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What’s So Great About “Local” Food?

By Amy Stone and Patrice Powers-Barker, OSU Extension, Lucas County
The Truth Contributors

First of all, what is “local” food? There is no single definition for “local” foods. Food miles is sometimes used as a way to classify local foods. Food mile is the distance between where the food was grown and where it was purchased or eaten.

Other ways food might be determined as “local” include geographic region like city, county or state. Sometimes buying local is equated with direct-to-consumer marketing where producers sell products directly to the final consumer like at the farmers market or a farm stand.

Individual, family and community food decisions are made for a variety of reasons: nutrition and health, accessibility and convenience, food safety, the environment, economics, and enjoyment and taste. Some reasons people might choose local foods (versus foods that were grown farther away) are for convenience, taste or cost. If you grow any of your own food in a garden, that’ certainly local and it’s usually tasty and convenient! When produce is in season and being harvested from local growers, it is usually sold at an affordable price.

Farmers and producers, whether they are in our urban centers like Toledo, or out in rural areas, grow and raise the foods that we ultimately consume. Local food in Ohio might come from small, medium or large-scale growing sites. While some foods like tropical fruits and coffee beans will never grow in Ohio, many foods can be grown and produced near us. Some examples of local foods in Northwest Ohio:

·         Bees pollinate our crops and give us honey.

·         Tomatoes grown in fields in our region are processed into tomato sauce and canned tomatoes.

·         Chickens raised on farms in in NW Ohio are raised for meat, while others lay eggs that we enjoy.

·         Maple trees are tapped each winter to produce maple syrup to top off pancakes and more.

·         Milk, yogurt and cheese comes from dairy cows right here in Ohio.

Agriculture is very diverse in Ohio and we as consumers can enjoy many locally grown and produced food right here is our own backyard.

One way to learn about what’s so great about local foods is to buy directly from the grower. We are very fortunate in our area to have options of different farmers markets as well as farm stands in various parts of the city of Toledo and in Lucas and Wood counties.

Another option to learn about local foods is a “field-trip” to a working farm. This month, you are invited to visit a family-owned and operated dairy farm in Northwest Ohio. The 2019 Fulton County Breakfast on the Farm will be hosted by Henricks & Krieger Dairy in Fayette, Ohio, west of Toledo.

The state of Ohio is unique because of the close proximity between rural and urban communities. While this field trip to the Fulton County Breakfast on the Farm is not quite as close as the Toledo Farmers Market or a local farm stand, it is in northwest Ohio - and it is an opportunity that many people don’t get the chance to see.

On Saturday, June 15, 2019 from 9 am – 1 pm, the public is invited to come out to a working dairy farm. A free breakfast will be served from 9 am – 12 pm. This fun, family-friendly event will give everyone a chance to meet local farmers, see dairy cows, and learn about agriculture in Ohio. Visitors will enjoy a free breakfast and discover more about the foods we eat.  

While there is no registration fee, please register your friends and family so we know how many visitors to expect.  Register can be done online at www.go.osu.edu/fultonbotfregister2019 .You may also contact the OSU Extension Office in Fulton County with any questions at 419-337-9210. Additional information about the event can be found at: https://www.fultoncountyoh.com/1495/Breakfast-on-the-Farm

Mark your calendar and make plans to join us! It will be a day you and your family won’t soon forget. The Fulton County Breakfast on the Farm gives consumers an up-close and personal view of food production in today’s environment. This event gives families a look into the production of safe and healthy foods for Northwest Ohio and throughout the country. If you do visit Breakfast on the Farm, please be sure to look for OSU Extension, Lucas County staff at the event and say “hello”.  We will have staff from Lucas County at the registration tent as well as at the final ice cream tent.



Copyright © 2019 by [The Sojourner's Truth]. All rights reserved.
Revised: 06/06/19 21:18:53 -0400.

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