Friday afternoon, I attended a local food symposium sponsored by the Northwest Regional Food Hub and the Cascade Harvest Coalition that brought together farmers, producers, buyers and consumers interested in encouraging consumption of local agricultural products.
There was a trade show component, where farmers and other related parties displayed their company products. In addition to farmers, ranchers and food, think fertilizer, equipment and insurance, Washington State Dep’t of Agriculture, Washington State University Extension and Fields of Grace, among others. There were CSA farmers from Washington, Oregon and Virgina. I had a wonderful white cucumber as a snack, some bread from a local bakery and blueberries passed around by my farmer during his presentation. Good thing, because I missed lunch to get there. 🙂
Speakers discussed many of the benefits of consuming locally sourced foods: fewer transportation costs, more transparent farming methods (the keynote speaker called it “customer inspected”, greater variety, and fewer contaminants when you avoid industrial farming methods.
A theme that ran through the day was the connections and relationships that are established, creating a sense of community and being vested in what you eat and where it comes from. Consuming more locally grown and raised food is beneficial for both our physical and mental health.