Tuesday, April 7, 2009

The 50-percent challenge

I moved to Montana over a year ago and have been exploring it with delight.

There's a lot to see here in the fourth largest state (after Alaska, Texas, and California). The big blue sky is no myth, the land is vast, and the people are interesting.

The food here is good, too. It's not all cattle and sheep, as cowboy movies might lead you to believe. (Though in small ranching communities like mine, people do tend to eat a lot of beef.) Montana produces lots of wheat, barley, lentils, cherries, and honey, to name a few of the top crops.

There's a worldwide movement slowly taking shape that aims to eat locally produced food in any given area. