People are concerned about the fact that food in the United States
travels an average 2,000 miles from the field to the plate. This process
requires an input of over nine calories of energy for each calorie of food
consumed. Rural citizens have long recognized that exporting the raw commodities
farmers produce and importing all of our finished food and fiber products
constitutes a troubled rural community. We are beginning to understand that
our present globalized food system leaves us vulnerable. Think about your
last meal. Are you connected to the people or the places the foods were
grown? How many miles did it travel to your pantry?
So, here's the good news! Rarely does a problem come along with such a delightful
solution. We are blessed with bounty in the Upper Minnesota River Valley,
in our agricultural products and in our dedicated people. Pride of the Prarie
is working to reconnect people with their food and with the farmers who
grow it. Through a community food system, we can nurture strong communities
with fresh, wholesome food. With this process implemented, we can retain
more of the wealth our rich farmlands produce, and continue to shape a healthy
and beautiful landscape, which we call home.
Buy Local Foods?
Our supermarkets and restaurants provide access to tremendous amounts of
food. Most of us live within an hour of a store with a dizzying array of
food products, available 24/7. So, why buy local?
- Support local farms. Every
dollar you spend for local food goes to the local farmer. And that dollar
circulates through your community. Almost all local farmers also agree
that farming in a way that supports the local economy is just as important
as the food they produce.
- Fresh Tastes Better! Overwhelmingly,
the farmers in the Upper Minnesota River Basin that we surveyed agreed
-- "We want to grow food that our customer really like!" And
they do! (The focus is on taste rather than its ability to withstand a
2000 mile journey.)
- Reduce Transportation. Most of the
food on our tables travels thousands of miles. This requires dependence
on an energy-intensive distribution system, which brings us foods we could
be producing in our own region.
- Food Security. Our global food system
leaves us vulnerable to supply disruptions and food safety crises. Buying
food locally strengthens our ability to feed ourselves and our communities.
- It's Fun! Learn how your food was
grown and who grew it. Reconnect with your farmer neighbors. Teach your
children where food comes from and how to grow, prepare and store it.
Got Questions? Ask your local farmer!
- Help shape our environment and quality of
life. Use your food dollars to give yourself a strong voice in
the long term prosperity, health and beauty of the Upper Minnesota River
- Because you can! Just look at the
incredible diversity in our local pantry; veggies, fruits, berries, meats,
dairy, legumes, grains, honey, and much more. We are blessed with the
soil and the climate to produce an abundance of tasty and nutritious foods.
But the food would not exist if it were not for local farmers utilizing
this gift of the land.
Pride of the Prairie is a collaborative effort of the Land Stewardship
Project, farmers, the University of Minnesota, Morris, the West Central
Regional Sustainable Development Partnership, The West Central Research
and Outreach Center, Morris Prairie Renaissance, and area citizens.