With our Michelin-starred restaurants, bustling hawker centres and array of ethnic cuisine, food scarcity is the last thing on many of our minds.

But with climate change and global warming causing a whole host of environmental issues, we may not be able to take our food sources for granted in the near future. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that by 2050, global warming may cause crop yields across the globe to decline by up to 25 percent.

Our Little Red Dot — which imports over 90% of its food — is potentially vulnerable to this plummet in the world’s food supply.

Hope on the horizon — '30 by 30'

While this may sound like a bleak situation, we’ve already started to take steps to combat this issue together.

The '30 by 30' goal aims to have our nation produce 30% of our nutritional needs by 2030. As part of this plan, the Singapore Food Agency (SFA) has established a $30 million “30x30 Express” grant to help the agri-food industry ramp up local production in eggs, leafy vegetables, and fish in the shortest possible time.

Our local farmers have been stepping up their game as well, with vegetable farms growing their crops in climate-controlled greenhouses and fish farms employing contained systems to shield their catch from oil spills and toxic algae.

Buying from local farmers will go a long way in helping our nation secure our food future. Here are 4 other reasons why going for local produce is a great choice.

It's naturally fresher

Did you know that spinach can lose up to 50 - 90 percent of its nutrients within 24 hours? The same holds true for produce like mushrooms, which start to lose nutrients shortly after being picked.

Unlike food that’s flown in from other countries, local produce goes straight from our farms to our supermarket aisles, making it both fresher and more nutritious.

Quality assured

Singaporeans are sticklers when it comes to the quality of what we buy — Just chat with any aunty at the supermarket, and you’re bound to hear a whole range of criteria when it comes to picking groceries.

Great quality is just another reason to pick local produce. Since they’re grown in Singapore, our crops can be easily traced back to their sources, making it much easier for standards of quality to be maintained.

Do your part for Mother Nature

Being picky about what you eat isn’t just great for your body — it’s one way to help save Mother Nature.

Food currently contributes to approximately 26% of global greenhouse gases, and all of us can do our part to help lower this number. In Singapore’s case, our country may emit up to 19% more food-related greenhouse gases by 2030.

Unlike imported produce — which has to be transported here by plane — local produce travels a far shorter distance to get to you, which means that it has a much smaller carbon footprint.

While it may seem like a small lifestyle change, picking local produce can play a big part in saving our planet.

Support our budding businesses

Our local farmers are making great strides in harnessing technology to improve the yield, quality and diversity of local produce.

Some farmers like Citiponics has managed to tap on alternative spaces like the rooftop of multi-storey carparks to grow their vegetables, while Apollo Agriculture Group is in the midst of building an eight-tier vertical fish farm which will deliver a twenty-fold increase in their output of fish. 

By buying local produce, you’ll be helping to bolster innovative efforts like these, and ensuring they reach their full potential.

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