Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Local food revolution continues to storm Washington

Thanks to my friend Katie for pointing out this NPR story about the local food revolution making waves in Washington.

The NPR story talks about two important issues of the local food scene: the cost of local food & public education coming from the top.

Public education campaign from the top: The USDA has created a new program focused on connecting eaters and producers for the first time: Know Your Farmer. Promoting local food AND creating economic sustainability for rural communities. This is a critical first step to ensuring access to fresh, healthy, organic food for all Americans.

When NPR turned to tell the story of the cost of local foods they started with the fact that at the White House Farmers' Market, food stamps and WIC are worth twice as much if used at farmers' markets. An unparralleled improvement in access to local foods for low income communities. But then the conservatives from the Cato Institute chimed into to say that the real solution is to bring WalMart into inner-cities.

Yes, inner-cities suffer from a lack of access to fresh, whole foods--corner stores and fast food chains are your best bet for an affortable meal. But perhaps the best tack is to look at innovative policies that create inscentives for small buisness owners to provide fresh, whole foods---even local foods--to low-income communities. Read more about these efforts in NYC and Philadelphia.

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