How to build a strong local food system
It goes beyond farmers’ markets and CSA shares.
Before we had ‘local food,’ we just had food. Communities fed themselves with whatever was produced in the region, with farmers selling directly to stores and customers. It was unheard of to truck vegetables from Florida or California all year round in order to feed hungry people in the central U.S.
Over the past half-century, however, a more nationalized food production system has developed. As Brian Williams explains in an article for Strong Towns, agricultural states now grow or raise food that’s sent out of state for processing, and then buy it back:
“Today, if every farmer in Ohio pledged to grow for local markets, and every Ohio consumer vowed to buy local, we would have hungry people and wasted food. That’s because we lack the supply chain – the processing, distribution, and marketing ‘infrastructure’ – to move food from farm to fork.”
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