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5 Reasons to Eat Local

This post and photography was provided by Cleveland Dietitian, Allie McTighe of Simply CLE Nutrition and our friends at NatureFresh.

The movement towards supporting local businesses in today’s society is booming, especially in Cleveland. There are many local clothing brands, restaurants, fitness centers, grocery stores, farmers markets and more. Many people are starting to choose these products, but we could do more.

In the food industry, eating locally is defined as “minimizing the distance between production and consumption.” The NatureFresh family farm is located in Delta, Ohio. NatureFresh serves more than 20 million people within our area and their products can be found at Heinen’s!

Here are a few reasons why it is important to choose locally produced food:

1. Freshness
Local foods are fresher than their competitors, because they are picked at the peak of ripeness. During the summer months tomatoes and cucumbers are in season, so they are natural more fresh and flavorful!

2. Nutrition
Eating locally is associated with improved nutrition and likelihood of making healthier choices. This is because local food is less processed, fresher, and retains more nutrients. Tomatoes are nutrient-dense. They provide an excellent source of vitamins A and C and a good source of potassium.

3. Sustainable
Local foods take fewer steps between production and consumption, so there is a smaller carbon footprint. NatureFresh uses sustainable farming practices such as growing plants in coconut husks, recirculating water using a loop system, and utilizing ladybugs and bumblebees for pest control.

4. Economic
Local food supports the local economy, because producers reinvest within the community. Buying local helps to keep 65% of your dollar within the community, whereas picking chain products keeps only 40%.

5. Community
NatureFresh is a family farm that has grown both produce and people for 20 years. Heinen’s is a family-owned retail grocery store that has been providing food to the Cleveland community since 1929. Both bring pride to Ohioans and a sense of community.

Supporting the local, sustainable, and family-oriented food industry is beneficial for yourself and the community. By choosing locally grown fruits and vegetables you are making a positive impact on your health and environment. Check out NatureFresh and Heinen’s to learn more about their local family-owned business.

Heinen's local produce


1. Corwin Jessica. The Case for Eating by the Seasons. Food and Nutrition. 2016. | 2. Kristine Carlson. The Benefits of Eating Locally Grown Foods. Washington Medical Center.2016. | 3. Liberman Layne. From the Vine: Treasure the Many Types of Tomatoes. Food and Nutrition. 2017. | 4. Rita Kiavinski. 7 Benefits of Eating Local Foods. Michigan State University Extension.2013. | 5. Todini Kristina. A Simple Shift Toward More Sustainable Eating. Food and Nutrition.2017. | 6. The Local Food Movement: Definitions, Benefits & Resources. Roslynn Brain Department of Environment & Society. Utah State University Extension Sustainability. 2012.| 7. Wolfram Taylor. 6 Tips to Lighten Your Carbon Foodprint. EatRight Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.2019.

By Heinen's Grocery Store
In 1929, Joe Heinen opened the doors of a small butcher shop on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio, aiming to establish himself as the city’s purveyor of quality meats. As customers came into Heinen’s new shop for their meat purchases, they began asking him to carry groceries as well. Joe added homemade peanut butter, pickles and donuts and by 1933, business had grown enough to include a line of produce and canned goods. Heinen’s Grocery Store was born.

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