Jonathan Cole

1 year ago · 3 min. reading time · ~10 ·

Jonathan blog
Five Advantages of Purchasing Local Spices and Seasonings

Five Advantages of Purchasing Local Spices and Seasonings

I enjoy local cuisine. My wife and I recently bought produce and flowers, nut butters and jams, dishcloths and soaps from tiny, neighborhood farmers and businesses at the weekend farmer's market in neighboring Cedar Rapids, Iowa. On our route to see the grandchildren, we frequently stop at the produce stand by the roadside. I enjoy supporting local products because New Pioneer Co-op, my neighborhood food co-op, is one of the reasons I joined. The taste of those vegetables from down the road puts trucked-in produce to shame, so it's not only the good price that makes us happy when our neighbors with large gardens drop by with their excess bounty. I enjoy the community, social, economic, and environmental elements of buying locally in addition to the high quality of the goods.


I also enjoy eating a lot of cuisine that is imported from other parts of the world at the same time. That's because I consider the Vietnamese cinnamon, Madagascar-grown vanilla, and other Frontier Co-op goods I carry home from work to be examples of "purchasing local." 


Here are some of the explanations I have for doing so:


How Do Local Spices Work?

Any of the many vegetable products that are spicy, aromatic, or fragrant to the palate can be considered a local spice. Spices from the area arouse the senses and improve many different meal dishes.


1. Local spices are produced sustainably

Okay, I can't really argue that consuming food that has travelled almost 10,000 miles is reducing food miles. I won't be able to get locally grown cinnamon, though, unfortunately. Therefore, since I can't just stop consuming things that don't grow in Iowa, I must conduct another analysis. I consider how sustainably items that aren't grown nearby are cultivated elsewhere. Eat sustainable sourcing programmed places a strong emphasis on assisting small farmers in getting the tools and information they require to raise their crops sustainably and organically. Numerous countries' thousands of farmers have received training in organic, sustainable agriculture, and the institution also conducts research to advance organic farming techniques.


2. High-Quality Seasonings And Spices Can Be Found Locally

The fact that quality is a major factor when purchasing local spices suppliers and seasonings is one benefit. The neighborhood spice traders are individuals with a particular interest in their goods. The small farmers that produce a large portion of the regional spices and seasonings sold by Frontier Co-op are equally committed to upholding the standard of their goods as well as proud of them. To achieve the greatest quality possible, we work closely with the producers, and we frequently discover that their firsthand expertise is the key to accomplishing it.


The ideals of the community are reflected in the local spices. At Frontier Co-op, we regard ourselves as a part of several communities, including the Iowa community, the community of employees, the community of members, the community of the co-op, the community of consumers of natural products, and the community of suppliers. Fairness, quality, integrity, and respect for the environment are the fundamental principles shared by all of those communities. We believe that our company is aware of what those ideals entail. No one in our communities wants to see anybody else being taken advantage of, no one wants to see the quality of our products being compromised for any reason, everyone wants to be treated fairly and openly, and everyone wants to preserve the earth for future generations.


3. Buying local spices benefits the community financially

By purchasing local spices, you can help small-scale growers and stop your money from going to suppliers, intermediaries, and marketers. Instead, the money from your purchases goes straight to the farmers. The direct spice purchases made by Frontier Co-op have the same result.


Small-scale spice growers can lead very difficult lives. To ensure their welfare, they need a fair way to sell their crops. With fixed contracts and money for community support, programs like Well Earth and Fair Trade go even farther and provide them and their communities with a significantly better way of life. Frontier makes a lot of effort to establish direct purchasing agreements with regional producers of spices and grower groups; the money we save by cutting out intermediaries through direct purchasing is returned to the supplier, not to us. The majority of our supplier organizations are co-ops or other similarly organized organizations that equitably distribute their profits among their growers, employees, and local communities.


4. Accessible Local Spice Growers

However, Frontier Co-op has "local" links with the individuals who harvest our local spices and seasonings, so it's not exactly the same as mingling with people at the farmer's market. Speaking with one of our frequent tourists will reveal that we have close ties with the local spice vendors. Tours of the fields and facilities, lunches with family and neighbors, and even overnight stays in farmers' houses are all very frequent.

5. Authentic Frontier Spices And Seasonings Can Be Found Locally Co-op local spices and seasonings are sourced from authentic locations and actual individuals who have enlightening backstories that we are happy to share. These stories have only gotten better during the 31 years I've worked here. In the local communities where we conduct business, our co-success op's has given us the means to have an ever-greater impact. For example, we have been able to send children to school in Vietnam and Madagascar, drill wells in Madagascar and Sri Lanka, feed hungry children in India, and do many other things. We are working to become an open and trustworthy cooperative business that improves the world as we continue to build on the idealism of our founding principles.


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