How seasonal, local and organic food (SLO) can significantly improve our lives


The impact of our fork: how food choices shape our lives and the environment.

Eating a healthy and sustainable diet is becoming increasingly important for many people today. One way to achieve this is by choosing seasonal, local, and organic food (SLO). These three concepts are closely linked, and they all play a crucial role in creating a more sustainable and healthy food system. Let’s take a closer look at what each of these concepts means and why they matter.

Seasonal food

The idea behind eating seasonal food is to choose fruits and vegetables that are currently in season in your region. This not only helps support local farmers but also ensures that you are eating fresh produce that has been harvested at the peak of its flavour and nutritional value crucial for your health. It’s also good for the environment since transporting food long distances creates a larger carbon footprint.

Local food

When you choose to eat local food, you’re supporting the farmers and producers in your region. This not only helps to boost the local economy, but it also reduces the environmental impact. Eating locally gives you the chance to connect with the people who grow your food and helps to preserve regional food traditions and biodiversity. By exploring your local food scene, you might come across unique varieties that are only found in your area. So, eating locally not only benefits you, but it also supports your community and helps to protect the environment.

Organic Food

Organic food is grown without the use of synthetic pesticides and fertilisers, GMOs, or antibiotics and growth hormones in animal products. Organic farming practices promote biodiversity and the health of the soil and ecosystem, making it a sustainable and environmentally friendly option. By choosing organic food, you not only support these practices but also avoid potential exposure to harmful chemicals to your health and to the planet.

Just with these general and simple definitions, you can understand the impact that the products we consume have on our lives.

By choosing SLO food, you are supporting sustainable agriculture and a healthier food system.

In a nutshell, here’s 8 good reasons to consider, just for starters:

  • Better nutrition, for you and your loved ones
  • Regeneration of local farm enterprises and the soils in which they grow
  • Keep toxins out of your local food-shed/ watershed/ bioRegion
  • Reduce the carbon footprint of your diet
  • Shorten those long & brittle supply chains
  • Promote local business (i.e. Circular Economy) over big AgriBiz
  • Develop richer, more substantive relations with your neighbours
  • Achieve a higher level of food sovereignty & self-reliance

Each of these sounds like a worthy goal unto itself, right? And while there are certainly other ways to advance each of them, you are unlikely to find any one thing that you as an individual can do to deliver against all of these goals -certainly nothing so efficient as giving priority to the more Seasonal/ Local/ Organic choices in your diet.

To be clear though: SLO food is not all things to all people, and there are certain attributes of the Standard American Diet (simply ‘SAD’ for short :-), exported around the world (SADly ;-), to people who value above all:

  • Convenience: For delivery where&when you want it- either at the drive-thru on your way to work or even delivered to your door- better look for the golden arches, or call Uber Eats.
  • Speed of prep & delivery: For minimal hang-time between decision time and the time it enters your mouth, there is no way to beat a frozen/ canned/ dehydrated product, fast-fried, microwaved or even ready-to-eat from a vaccuum-sealed package… SLO food is not the way. And finally:
  • Low Cost: For those who take no account of negative externalities (i.e. cost to your health, your local community & economy, the planet), there are certainly cheaper ways to fill your belly with something that will more-or-less pass for food.

Indeed: Instituted as it was during the “Green Revolution” in postwar USA to deliver marginally nutritious (at least in terms of macronutrients) products of the ag industry to a large/ dispersed/ growing population in great quantities at lowest possible cost, the SAD diet did its job well enough that had a near-revolutionary impact on dietary customs around the world. So it is that, in a population center of any size, wherever you are, you are seldom very far from a “fast-food alley” or hypermarket optimised to deliver on the values of convenient/ fast/ cheap, treating “nutritious” as a niche interest for which you must pay dearly, if you can get it at all.

If the value proposition of SLO food sounds appealing to you, the good news is: there is something you can do in support of those values, with immediate benefits and yet very little effort. Here’s a few suggestions:

  • If you are lucky enough to live in or near Lagos Portugal: there’s a weekly market called Viv’O Mercado (Wednesday 5-9pm, on downtown waterfront) where you can meet our friendly staff, pick up some SLOfood of the finest kind, and start enjoying the benefits straightaway – Click here to know where you can find Quinta Vale da Lama organic and regenerative produce
  • Wherever you live: find your nearest farmers’ market, visit the fresh produce stalls, and ask where it’s grown and if it’s certified organic. You can also as your local grocers – even in the chain hypermarkets – if they offer such produce. Maybe best of all would be getting to know your local growers, who are typically happy to meet customers who care enough to enquire.

Would you like to receive more information about our organic and regenerative farm? click here

Written by: Walt Ludwick

Regenerative Farmer, Operations, and Owner.

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