LOCAL FOOD SURVEY
The Local Food Connection (LFC) is an organization building a sustainable movement in the greater Bethel region that encourages people to grow, prepare, serve, purchase and consume local foods. In the Fall of 2012, LFC conducted a survey of area residents asking about their food habits and priorities. Over 120 people responded from throughout SAD 44. We are delighted to share with you some of the results and highlights of this survey.
The first survey question revealed that over 90 percent of respondents find nutrition to be very important or important when purchasing food. Nutrition carried more weight than whether food was organic or easy to prepare. When asked whether eating local foods was a priority in survey households, nearly 80 percent said yes. Delving further into local food habits, respondents stated that local foods were important or very important and should be served at home (84 percent), in restaurants (75 percent), at local grocery and specialty food stores (95 percent and 85 percent) and in school lunches (87 percent). Many people are already serving local foods in their homes simply by growing food on their own. Seventy-six percent of respondents have their own garden plots.
Clearly there is a need for local, nutritious food to be served in schools and available in local markets. What can one do to help? Consider coming to an upcoming Local Food Connection meeting. Join a local food buying club such as the Boondocks Buying Club or any number of Associated Buyers clubs in the area. Talk to people at your local market, restaurants and schools about getting better access to nutritious, local food. Talk to your elected officials about impending food legislation. This issue is about more than just choice; we as a community need to step forward to include local foods in our schools, markets and homes. The Local Food Connection is reaching out to towns and organizations in Oxford County to replicate a similar survey in other communities. On behalf of The Local Food Connection thank you to all who participated in the survey and feel free to contact me with any interest or questions. Gabe.email@example.com or (207) 217-7262.