By: Derek Huntington
June 30, 2013
Healthy and Delicious
Sonoma County is blessed with some of the best local markets, restaurants, and food and beverage companies in the World. Sonoma County also has an amazing selection of local farms and ranches growing fresh and organic fruits and vegetables, meats, and dairy. When purchased fresh from local markets and eaten at the height of flavor and nutritional value, it's hard to beat the abundance that Sonoma County has to offer.
Even if you're vegetarian your food has a footprint. Lower your environmental footprint by eating locally grown and produced foods. It significantly reduces the average distance food has to travel to reach your plate (from about 1,500 miles for a conventional meal to less than 100 miles for a meal sourced locally). Choosing diversified small farms that minimize use of chemical ferilizers, herbacides, pesticides, and that have energy efficient operations, will shrink the footprint of your food even more.
Better for the Economy
Based on spending data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, households in Sonoma County spend an estimated $2 billion to feed themselves each year. If we can work together and shift just 10% of food purchases from non-local to locally produced products, it would mean an estimated $200 million of increased sales for local companies.
From an initial shift comes the opportunity to capture even more value locally through the local multiplier effect. If Made Local products are produced using more local ingredients, distributed directly or through local wholesalers, and are sold through local markets and restaurants, the total economic activity generated locally would be many times the initial shift.
We all have to eat. If we can localize more of the value generated by this essential activity, it can become an engine of job growth in Sonoma County. As demand for local products increases from the Made Local shift, local food industry companies will hire local people to help meet the demand. Working together we can literally eat our way to lower unemployment.
Better for You
You are what you eat
In a very literal sense, we are what we eat. The food we ingest becomes part of our bodies, and has a direct impact on our heath, happiness and overall well being.
Similarly, the other aspects of our food also become "who we are." How our things are made, who makes them, and their impact on people and the environment are all connected to us through the food we eat and the other products we use. Ask yourself, "what am I made of?"
Be Made Local
When you're Made Local, you are a healthy part of a vibrant community and clean environment. What's not to love?