#Consumer Affairs
United States of America

We’ve all recently heard people preaching about the many benefits of local food and how we must shift our habits as a society towards more local and less imports. One of these preachers, Michael Shuman, talks about our spending patterns through terms of LOIS and TINA in his article “Going Local: New opportunities for Community Economies”. LOIS stands for Local Ownership and Import Substitution, and the other less favorable alternative (in the eyes of Shuman) is TINA, meaning There Is No Alternative (to a global economy). He describes the circular flow model and multiplier effects, intrinsic parts of LOIS, but nonsensical terms to the average consumer at first.

The circular flow model in economics shows the flow of money in an economy. The economy in question can either be the local economy such as the Otsego economy, the New York economy or even the US economy. When talking about local, we talk in terms of (at most) the state economy. When spending and purchasing is done primarily within the local economy it generates more wealth. Spending money at your local farmers market will generate disposable income for these farmers which they will spend locally creating more income for another producer, and so on. This is called the economic multiplier (Shuman).

Research done by the USDA (Martinez, et al.) suggests that local food is healthier and contains more nutrients than non-local food because of the primarily organic production processes and the less quest-like amount of food miles. Food miles are the distance the food travels from the point it is produced to the point it is consumed. Local food travels less time, and therefore both doesn't need preservative chemicals and wilts less as it travels. It is also harvested at the right, seasonal time, whereas non-local food has to be harvested earlier due to the large distances the food has to cover before reaching the nearby supermarkets. It is better for you, both nutritionally and taste-wise. (Ackerman-Leist).

As part of my project for my First Year Seminar, my colleague Nicholas Ryan and I interviewed a local business owner. Purdy Foods is a processor of local food and supplies to local colleges, fine dining establishments and institutions. They are fulfilling the vision on the “Farm to Fork” initiative and sustainable interests of our community. Purdy himself believes strongly in the local food vision, and states that local foods are healthier and taste better. He thinks that, in ten or so years, we should be calling local food just food (Purdy).

We as students knowing all the numerous benefits of local food must make a difference. We are calling on the student body to take a stand.

We, the Hartwick College community, call on ARAMARK to use local food as the primary source in their food production.

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The Demand for local food at Hartwick College petition to ARAMARK was written by Sami Kamran Chaudhry and is in the category Consumer Affairs at GoPetition.