The Chattanooga region’s guide to locally grown and locally crafted foods.
The TasteBuds Local Food Guide connects consumers with farms, farmers’ markets, restaurants, food artisans, and others that grow, craft and support local.
Crabtree Farms says this about buying locally-grown produce and meats:
Purchasing food from a local farm is not only a fun experience, it ensures:
- You are getting the healthiest food available with more nutrients than food that travels long distances
On average food travels 1300 miles from farm to table over 7 to 14 days
You are reducing your carbon foot print, by limiting transportation of your food, saving oil and reducing greenhouse gases You are keeping your spending dollars local, helping to grow the Chattanoga economy You are supporting fair farming practices by paying the farmer 100% of the food dollar
On average farmer’s receive less than 10% of the food dollar
This year’s food guide is supported by a Gaining Ground grant funded by the Benwood Foundation. The following excerpt from an article by the Chattanoogan highlights Benwood Foundation’s efforts to support local food and our regional economy:
Gaining Ground is helping create and develop a sustainable, vibrant, cohesive and distinctively Chattanoogan foodscape through grants, coordinated efforts and public awareness. Commissioned by the Benwood Foundation to help increase demand for, production and consumption of local food, Gaining Ground is helping our region view food in new ways. For more information, contact:Jeff Pfitzer, program director, Gaining Ground, Benwood Foundation, at (423) 785-4231 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In fact, growth of the local food movement has progressed far enough to prompt broader interest in supporting its development both for health and environmental reasons, and for the benefit to the region’s economy. The Ochs Center for Metropolitan Studies, for example, found in a 2008 survey that a five percent increase in consumption of local food would translate into a $100 million impact on the local economy — and help staunch the sad but steady loss of local family farms.
Here’s more from the same opinion times piece written in December 2009:
Crabtree Farms, one of the area’s first community gardens, also confirms both growing interest in the local food movement and the economic value, in addition to health and environmental values.
Developing the local food industry into a viable, healthy alternative for a larger market area, however, yet requires some organizational aid to local farms to help them meet and match the needs of potential customers.
Toward that end, the Benwood Foundation has recently issued a competitive call for projects that would work to increase the number and capacity of local growers and producers. The foundation, advised by a panel of national food-system reform experts, will award up to $250,000 in grants to individuals or groups over the next three years to advance innovative and collaborative ways to advance the local food economy.
Benwood didn’t come to its grant program without diligent research on the value and potential of a stronger local food industry. The foundation organized focus groups to scope out issues in the local food economy, visits to cities that have established local food industries, and interviews with growers, producers and distributors to learn the needs and potential of a local food movement.
A revived local food industry, Benwood reasonably believes, would have multiple benefits. Foremost, it would reconnect area residents with fresher, healthier foods. That would improve health and simultaneously mitigate the downside of the giant agri-business culture that now stocks grocery stores with foods transported an average of 1,500 miles. Collecting, storing and shipping foods collected from big farms all over the country, and the world, retards freshness, uses immense amounts of fuel and energy, generates immense pollution, and allows more preservatives, chemicals and pesticides to find a way into our foods.
Reporting: Monessa Guilfoil
Listen to the Story with Crabtree Farm’s Melanie Mayo and Gaining Ground’s Jeff Pfitzer: