Ohio-Grown Food Plan Wins Governor's "Blue Ribbon" at State Fair
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Hundreds of thousands of Ohioans are flocking to the State Fair, in part to sample locally grown food and Governor Strickland joined them, to unveil a plan to make Ohio foods a regular part of the state's diet. An executive order signed Tuesday at the fair creates the Ohio Food Policy Advisory Council. Lisa Hamler-Fugitt with the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Foodbanks says the goal is to give Ohioans more access to food grown in the state, and help the bottom line at local farms.
"It will also be putting healthy foods on the tables of low-income families, children, and senior citizens."
Joe Logan with the Ohio Farmers Union argues that local farmers get an ever-smaller portion of the money spent on food and by connecting them with local markets, they'll make more money and be more likely to stay in business.
"What farmers need is an ability to get a little closer to the end-line consumer. And at the same time consumers are clamoring for more proximity and more authenticity in their food system."
Hamler-Fugitt sees food safety as another top priority for the new council.
"Certainly in light of the recent both international and domestic food recalls that we've had, it's becoming apparent that we need to be more vigilant as a state and nation about food safety."
Ohio is home to a $93 billion-a-year food and agriculture industry.
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