Foodonomics: University of Vermont Explores the Economics of Local Food
Does buying local produce really give back to local farms and the communities? University of Vermont (UVM) Medical Center teamed up with UVM Department of Community Development and Center for Rural Studies to find out.
Using hospital purchasing data from 2012, the researchers investigated whether purchasing local food positively impacted the Vermont economy. First, purchases from local producers and distributors keep the money circulating in the local community as opposed to buying produce from a grocery store, where a portion of your money goes back to the corporation out of state. The researchers also discovered that if a producer can sell to a local hospital, that proves the vendor has solid quality that will appeal to other wholesale buyers, increasing the amount of produce a vendor could sell.
Studies like this show the importance of instituting food programs in the community – it’s not only good for your health, but also good for the local economy!