Local Food Survey Shows Growing Market In Berea

Jul 29, 2013

Efforts are underway in Berea to expand the market for locally grown foods.  Well over half of Berea residents surveyed would like to see more locally grown foods.  The food assessment was led by a group called Berea-LIFE, which stands for ‘Locally Integrated Food Economy.’  Still, the Community Farm Alliance’s Kenny Madden says most folks won’t limit their diets to just locally grown foods.

Credit Berea College Farm.

“It is difficult to have a complete local food system where all your food is coming locally, partly because things are seasonal and then you have things like bananas that you just can’t grow in Kentucky,” said Madden.

Madden admits locally grown food is more expensive and takes effort to track down.  But, he says it offers better nutritional value, reduced transportation costs, and it boosts the local economy. 

While the appetite for locally grown food is growing, Madden admits it will likely remain just a portion of our diets.

“100 percent would be ideal, you know 50 percent maybe would be more realistic.  The businesses that we talked to, the most we found that they served local food was 35 percent.  I know that we can, at least, do that across the board,” added Madden.

Madden says local government support is key.  He expects to see final data in a report to be released by the end of the year.  A Community Food Forum is scheduled Thursday evening at the Berea Baptist Church.