The local food movement


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The local food movement

  1. 1. The “Eat Local” Phenomena … Coming to a Town Near You! Brownbag Presentation March 25, 2008 Lisa Gruver Erin Orwig
  2. 2. Why Eat Local? …knowing where your food comes from + engaging in the act of eating, benefits your… •Community •Environment •Economics •Health, Safety, Security
  3. 3. Community • Relationships between producers and consumers • Social capital (including animals) • Support the livelihoods of local producers
  4. 4. ….. L. J. Hanifan, state supervisor of rural schools in West Virginia wrote in 1916, regarding social capital and it’s importance for successful schools…. “those tangible substances [that] count for most in the daily lives of people: namely good will, fellowship, sympathy, and social intercourse among the individuals and families who make up a social unit....The individual is helpless socially, if left to himself....If he comes into contact with his neighbor, and they with other neighbors, there will be an accumulation of social capital, which may immediately satisfy his social needs and which may bear a social potentiality sufficient to the substantial improvement of living conditions in the whole community. The community as a whole will benefit by the cooperation of all its parts, while the individual will find in his associations the advantages of the help, the sympathy, and the fellowship of his neighbors.”
  5. 5. Three times more consumers surveyed at urban farmers markets than consumers surveyed at rural farmers markets …. disagreed ….that they go to a farmer’s market strictly to buy food.
  6. 6. Environment • Consumers can drive farmer practices to be more environmentally friendly! e.g.…less use of pesticides, protection of waterways from pollution by nutrients or antibiotics, pasture- based systems which reduce soil erosion, conserve energy & water, and reduce concentration of animal wastes • Most food consumed travels an average of 1500 miles – lots of gas, pollution, and refrigeration! • It takes 4-17 times less oil to produce local food compared to nonlocal
  7. 7. Economic • Money remains within the community-for every dollar spent at an IA farmer’s market it generates $1.58 in additional sales • Supports sustainable land development • Supports rural economic benefits (open space, Spoon River Drive, agritourism, etc.)
  8. 8. Health, Safety, Security • Fresher – “just picked this morning” • Eating local usually leads to eating more whole foods (fruits, vegetables, grains) • Safer because fewer handlers and less time between production and consumption • Reduced “bio-contamination” issues because decentralized network of harvest, washing, packing • Production closer to home reduces chances of food scarcity from disruption in food system
  9. 9. And……food grown, sold, prepared, and eaten with care….. Tastes better!!
  10. 10. The Local Food Movement … From slow beginnings to rapidly inviting you to participate!
  11. 11. General Stuff on Slow Food International
  12. 12. •Program: Storing Winter Root Vegetables •Local Coffee and Scones – and Wine Tasting •Indian Food at Gateway to India – tour the kitchen with owners Charles and Lynette •Honey Tasting at the Farmers Market •Blues & BBQ event •Tour of Garrick Veeenstra’s Organic Farm •Fall Menu at Maldaner’s - $35 (includes meal tea/coffee, taxes, and gratuity) •Joint Illinois Stewardship Alliance-Slow Food Springfield Membership Program on Large Scale Organic Farming, Heritage Turkeys •Vermicompost Workshop •Backyard Organic Gardening •Tour of the Gillette Mansion & Picnic Elkhart Spring Festival •Meet Your Local Producers •Location: Lincoln Park Pavilion Springfield, Illinois
  13. 13. Food Policy Councils • Consist of a diverse group of community members that work in various parts of the food system (farmers, retailers, anti-hunger advocates, distributors, processors, school representatives, etc) • Examine local food system and identify barriers • Provide ideas and recommendations for improvement through public policy changes
  14. 14. Examples of Local Food Policies • A decision by school officials to purchase foods raised by local farmers • Regulations allowing the sales of raw milk to consumers • The regulatory health and safety requirements for food processing • The eligibility standards for seniors and low- income individuals to use farmers market coupons
  15. 15. Woodbury County Iowa Policies • In June 2005, Woodbury County passed a resolution giving a land tax break to farms that converted to organic • In January 2006 another policy was passed to mandate the county to buy local, organic foods (foods grown within 100 miles of county courthouse)
  16. 16. Existing Food Policy Councils • Evanston Food Policy Council • Tri-State Food Policy Council (Quincy,IL) • Chicago Food Policy Advisory Council • Dane County Food Policy Council (Madison, WI) • Iowa Food Policy Council • + 70 others Check listings at
  17. 17. Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs • CSA directory and case study http://www.value- • Additional resources at • Other food-related endeavors of IIRA- cooperative formation, land use • Taste of the Tri-states
  18. 18. University of Illinois Extension, Knox County • Hosting community meetings beginning in Sept 2007 • Hosted regional meeting with County Extension; setup portal for information sharing • Taste of Galesburg (July 24, 2008) with local foods display board • Local Food Expo with chef competition • “Local Pride” flags to label local food in Hy-Vee • Producer Conference in November in partnership with Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity
  19. 19. Other Organizations/Resources • Food Security Coalition • Sustainable Table • Leopold Center • • • • • ???
