Ogallala Commons (OC) is launching My Foodshed as a digital clearing house to inform and educate the general public regarding locally-grown food in the foodsheds of the High Plains.
In short, a foodshed is a geographic area where food is produced and consumed (similar to a watershed, which encompasses the flow of water from where it starts to where it ends). The majority of the foods we buy in supermarkets travels over 1,300 miles–part of a highly concentrated myriad of global systems. In contrast, My Foodshed will focuses on foods that are grown or crafted in these specific foodsheds: Red River Headwaters, Canadian River, Brazos River Headwaters, Permian Basin, and Arkansas Valley.
Why does food that is grown, crafted, and consumed in the local foodshed matter to its residents? Though relatively few foodsheds can provide all that is needed by those who inhabit it, there are great benefits to producing and eating food grown here in the Llano. First, locally produced food is fresher and more nutrient dense that products that have traveled hundreds of miles–and the money spent to purchase or craft it tends to circulate multiple times in the local economy, rather than draining away to distant lands and cities. Furthermore, local food production reduces the resources needed to package and transport food, thereby lowering solid waste and fossil fuel emissions. Finally, eating from our local foodshed builds up our food security, meaning that eating locally creates more economic development in our communities, along with improved social and ecological benefits.
Ogallala Commons, a nonprofit education and leadership organization that reinvigorates commonwealth to build vibrant Great Plains communities (www.ogallalacommons.org), began our Rebuilding Local Food Systems Program in 2006. With My Foodshed, we strive to feature social media posts about growing, purchasing, cooking, or celebrating locally produced foods—a combinations of ideas, photos, and profiles of people producing and marketing these foods, as well as tips and ideas for growing food for your own household, farmers market, and neighbors.
We invite you to “like” and follow My Foodshed on Facebook and sign up to receive our monthly email updates.
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