Despite growing demand for locally produced foods, millions of Americans live in rural areas where they have little or no access to any kind of healthy, nutrient-dense food, much less food produced in their own community.
That’s not healthy for residents of those communities. And it’s not healthy for the communities. According to a report from the American Planning Association:
Disparities in food access are influenced by geographic, economic and social factors, but also by a community’s food production, processing, distribution, consumption and waste recovery policies and practices. Food access is not simply a health issue but also a community development and equity issue. For this reason, access to healthy, affordable, and culturally appropriate food is a key component not only in a healthy, sustainable local food system, but also in a healthy, sustainable community.”
To build healthy local, organic and regenerative food systems, we need help from policymakers and from forward-looking business and community leaders.
We also need strong consumer demand. You can help, by supporting local businesses and independent farmers. Here’s a list to help you get started.
• LocalHarvest.org is the most comprehensive database for buying direct from family farmers.
• 1000ecofarms.com is fast becoming the Etsy of artisanal foods.
• FoodWaze.com helps you find restaurants that live up to their claims of sourcing from local farms.
• EatWild.com specializes in grass-fed and pasture-raised animal products. The site includes a directory of farms by state, a list of farms that ship, and has excellent information on the latest scientific research on the health benefits of farm-raised, as opposed to factory-farm-raised, animal products.
• RealMilk.com provides a directory of raw milk sellers.
• Monterey Seafood Watch helps you locate sources of sustainable seafood.
Should we add to this list? Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and let us know.
Organic Consumers Association is a nonprofit consumer advocacy and grassroots organization. Keep up-to-date with OCA’s news and alerts by signing up for our newsletter.