Nourishing a Community: Time to go mainstream

There is a lot happening in the local food movement in Louisville these days. More than 30 area farmers markets make seasonal, local food available throughout the year. Dozens of restaurants are now sourcing fruits, meats, dairy, and vegetables  from local farmers. Bellarmine University has a vegetable farm that gives students hands-on experience in a demonstration environment. Jefferson County Public Schools has set a goal of 25% of  meals to be made with local ingredients.

And just last weeekend the mayor announced a program that will create incentives for local agricultural entrepreneurs. Seems like everywhere we turn, new seeds of hope for local food are sprouting.

I find myself at a lot of these events, announcements, and the like due to the nature of my business. And every event adds to this great momentum. But I want more, much more. It is clear there is a vibrant community of local food advocates, but it is relatively small. I was at Tedx this weekend, which focused on the importance of local food. The loyal local food patriots were there, standing arm in arm. The problem is, we are preaching to the converted. And this is also the opportunity. We have many, many folks, that have yet to hear the benefits of supporting local food initiatives. We need to take the message to the whole community, not just the “whole foods” community.

What is it that you could say that would resonate with the average citizen? Here’s 10 ideas:

1. Great work come from healthy nourished employees. Local food makes that happen.

2. Less crime comes from tight knit communities. Local food makes that happen.

3. Health care costs go down when less processed foods are eaten. Local food makes that happen.

4. More families stay together when they do things together. Local food makes that happen.

5. More dollars stay in the community. Local food makes that happen.

6. Churches and other community organizations grow when they invite others in. Local food makes that happen.

7. The Louisville economy grows when jobs are created. Local food makes that happen.

8. Citizens become neighbors when they share. Local food makes that happen.

9.  Rural and urban bonds strengthen community. Local foods make that happen.

10. Agriculture give kids great hands on learning. Local foods make that happen

Maybe one of these ideas causes another Louisvillian to “seek the local”.

Eating local makes for a better community. Lets make 2011 the year where our whole community makes local food a priority.