Talk of local food is everywhere. If you relish the fresh taste of a locally-grown, vine-ripened tomato or revel in a complex, yet balanced, glass of Indiana wine, then join us in celebrating GOING LOCAL Week 2012, Sept. 2-8. This is a time to indulge in our Indiana grown foods across the state and encourage families and communities to include at least one Indiana grown or produced food products at each meal.
“We know consumers want to buy locally-grown food, and it is one of the reasons why I created the Indiana Grown program,” said Lt. Gov. Becky Skillman. “Through Indiana Grown we are connecting Hoosiers directly to products produced by Indiana farmers, benefitting not only the producer but the rural community as well.”
In Indiana there are now more than one-hundred communities that host farmers’ markets. It is estimated that if more individuals would shift just $4.50 of their weekly food budget to buy food directly from local farms each week, farms would earn $1.5 billion of new income annually (20% increase).
What does local mean?
Local is shorthand for an idea rather than a firm definition. Unlike organic standards, which entail specific legal definitions, inspection processes, and labels, local means different things to different people, depending on where they live, the growing season and the products of interest.
“Indiana has such an abundance of local foods. We have great produce, meats, and poultry. And the artisanal products such as sweets, sauces, cheeses, cocktail mixers, baked goods, honey and syrups are nationally, and in some cases, internationally acclaimed,” said Victoria Wesseler, who author the GOING LOCAL site. Wessler created GOING LOCAL Week in 2008 to bring further awareness to the local foods available here in Indiana.
Need ideas to celebrate GOING LOCAL Week or additional information?
You can dish up Indiana food and producers, listings of local food events, farm tours, as well as recipes featuring Indiana’s fresh, local, and in-season foods on the GOING LOCAL website.
To better locate local foods in your local grocery store or restaurant, look for the Indiana Grown logo. This is a new cooperative program among producers, processors, wholesalers, retailers and the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA) to brand and promote Indiana produce and production. The goal is for consumers to easily identify, find and buy Indiana grown products.
For more information or to locate a farmers’ market near you, please visit the ISDA web site.