Bread and butter issues rank high

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Plant a seed – in the metaphorical sense – nurture it and it will grow.

Encouraging people to eat more local foods has been a popular topic in recent years. The reasons why have never been more important, but also the supply of available products in Pictou County and Nova Scotia in general keeps expanding, making the shopping a lot easier.

We’re fortunate both locally and across the province to see a surge in the number of farmers markets.

Now, Farmers Markets of Nova Scotia is mounting a campaign to encourage people to get to know where food is grown in their area and take advantage. The 50 Per Cent Local Food Club, just as it sounds, is showcasing the opportunity consumers have in a province with ample farmland to buy what’s grown close to home – and suggesting people try to hit the 50 per cent mark for the month of September.

We’ve often heard the advantages discussed: fresher, better tasting food; helping the environment by reducing demand on food transportation; and helping the local economy by supporting farmers in the area and keeping acreages in production.

Plus, with increasing concern about food shortages in the future due to climate change and a growing global population, food security for any given area is evermore crucial.

Of the economic factors, let’s not short-sell ourselves on the potential. Sure, buying local can mean keeping dollars in the community. But if we support our local producers, keep them on a solid footing, some will have the opportunity to expand and develop value-added products to export elsewhere. That’s bringing brand new dollars into the community.

When it comes to business and betting on a winner, in many cases it’s difficult to foresee the demand decades from now. Food production is one industry we know will always have a solid future. But better ways of production and distribution are factors that should be considered and in this way the eat local movement is heading in a positive direction.

Organizations: Local Food Club

Geographic location: Nova Scotia, Pictou County

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