Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll be sharing “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about local food, farmers markets and farms.
Nearly 7,000 people and more than 900 businesses have spent in excess of $60 million on locally produced food since July 2010 according to the latest stats found on the NC 10% Campaign’s website (as of last night). That’s a staggering figure, evidence of an enormous reinvestment in the local economy by the average consumer, someone like you and me.
The 10% Campaign (an initiative of the Center for Environmental Farming Systems) began with the goal to grow a local food economy in North Carolina. Anyone can sign up on the campaign’s website and once a week record their local foods purchases. Those food purchases can be made at farmers’ markets, road side stands, through your CSA and even at restaurants. The beauty of the program is that you don’t need to spend any extra money. All you do is reallocate ten percent of your current budget towards local food. Then when you receive the weekly email reminder from the 10% Campaign, just sign in to enter that week’s figure. The Campaign’s database aggregates purchases and tracks local food spending over time, showing each of one of us how much we’ve invested collectively.
You may choose to eat locally produced food because it’s fresher and tastes better as a result. The 10% Campaign helps illustrate the economic impact of that choice. The campaign has been so successful that other states are beginning to use it as a model for their local food initiatives.
If you haven’t already signed on with the program, please consider it and visit their website to get started. You’ll find more information on their Facebook page and can follow along on Twitter to learn more about the local food movement across our state.