In the wake of Earth Day during this global crisis, we wonder what we can do to help others and ourselves to pass through. The answer varies greatly depending on the one who asks, but there are actions that we can all take either individually or collectively to keep our “home” at its best.
One initiative, which environmentalists have been advocating for a long time, is gaining momentum in the news; the consumption of local products. It’s been heard for weeks in the media and speeches by our leaders: Buy local! “There’s a way to help our businesses now. Buy local. Buy Quebec products, manufactured, distributed, and sold by local businesses. It’s time to change our buying habits,” said Premier of Quebec, François Legault at the start of the confinement.
This habit strengthens the local economy. It allows our small and large businesses to maintain their employees, their infrastructure, and to provide products and services adapted to the needs of citizens following their everyday reality. It also allows us to significantly reduce our environmental footprint, since the food we buy, either at the grocery store or online travels a shorter distance to arrive on our tables. As a result, fewer greenhouse gases are produced during transportation, less time is spent in storage, and our family will enjoy the benefits of food that have retained its taste and nutrients and that is probably of better quality.
Whether it’s fresh, locally produced food or food processed here, using wholly or partly local ingredients, they keep local farms rolling and allow you to eat well. The CFIA—Canadian Food Inspection Agency—has adopted an interim policy which states that for an ingredient to be considered local, it must be sold within the same local government unit or an adjacent government unit where it is produced, or within a 50 km radius of its place of origin.
Towards a localvore consumer?
The Government of Canada’s website Termium Plus notes that “Localvores recognise that there are multiple benefits of eating food grown close to home. The informal movement has sprouted … in response to a food supply that has become increasingly global and sprawling.” This term, consisting of local and vore (to eat), is defined as “a person who eats only locally grown and produced food.”
According to the 10th edition of the Baromètre de consommation responsable, published in November 2019 by ESG UQAM, buying local is the second most adopted responsible consumption behavior in Quebec, after recycling. And those who lead by example are mainly consumers aged 65 and over. So, for all those who are still looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact, buying local products is a great way to go. To make the right choice, simply look for products with the Aliment préparé au Québec or Aliment du Québec certification on their packaging.
Would you like to do a little more?
In addition to buying local, start by reducing your consumption of red meats and favoring sustainable foods like CrickBread. This would give us a little break from GHG emissions, a well-deserved gift for “Mother Earth.”
How can you buy locally without leaving your home?
To get your favorite or new local products online, just type simple words in French such as aliments du Québec, le panier bleu, maturin, achat solidaire, ma zone Québec or even achat local into your search engine or browser, and you’ll find plenty of possibilities that will surely satisfy all your needs without leaving your home!
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