Myth 15: Local vegetables and fruits are always more nutritious.
What Dietitians of Canada says:
“Fresh produce tastes great, but there are many factors that affect its nutritional value. Crop variety, growing conditions, ripeness, storage, processing, handling and transport all affect the nutrition of vegetables and fruits. Produce grown closer to home, picked when it’s ripe and eaten soon afterwards, might have more vitamins and minerals….”
What I say:
Umm… Am I the only one who sees DC’s comment as validation of this myth? Sure, there are lots of factors affecting the nutrient content of foods but the truth is, local food is more likely to be picked near peak-ripeness and arrive shortly thereafter on your plate, so it’s probably going to contain more nutrients than food coming from the other side of the planet. Even if local food may not always be more nutritious than food from elsewhere there are other good reasons to buy locally grown foods. If you shop at a farmers’ market you can ask the farmer questions about your food and how it was grown. You’re also supporting the local economy and keeping these skills alive in your area. Plus, if there ever comes a global economic collapse, it might be handy to have food grown nearby. I’m not saying we all need to strictly adhere to a 100 mile locavore diet (I for one need my coffee!) but if you have the choice between buying a food that was grown locally and a food that was shipped from far away I say go for the local item.