Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Buy Fresh, Buy Local"

Name: “Buy Fresh, Buy Local”

Location: Throughout California

Years: 2002-present

Initiated by: The Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) & the Food Routes Network

In 2002 the Community Alliance with Family Farmers (CAFF) joined with the Food Routes network to start a program called “Buy Fresh, Buy Local”. The purpose of this movement is to make it much easier for California residents to find local places to purchase food, and it encourages them to take advantage of these local sellers and farmers’ markets. The Buy Fresh, Buy Local website has a search engine that allows you to find local farms and farmers’ markets within a certain mile radius of your home, and there are tons of options. To a lesser extent, the website also offers listings of restaurants, institutions, grocers, retailers, and food artisans who adhere to the same guidelines as the farmers.

The Buy Fresh, Buy Local website has very high standards for any farmers who wish to have their farms listed online. For example, all of the farmers that are a part of this program are required to use biodiversity, reduce the use of pesticides and their effect on the land, compensate human workers fairly, treat animals humanely, protect water and wildlife, and reduce carbon emissions by only transporting food locally. The goal of the Buy Fresh, Buy Local movement is to fix many of the problems that face small family-owned farms today. For example, the movement hopes to strengthen regional economies, support small farmers, protect the local landscape and environment, encourage a sense of community, and provide deliciously fresh food for consumers.

I think that this movement is a great idea. Many people complain that it is too hard to find local food, and they use that as an excuse for why they buy so many processed products or products that are grown very far away. However, just by taking a quick look at this website, people will see how much easier it is than they thought. The website provides a comprehensive list of farmers close by, and it offers a practical way to eat locally.

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