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Young people have plenty to say about local food

A Taste of Woolwich is around the corner again. April 7, to be exact. In lieu of a recipe this week, I thought it would nice to give you some insight as to what the township’s youth are saying about the local food movement.

I’m always impressed by what the younger generation is thinking and how incredibly smart they are. Below is some of the input that we received from some young people, talking about supporting the local food economy. We hope you enjoy reading these as much as we did and we also hope to see you all at Taste of Woolwich on April 7 in Elmira.

Local food is an investment in the future. By supporting local farmers today, you are helping to ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow.

Local food is better for you. The shorter the time between the farm and your table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost from fresh food. Food imported from far away is older and often picked before it’s ripe and has travelled on trucks or planes, and sat in warehouses before it gets to you.

Local food supports local families. The wholesale prices that farmers get for their products are low, often near the cost of production. Local farmers who sell direct to consumers cut out the middleman and get full retail price for their food, which helps farm families stay on the land.

Local food benefits the environment and wildlife. Well-managed farms provide ecosystem services: they conserve fertile soil, protect water sources, and reduce carbon from the atmosphere. The farm environment is a patchwork of fields, meadows, woods, ponds and buildings that provide habitat for wildlife in our communities.

The best part about buying local is the people. When you buy asparagus from Peru, the closest you get to the producer of that asparagus is the produce attendant at your local grocery store. When you buy local asparagus you can actually go to the farm at which that asparagus was grown and talk to the proprietor of that farm about their product. A product which they themselves have dedicated a great deal of time to and therefore deeply care. Farmers are some of the nicest and smartest people out there. Going to the farm and spending time with the farmers gives you a much greater appreciation of the time and effort that went into the creation of that product. When you respect the ingredient, cooking becomes a much, much easier and much, much more enjoyable process.

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