Local food is food which is produced close to where it’s consumed, frequently with a local social structure and distribution network different from that of the large-scale store system. Local Foodways, as defined by the Center for Food Quality and Nutrition (CFQN), are places where local producers, suppliers and distributors can provide you with quality food products from local producers. These could be farms, ranches, small-scale packing and processing, and retail food service companies.
The CFQN defines locavore as: “growing produce where most of the market is located in a given area (regardless of distance); using technologies that encourage community involvement, produce production that is sustainable within local ecosystems, and the provision of local services and programs.” The vision of the local food movement is one focused on building a “food city” – a series of cities and towns which have developed an ecologically and economically sustainable food system, dependent on organic and sustainable practices and connected to the rest of the world. In other words, the vision of the locavore artisan is one of sustainable agriculture supported by local producers and buyers who buy directly from local producers.
For example, eating locally means that you are supporting producers and processors who farm and harvest their own ingredients, processes and farm markets. Instead of buying “factory grown” produce at the supermarket, you are supporting family farmers. You are supporting a sustainable agriculture and food system based on long-term respect for the land, water, wildlife and climate. Eating locally also means purchasing and consuming foods grown organically – whether by-products, seeds, soybeans, nuts, vegetables, fruits and meats. By eating locally, you’re not contributing to the massive deforestation efforts taking place globally or contributing to overfishing and the shrinking of the earth’s non-food resources.