Eat Local, Eat Healthy
NVON Project in Common
2016 – 2018
The 2016-18 Project in Common, Eat Local, Eat Healthy emphasized the local foods movement.
Our food now travels an average of 1500 miles before ending up on our plates. This globalization of our food supply has serious consequences for the environment, our health, our communities and our taste buds. The local foods movement is a collaborative effort to build more locally based, self-reliant food economies. In 2007, locavore was the American Oxford Dictionary Word of the Year. Do you know what it means? A locavore eats food that is produced within 100 miles of their home, whether from farmer’s markets, community-supported agriculture or grow your own.
At the turn of the 20th century, most of the food that we ate came from within 50 miles of where we were eating it. But as the American demographic shifted from rural to urban, many local food sources disappeared. Aided by improvements in distribution from interstate highways and overnight shipping, we started looking farther and farther away from home for our food. Or, rather, we weren’t looking at all. We’d walk into supermarkets or restaurants and choose from the bounty of products that the big trucks had dumped at our doorstep. Consumer choices about food spending and diet are likely to be influenced by the accessibility and affordability of food retailers–travel time to shopping, availability of healthy foods, and food prices. The return of locally sourced produce is a recent phenomenon.
Eat Local, Eat Healthy encourages each member state to work closely with the local foods movement at their respective Extension Service.