See more from this Session: Symposium--Local/Regional Food Systems and Community Food Security: Making the Connection
Monday, November 1, 2010: 3:55 PM
Long Beach Convention Center, Room 102A, First Floor
The resurgence of interest in local food systems follows from the failure of the industrial production and marketing system to satisfy hunger for traditional farm fresh foods. The seeds of the local food movement were sown long ago by organic farming pioneers. In the 1930’s, Dr. Weston A. Price described the physical degeneration he observed in peoples around the world when commercial foods displaced traditional diets. Renewed interest in the teachings of this nutritional pioneer is creating demand for whole unprocessed nutrient dense foods, especially meat, milk, and eggs, produced by animals on pasture. Around the same time as Price, Albert Howard was developing organic farming methods and declared “fresh food from fertile soil” a “birthright”. In 1942, J.I. Rodale predicted “One of these fine days the public is going to wake up and will pay for eggs, meat, vegetables, etc., according to how they were produced.” Demand for fresh organic food naturally favors local sourcing. Community supported agriculture, cow sharing/leasing arrangements, and private buying clubs are attempts by consumers to ensure personal food choice and survival of their local farmer. A heirloom economy of traditional foods, raw milk production and cheese making are the antithesis to industrial commodity farming. After hosting a University seminar series on raw milk and informed consumer choice, I fielded numerous inquiries about how to find the right farmer. Raw milk drinkers are discriminating about source and farmer reputation for cleanliness. Other questions concern animal breed, pasture, A2 milk, and organic certification. Food price is generally the least concern. People who are particular about what they eat are elevating artisan farmers to a professional status above the image of the average commodity farmer. Finally, the urban farming movement - keeping few chickens, a family cow or goat - marks the ultimate local food system.