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How Supporting Local Businesses Affects Your Health and Your Community

Why Buy Local? 

It’s important to me as a health professional with my own practice to do two things: make conscious decisions that are best for my family’s health and support other small businesses in my community. This probably matters to you, too! 


Choosing locally-owned businesses – whether it’s for food you eat, the coffee you drink, or a doctor you see – benefits both your health and your community. 


Does this surprise you?


I’m going to tell you how:


  1. Locally-grown produce is fresher and packed with more nutrients. 


Important nutrients – like vitamins C, A, and E – in fruits and vegetables decrease substantially when they’re shipped. (1) A piece of produce starts decomposing immediately after it’s picked, and so its nutrients begin to deplete. The less time a piece of produce has to travel, the fresher it is. The fresher the fruit, the better it is for your health. Not to mention, it tastes better too! 


  1. Eating seasonally is designed to support your health.


Think about what we ate before the modern-day grocery store. Hard to imagine, huh? But we didn’t always have every food available to us. People ate what was available to them during that season. Eating seasonally is the natural way to eat, and it’s designed to support our health by encouraging a wide variety of fruits and vegetables in our diet.   


  1. Locally-sourced items produce less waste. 


We all want to know simple things we can do to play our part in protecting the environment, especially in our own community. We recycle, switch off the lights when we’re not home, and make an effort to turn the sink off while brushing our teeth. Well, buying locally grown food and products is another easy yet powerful way to reduce your carbon footprint!  


By purchasing goods produced in your local community, you’re cutting down on miles traveled to get that product to you – compared to an average of 1,500 miles most food in the grocery store travels – and less packaging is typically required (2). 


  1. Your money supports your community.


For every $100 spent at a locally owned business, about $67 remains in your local community, while only $43 remains when it’s spent at a chain store (3). Buying local is then a win-win situation for a couple of reasons: 


  1. Your money goes back into creating more of that good or service for you and your neighbors.

  2. Your money supports your neighbors and friends who are equally invested in your community’s future.


Sounds like money well spent, right?


  1. Connection is strengthened between you and your community. 


Every time you choose to support a local business, you have the opportunity to connect with someone in your community. If we’ve learned anything from going through a global pandemic, it’s this: we crave human connection. There’s something special about going into a local business and seeing the friendly face of a neighbor who you might never have met otherwise. This is something that large retailers and commercial businesses – while sometimes more convenient – just can’t offer. 


Serving the Northern Virginia Community 

Meeting new faces and building relationships within the McLean/Great Falls community has been one of my greatest pleasures over the last 20-some years. I feel truly fortunate to have patients who are my friends and neighbors, and to help them while doing what I love every day! 


If you’re looking for a local orthodontist in Northern Virginia, my team would love to meet you! Browse through my website to learn more about me and book an appointment.   


Resources:

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/17852499/ 

  2. https://attra.ncat.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/foodmiles.pdf 

  3. https://www.moxey.money/blog/research-shows-money-spent-at-a-local-retailer-or-restaurant-stays-in-the-community 

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