Field Notes: Local Food

Isaac Kremer/ May 17, 2023/ Economic, Field Notes/ 0 comments

One of the direct effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were questions about food systems and where our food comes from. Production delays and creeping inflation in recent years have been cause for major concern. Collectively these crises revealed the disconnected nature between where food is raised and consumed.

The farmers market movement has long focused on local food. Some require food to be produced no more than 250 miles away. This might translate into a four or five hour truck drive one way on market days. Others are even more restrictive.

Paco Underhill in his recent book How We Eat has a chapter focused on innovations in food production. One of the tantalizing concepts were shipping containers converted for hydroponic growing that may be placed in parking lots.

Author Gene Logsdon in Letters to a Young Farmer, completed just a few weeks before his death, suggests ways to achieve self sufficiency on two acres.

Economically, civilly, socially, and as a matter of public health – supporting and expanding local food production might be one of the most effective ways to respond to the complex challenges of supply chain, global warming, and the lack of healthy and balanced diets. Want to inspire economic development in your town? Then I recommend you start by asking the basic question of where your food comes from. And if the answer is not local or only a small amount of local production – start there.

Photo of a small sampling from our backyard garden in Metuchen, New Jersey.
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About Isaac Kremer

Isaac D. Kremer, MSARP, is a nationally recognized expert in the revitalization of commercial districts. Professionally he is the Executive Director of Experience Princeton, a business improvement district in Princeton, New Jersey. Kremer is a sought after speaker having been invited to speak at over 30 conferences. The prior two downtowns he managed were named Great American Main Street Award (GAMSA) Semifinalists, and Metuchen, New Jersey where he and his family live was named a GAMSA winner in 2023 by Main Street America.

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