12 Reasons to Get Your Hands on Local

A photo of a woman holding a handful of local produce

Say cheers! This February marks one year since Taste of Nova Scotia, in partnership with the Nova Scotia Department of Agriculture, launched Get Your Hands on Local. The province-wide, buy-local program features Taste of Nova Scotia signage in more than 150 retail locations to ensure making local choices is easier than ever before.

To celebrate 12 months of Get Your Hands on Local, we’re sharing 12 reasons to continue supporting local where you eat, drink, and shop. Here’s to another year of choosing local food and drink.

1. Local Food is Fresh

whats cooking

We may be biased, but local food just tastes better! By choosing restaurants that support local producers, or cooking your own dishes with local ingredients, you’ll be able to taste the difference. The minimal processing involved in getting the food to your table ensures your food is not only fresh but delicious.

2. Economic Growth

As a Nova Scotia consumer you have an important choice to make in where you choose to dine and shop. Money spent supporting local food and beverage producers stays close to home and not only supports the local business you shopped at, but the local businesses they support as well.

3. Every Choice Counts

boy picking apples at store

Every choice to support local makes a difference. Whether shopping at a local supplier, buying a local beer, or choosing a local apple or cucumber over an imported one, small choices add up to have a big impact.

4. Supports Local Farmers, Fishers, Restaurants, Producers, & Artisans

The Velden Family - Flying Apron Inn & Cookery

Nova Scotia’s culinary industry is made up of passionate individuals from one end of the province to the other. From those who serve you at restaurants to people behind the scenes, they all work together to provide you with the absolute best culinary products and experiences. When you support local you’re supporting the people that work to make our province so special.

5. Environmental Sustainability

Image of woman holding carrots at Noggins

Your decision to purchase local food and drink contributes to environmental sustainability and decreases your ecological footprint. Unlike imported goods, it takes much less travel time for local food and drink to get from their source to your hands. This means less food waste, preservatives, lower greenhouse gas emissions, and less impact on the environment!

6. Readily Available

Man points to scallops inside seafood counter. There are also oysters in the shot.

In Nova Scotia, you can get your hands on local products year-round. Whether it’s at a grocery store, farmers’ market, or a local restaurant or bar, there are so many ways you can get your hands on local. Look for the Taste of Nova Scotia logo where you eat, drink, and shop, or visit our Get Your Hands on Local directory to make the process even easier!

7. You’ll Learn About Eating Seasonally

Eating with the seasons supports your health and encourages new experiences in the kitchen! Think about your winter comfort food cravings – this is the perfect opportunity to feature local root vegetables in a warm soup or stew! For more information on what’s in season, make sure you follow us on social media for weekly seasonal grocery lists or check out our Guide to Getting Your Hands on Local.

8. You’ll Make New Food Discoveries

Get Your Hands on Loca

It’s easy and tempting to stick to a small rotation of recipes and snacks, but choosing local in-season products introduces variety into your diet. On top of this, Nova Scotia’s unique terroir and merroir provides us with an abundance of new foods to try. How lucky are we to have fresh oysters, scallops, lobster, and more, right here in our province?

9. Storytelling

Food and drink brings people together. By choosing products sourced closer to home you’re not only enjoying the taste, but you’re experiencing the stories behind the products. Buying local connects you with the people that bring you local products and the traditions, lessons, and immense work that went into making them.

10. You’ll Gain a Greater Appreciation for Our Province

Author Michael Pollan talks about the concept of “eat your view”, which can be easily applied in Nova Scotia. From our rolling agricultural landscapes to our historic coastal fishing communities, there are countless ways to “eat your view” in Nova Scotia. By recognizing where your food is coming from and seeing what our land and sea have to offer, you’ll gain a further appreciation for our province.

11. Preserves Green Space

photo of people picking strawberries

By eating your view, you’re also helping to preserve your view. Buying product sourced from local farms and fisheries helps not only ensure they stay in operation but also helps to preserve Nova Scotia’s agricultural landscapes and coastal fishing communities from one end of the province to the other.

12. You Can Make It an Experience

A photo of a group of four people at Steinhart Distillery looking at owner/distiller Thomas Steinhart as he shows off one of their stills.

Nova Scotia is known for its phenomenal culinary adventures that allow you to experience local food and drink in a whole new way. Whether it’s a wine tour or overnight getaway, there are so many ways to taste your way around the province.

For more of our Taste of Nova Scotia events, news and recipes delivered directly to your inbox, subscribe to our Taste of Nova Scotia emails.

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