We had the privilege to speak last night at 2 Alices as part of the kick off of the Cornwall Locavore Challenge. Here is our “talk.” What a fun time we had! We are very very proud of Rachel and Lauren for putting together this very important challenge and raising awareness about this important topic.
TEN REASONS TO BUY LOCAL FOOD
1) Local food tastes and looks better. Food produced in your own community was produced within the past day or two. We hand craft our cheeses for the best flavor and freshness. The cheese we bring to market is either made that week if it is a fresh cheese or cut and packaged the day before market if it is an aged cheese.
2) Local food is better for you. The shorter the time between the farm and your table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost from fresh food. Food imported from far away is older and has traveled on trucks or planes, and sat in warehouses before it gets to you.
3) Local food preserves genetic diversity. In the modern agricultural system, livestock are chosen for their ability to produce uniformly and withstand the rigors of factory farming so often there is limited genetic diversity in large-scale production. Livestock diversity is higher where there are many small farms rather than few large farms.
4) Local food is safe. There’s a unique kind of assurance that comes from looking a farmer in the eye at farmers’ market or driving by the farm where your food comes from. Local farmers aren’t anonymous and they take their responsibility to the consumer seriously. At our creamery, we strive to be transparent in our cheesemaking and have installed a large viewing window so the consumer can see how our cheese is made and how clean we keep our facility.
5) Local food supports local families. The wholesale prices that farmers get for their products are low, often near the cost of production. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food – which helps farm families stay on the land.
6) Local food builds community. When you buy direct from a farmer, you’re engaging in a time-honored connection between eater and producer. Knowing farmers gives you insight into the seasons, the land, and your food. In many cases, it gives you access to a place where your children and grandchildren can go to learn about nature and agriculture. With the mild winter, we able to invite many families to our farm to help feed our baby goats, meet the milking herd, taste fresh milk and taste our cheeses. Each dollar spent at our farm gets turned around and spend in our community. It allows us to hire local folks and build a positive network.
7) Local food preserves open space. When farmers get paid more for their products by marketing locally, they’re less likely to sell farmland for development. When you buy locally grown food, you’re doing something proactive to preserve our working landscape. That landscape is an essential ingredient to other economic activity in the state, such as tourism and recreation.
8) Local food keeps taxes down. According to several studies by the American Farmland Trust, farms contribute more in taxes than they require in services, whereas most development contributes less in taxes than the cost of required services. Goats don’t go to school or dial 911.
9) Local food benefits the environment and wildlife. Well-managed farms provide ecosystem services: they conserve fertile soil, protect water sources, and sequester carbon from the atmosphere. The farm environment is a patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, ponds and buildings that provide habitat for wildlife in our communities.
10) Local food is an investment in the future. By supporting local farmers today, you are helping to ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow. That is a matter of importance for food security, especially in light of an uncertain energy future and our current reliance on fossil fuels to produce, package, distribute and store food. Not to mention if there is a zombie apocalypse, you know there will be milk, cheese and goat meat right here on Angola Road.