The New Farmers
"You vote for your food system with every dollar you spend," says McCabe. "Right now, Washtenaw County has a billion-dollar-a-year food system, and our goal is for 10 percent of the food to come from within one hundred miles by 2020." That's a long way from the 1 to 3 percent local he guesstimates that Ann Arborites eat now. It's an improbably ambitious goal, but McCabe maintains it's achievable--if we add a lot more local farms, and those farmers can make "bigger sales to institutional markets. We're feeding families now, and the next step is more restaurants and food stores. We're already in the People's Food Coop, and Arbor Farms sees local food as a priority."
Expanding the local food economy, he adds, would bring community-wide benefits. "A re-localized system creates jobs. After the recession, a lot of people need work, and farms offer an entry-level position for people left out of the economy."
That's all great with me--just so long as the food tastes good.