If you’ve followed our story so far, you’ve already got good reasons to buy local: you know that food tastes better when it doesn’t have to travel far to get to your plate, and you like knowing you’re supporting local farmers. But here are 10 great things you might not know about buying local in BC – and yes, most of the BC products we’re talking about here are available in any grocery store, not just the fancy ones.
1. Tuna caught in BC waters doesn’t have the mercury risk of albacore tuna caught elsewhere and is safe to eat without the limitations placed on tuna caught elsewhere.
2. Your milk’s more local than you think. Milk in BC (that includes white & flavoured milk and cream) is produced locally and gets from the farm to a grocery store in 3-4 days! BC dairy farmers focus on producing milk locally, so BC produced milk is fresh and stays within BC.
3. Because BC doesn’t have many bugs, our farmers prioritize natural methods for pest control (aka Integrated Pest Management – think ladybugs, or sticky traps). In fact, nearly 100% of BC greenhouse growers use IPM – which means that when you buy BC greenhouse products like cucumbers and tomatoes, you’re supporting farming that reduces our reliance on pesticides.
4. For the same reason, you don’t need to wash your BC tree fruits with soap. If your apples, peaches, pears, plums or apricots have a BC label on them, just water and a gentle scrub does the trick!
5. When you buy Certified BC Beef; that means your beef comes from cattle that were born and raised on family farms and ranches in BC, and processed by craft abattoirs in communities throughout the province. Even better, many small producers do not use antibiotics or hormones.
6. You might think of June as strawberry season – but out here, it’s possible to get local strawberries from May right through September! BC strawberry farmers produce both June-bearing varieties and ever-bearing varieties like Albion which flowers and fruits until autumn.
7. BC dairy farms are close to being self-sustaining units. In our province, farmers grow two-thirds of the feed that a cow consumes and they recycle the cow’s manure back to the fields where the feed is grown.
8. No matter what kind of BC chicken or turkey you buy, you can rest assured they’re all hormone and steroid free (it’s the law). So you can feel good about your chicken and turkey, whether you’re buying at a U-Save style supermarket or a fancy all-organic one.
9. BC produces some of the best artisanal cheeses – you don’t have to go to Quebec to get an exceptional brie or blue.
10. Some of your favourite wines started in BC – in fact, BC is the home of the North American ice wine industry. (You can read more about this happy accident involving frozen vines here.) And while you read, chew on this: Ambrosia apples and Stolo strawberries are another example of a delicious treat that got their start right here at home in BC.
Feeling hungry yet? Here’s one more thing you might not have known: BC’s mild climate brings unexpected foods like kiwi fruitto the Fraser Valley. Find more foods seasonally with theWe ❤ Local mobile app or on our mobile-friendly website.