Building a local food economy, what are the barriers?

November 26, 2008 at 2:26 pm Leave a comment

North Carolina is the largest producer of sweet potatoes in the country, yet often the orange taters in the big supermarket near where I live come all of the way from California. And don’t get me started about how difficult it is to find a ripe local tomato or a firm N.C. apple in the produce section even at the height of the growing season. What’s up with that?

There are lots of reasons why even though North Carolina is the eighth largest agricultural state, and Chatham county is one of the few where small sustainable farms are on the rise, we still don’t find locally produced meats and vegetables in our supermarkets or our school cafeterias. It has to do with everything from federal food policies that subsidize mega commodity growers who produce feed for animals instead of food for people, to the lack of local distribution and processing centers to handle and market our produce close to where it’s grown.

And then there’s the challenge of who is left out of the sustainable food chain? Local farm experts addressed all of these issues today on WUNC FM public radio’s “State of Things.” Guests included Jennifer Curtis of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems, who is working with farmers and whole food advocates across North Carolina to develop a statewide local food action plan for a truly local food system. Other guests included a farmland preservation advocate, an African American farmer and a Hispanic grocer. Click here to download the program from I-tunes.

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Entry filed under: Uncategorized.

From Farm-to-Fork, statewide action plan How about a Secretary of Sustainable Agriculture?

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