Published on: 15:02PM Mar 24, 2011
Yesterday, coinciding with Ag Day at the Capitol, lawmakers in California suggested a new idea to help boost their local economy, they declared Sundays "Eat local, Buy California Grown Day".
"Resolved by the Assembly of the State of California, the Senate thereof concurring, That Sundays are hereby declared to be "Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day," and families, restaurants, and grocers are encouraged to buy California-grown foods, such as fresh produce and chicken, because supporting California-grown food products will result in higher food quality, improved food safety, and higher environmental and animal welfare standards, in addition to significant economic benefits; and be it further"
Similar to the not so popular meat out day of Michigan, this resolution is not a law but a suggestion.
"We’re not trying to mandate anything," says Cody Penfold of California Poultry Federation (CPF). "We’re just trying to raise awareness of local grown food."
CPF is one of 19 commodity groups in support of the resolution who believe that this resolution would lead to positive results for farmers.
"It’s better for our farmers and better for our local economy," Penfold says. "If California consumers ate only California grown foods one day a week, that would result in over 15 billion dollars annually invested back into the economy."
The resolution says,
"In a time of economic distress for our state, the support of California products will help keep critical dollars within the state for the benefit of Californians, strengthening the state's communities, economies, and businesses. By purchasing locally produced food, consumers will boost local business, which in turn helps the local and state government through increased tax revenues."
"Eat local, Buy California Grow Day" was started because local producers saw an opportunity to boost their economy after a study by Foster Farms (a California based poultry business) said that 85% of Californians believe eating locally is important both for economic reasons as well as environmental reasons as stated in this section of the resolution:
"Buying locally grown California products is better for the environment. Food trucked or flown into California has a heavier carbon footprint as it travels for many days, unlike products grown just hours or minutes away."
This challenge won’t really cause Californians to change their eating habits, as the state produces a wide variety and abundance of foods, over 400 commodities, locally as stated in the resolution,
"California has a rich heritage and is one of the world's most prolific agricultural regions. California foods are famous for their abundance, diversity, freshness, and high quality."
So it looks like the local movement is making a move. What do you think? Do you think local commerce has the power to change a suffering state budget?