food grown locally will taste better. The closer to market the producer, the quicker any product ends up in the hands of the consumer; and this is invariably a good thing. Vegetables lose their freshness quickly, and although they can be manipulated to look as though they are fresh, any vegetable picked weeks earlier will not taste nearly as good as a perfectly field ripened and locally grown product. Eat locally, and with the seasons. Eat simple meals that highlight the intrinsic goodness of whatever is at its seasonal peak, and you will benefit through better health and more satisfying eating. Our bodies crave seasonal foods, and listening to your body is delicious!
Eat asparagus for a few weeks in the spring, eat sweet corn in August, and eat sweet potatoes in January. It's what your body wants anyways.
Take a trip out to your local farmers market. They deserve your support, and you'll be the biggest winner of all.