Local Food Sandusky

Harvest Vision: Consume Quality – Demand Local.

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Why Local Food?

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With the challenge of the changing times, encouraging the growth of a local food system is the best plan for sustaining our community on the north coast of Ohio. The Countryside Conservancy of Northeast Ohio gives several answers to the question “Why Go Local?

Why not? 
Fresh, locally grown foods don’t just taste delicious — they are better for you, your community and your planet.

• Low Mileage from Farm to Plate. Most food travels over 1,500 miles from farm to plate while locally grown food typically travels 50 miles or less reducing pollution, our dependence on fossil fuels, and protecting the environment.

• Fresh Taste, Less Waste. Local food usually arrives in markets within 24 hours of being plucked from the vine or dug from the earth. So, it’s unusually fresh and delicious. Fresher foods keep longer — reducing waste in the kitchen, and providing better value for our food dollar.

• Delicious and Nutritious Food. Because locally grown foods are so fresh, they are also more nutritious, containing higher levels of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that healthy bodies need.

• Prosperous Farmers. 91 cents of each dollar spent in conventional food markets goes to suppliers, processors, middlemen and marketers; while only 9 cents goes to the farmer. Farmers who sell direct at local farmers’ markets or through Community Supported Agriculture programs keep 80-90 cents of each  dollar. Selling locally, farmers can reduce distribution, packaging and advertising costs and offer us fresher, more affordable food. Prosperous farmers keep farming and operate viable businesses that enhance our communities and strengthen our local food supply.

• Variety: The Spice of Life. Local farmers cultivate mouth-watering varieties of delicious foods like Green Zebra tomatoes, Northern Spy apples, Purple Dragon carrots, Buckeye Chickens, and many other fruits, vegetables, and livestock bred for flavor, nutrients and suitability to our local climate and soils rather than uniformity and endurance to withstand a cross-country road trip. Biodiversity never tasted so good!

• Thriving Communities. Buying local, a greater portion of our food dollar stays home supporting farms and businesses that make up our local communities and our regional economy. Northeast Ohioans spend over $7 billion on food. But less than 1% comes form local farms and producers. Localizing just 10% of our food spending would generate over $700 million for our local economy and communities.

With a dominance of agriculturally-zoned land in Erie County, can you imagine the effect on those of us who live here if everyone replaced even half of their grocery lists with locally grown food? For more information about where the money in Erie County goes, visit our partners at Haag Insight.

Make the most of our harvest vision and support local farmers throughout the year. Roadside stands and Farmers’ markets have fresh surprises that are inexpensive and have become cultural traditions in our community. We look forward to Mulvin’s on 1706 E. Perkins Avenue in Sandusky, the Sandusky Farmers’ Market as well as regional CSA programs. Check back for a more comprehensive listing of local food sources in the coming weeks as we prepare for the 2009 season! Meanwhile, listen here for an explanation about how to support local farmers and consume more nutritious food.

For more information about Agriculture, visit The Erie Wire. We encourage you to visit the sites and businesses of our partners.