What Does Local Food Mean To You?
Updated: Aug 8
What does local food mean to you?
I myself have pondered and heard many variations of how local food is defined. I've been privileged to work in our local food community for 14 years. In that time, I've chose to define my meaning of local food in the following way: Local food means the producer provides an option for their customers to be connected to the source. The source is transparent and makes a conscious effort in choosing to grow food with the good of all in mind. Local food allows people to honor, celebrate, and support the huge undertaking that is required for farmers to produce food "right" and share it the people in their area that need it. Local food means better options for all - from the original source, to the end consumer. Local food is a process that allows the betterment of lives in every step of the journey.
This is me with my good friends the Phillips Family. Left to right is yours truly, Leah, Peyton and Rob Phillips. We’re beaming with mutual admiration just before an event to celebrate our local Farm to School program in their completion of the arduous process to get locally grown food into the the school lunch program. This is local food. This is us being mutually thrilled for each other as we celebrate local food, OUR local food, providing nutritional and community enrichment.
Getting to meet Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and his fantastic team of aids was fun! Senator Brown is a self-proclaimed #Snowvillain and loves our products - how cool!
Prior to becoming the General Manager of Snowville, I worked for a small local farm that supplied beef to many of the local restaurants in our rad little corner of Southeast Ohio. One day, while maneuvering my meat wagon into position to finish the last beef delivery of the day, I made a poorly calculated move that left me with my two front tires buried in a ditch. I was stuck. I recognized Rob Phillip’s truck in the parking lot - at the same spot to sell beef. Though I’d been friends with the Phillips family for years, at the time, we were both selling beef to the same vendor in our small town. We were direct competitors, vying for the same portion of an incredibly tight market. I sheepishly asked Rob to give me a pull to dislodge my vehicle from the mud. After I received my deserved amount of chiding from Rob, he hooked up a chain and quickly dislodged my vehicle from the mud with his trusty ol' farm truck. This moment stuck with me for the simple fact that although we were competitors, Rob never thought twice about taking time from his day, his business - to help me, his competitor.
This is local food. It’s understanding that it’s not about securing your corner of the market, but rather joining forces to provide as much locally produced food to our community as possible - and it can't be done alone by any single producer.
This is why supporting local food is rich. It’s rich because it provides a deeper connection at every step of the way - striving for and creating better options for all. It’s the Food Revolution.
What does local food mean to you? How do you support the Food Revolution?
Every purchasing choice matters, and is significant and noticeable to small, local food producers. After all, local companies are often the ones sponsoring that youth sports team, donating food to local folks in need, and supporting local events. Local food producers have always been the backbone of our communities. The time for a food revolution is now! There has never been a better time to keep our money, our enrichment, and our food production LOCAL. I’m grateful you’ve found your way to us. I’m grateful for every cent you give to great companies like Snowville Creamery, and for every cent you spend to support other forms of local food done right. Your choice to support local food helps contribute to the Food Revolution we ALL need to be a part of. Because when you know better, you do better. Better food options mean better lives for all.
With Gratitude, Anna