  20. 20. Food Initiatives Group We advocate for a revolution of food and agriculture – the resurgence of a local food culture that provides every person access to sustainably produced, nutritious food. Our goals are to promote the participation of community members in: -understanding, fostering, and celebrating the ecological, economic, ethical, social, and historical components of sustainable food networks. -developing appreciation for the growing, preparing, and eating of food. -supporting policies that facilitate expansion of the local foods market and education of new farmers.
  21. 21. Timeline of FIG’s Development • July 2, 2007 “Local Food Issues” Meeting at Barefoot Gardens CSA with Members (17) • August 10 Meeting with some CSA members and future partners (10)• August 15 Identifying Interests: Slow Food, Healthy Food in Schools, Year Round Access, and School Gardens/Health, Cooking education (24)• August 29 (19) Identifying Goals: Educate/Raise Awareness & Enhance Local Markets • September 20 Articulating Mission Statement/Goals, Change of Name from Food Issues Group to Food Initiatives Group, Change from Rotational Leadership to Assigned Responsibilities (8?) • October 24 Articulating Mission Statements/Goals, First Steering Board, Discussion of FIG as an organization (8?) • November 26 FIG as a 501c3 or joining with ISA? Action Team Brainstorming, FIGs involvement in an AGRI-First grant (17)
  22. 22. • January 12 Potluck, Discussion of FIG with ISA, Action Team Meetings, Discussion of grant, Movie King Corn (18) • February 18 Discussion of Action Teams, By-laws (18) • March 3 Establishment of Membership/Dues, Elections of Officers, Discussion of Action Teams (16) • April 5 Potluck, Logo Voting, Advisory Board, Action Teams (?) • March 17 First formal board meeting, Discussion of Action Teams, Logo, Grant/Farmer Cooperative, + (7)
  23. 23. Action Items • Three FIG Members met with the Superintendent of Macomb Schools to discuss Healthier School Lunches • An Editor to the Letter was written by two FIG members about School Lunches and signed by >20 people • In October, two FIG members collaborated with three students from Spoon River College to send a survey to farmers and ask local restaurant owners about their interest in using locally grown food • In January, the survey results were compiled and sent to respondents • Receipt of a written historical account of food culture from a community member • In March, FIG asked for assistance in logo design from a student in a Spoon River College class
  24. 24. Some Results from the Local Food System Survey
  25. 25. A total of 33 surveys (out of 119 deliverable) were returned (28%) A total of 33 surveys (out of 119 deliverable) were returned (28%) Production Type of Respondents by Acres and Number 0 200 400 600 Acres (12) (8) (5) (11)(9) (3) (2)
  26. 26. Marketing Strategies of Respondents 0 10 20 30 40 PercentofSales(Averaged)
  27. 27. Markets Interested in Expanding in Volume or Using in the Future 0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 Restaurants Grocery FarmStand Farmer's Market Directto Institutions Direct MarketingCoop CSA Direct WevMarketing Family Processor Wholesaler U-Pick Large Processor Wholesale Cooperative Auction Other No.ofRespondents
  28. 28. • Respondents produce on average 93% of what they sell • The average maximum distance respondents would drive their goods to market was 64 miles • Twelve or 44% responding to the question, were interested in use of a shared certified kitchen • Ten or 37% responding to the question, were interested in having “gleaners” come to harvest extras • Twelve or 41% responding to the question, had experience accepting WIC coupons and 75% had a good experience with it • 1/3 responding to the question were interested in accepting payment through the Link debit card
  29. 29. Upcoming Action Items • Representation at Farmer’s Market Board Meeting • Representation at WIU’s April 2nd Earth Summit with Display • Representation with Display at the Earth Day Fair April 26th hosted by Environmentally Concerned Citizens, Spoon River College, and Audubon Society • Ticketed Locally Grown Dinner in Summer
  30. 30. Factors Contributing to Success Thus Far… Informal network of individuals/friends already vested in food via membership at Barefoot Gardens CSA (social capital)
  31. 31. Access to technological tools and assistance • Listserv 1: (39) • Listserve 2: (32) • Website: • Online writeboard • Online survey • Web designer
  32. 32. • Illinois Institute for Rural Affairs • University of Illinois Extension • Illinois Stewardship Alliance • Tri-States Radio • New Copperfield’s Book Service • Illinois Coalition for Community Services • Macomb Area Economic Development Corporation • Macomb Chamber of Commerce • WIU Organic Research Program Interest, investment, and support from other organizations