Rea·son (reezuhn) – The basis or motive for an action, decision, or conviction.

When asked to do something, most people require one. Even if it is not spoken aloud, we still think about the reason, and we all have one (or many) for every action we make. It’s true, although it is not always so obvious, especially when it comes to things that we do frequently in routine, or out of habit. Eating is one of those things. While the primary reason to eat is to satisfy hunger, it is possible to find yourself eating for pleasure, as a solution to boredom, as a substitute for love, as a reward to oneself, or as a remedy against stress or frustration. Some reasons are more important than others (psychologists state that the willingness to survive and the willingness to reproduce are the two primary reasons that explain basic human behavior). Whatever the reason, there is always one present. When it comes to eating local, we have worked to provide you with some reasons to do so. We will be giving you one last reason in the concluding part of this series, and to many this reason will prove invaluable (If it does not already do so).

Unfortunately, there is no way to tell exactly what that reason will be for you, as it is a different story for everyone. Well, the reason for our story is apparent in and of itself: Buying locally grown food is the perfect fodder for a countless number of inspiring stories. Those stories and discoveries are different for everyone, and enrich the entire process of buying local. That is a benefit that you won’t get anywhere else. It’s also an experience that yields intrinsic benefit, as the simple relationship between buyer and seller can grow to hold a much deeper meaning. As are many things, the purposes of such benefits are more easily observed over time, and the appreciation of them can only grow.

There really is no promise that can be made as to what sort of experience you may have, and there is no foretelling the benefits it may hold to you. This is the sort of promise that must be measured on the past, and on the experiences of others. As people often do when considering a course of action, they will look to others who have favorable results (such is the case with a role model, looking to one who gives inspiration). We would suggest asking others about their experiences buying local, as they are certain to provide unique perspective. If you prefer the first-hand approach, visit a farmers’ market near you, and talk to your farmers. Ask them about their land, why they grow what they do, and begin to learn their story. Ask as many questions as you like; farmers love to share their passion as much as anybody.

It is true that most of our behavior can be explained by the choices we make. We all know that we must eat to survive, but choosing what, where, when, and how we eat are individual choices that are unique to ourselves. When you find yourself faced with those choices before your next meal, take a second to consider the reasons behind your potential decision. It should become clear that when possible, try to eat local. There’s just no good reason not to.