Monday, May 31, 2010

What is "local" anyway?

Turns out that no one agrees on what "local" really means.  Originating in the USA?  Our state?  Within 100 miles of home?

The USDA just came out with a report on the concepts, impacts, and issues concerning local food systems.

The first point the report stated? "There is no generally accepted definition of 'local' food."

Other findings?

*Direct-to-consumer marketing amounted to $1.2 billion in current dollar sales in 2007, according to the 2007 Census of Agriculture, compared with $551 million in 1997.

*Production of locally marketed food is more likely to occur on small farms located in or near metropolitan counties.

*Consumers who value high-quality foods produced with low environmental impact are willing to pay more for locally produced food.

*As of early 2010, there were few studies on the impact of local food markets on economic development, health, or environmental quality.

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