EATER MEETS FARMER: "Why Local?"

The KCFC is pleased to welcome our new guest blogger Stephen Flanery and his series entitled Eater Meets Farmer. Stephen is a human resources extraordinaire by day and a gardener by night. He is a Kansas City native, a cat lover, and an avid reader of Edwin Way Teale. Join us periodically as Stephen explores what it means to eat local and organic.


by Stephen Flanery 

Local food has become such a trend that the real reasons for eating locally occasionally get lost. Consider this: "a dollar spent at a local business turns over seven times in that community; while the same dollar spent at a box store or chain only turns over 2.5 times." And then there’s this: according to Worldwatch Institute, our food travels an average of 1,500 miles from farm to table. I live in the heart of the Midwest, surrounded by prime farmland, so why shouldn’t my food come from farms near Kansas City?

Fortunately, Kansas City has several organic markets right here in the metro area. And there are nearly 80 KCFC member growers, offering everything from chestnuts to beef to jams. These are farmers all within range of Kansas City who are committed to offering locally and ethically grown products.

By shopping at one of these farmers’ markets or joining a CSA with a local farmer, my dollars stay right here in Kansas City. Additionally, by dining at one of the many KC area restaurants that offers local and organic menu options, I support both local businesses and local farmers.

I guarantee if you visit your nearest farmers’ market and peruse the gorgeous displays of produce, you’ll have a hard time returning to the tasteless grocery store tomatoes. By purchasing locally grown food, I support my neighbors, I reduce my food miles, and I know exactly what I’m eating.

Next time I’ll ask “why organic?” In the mean time, share some of your favorite restaurants in KC that support local farmers.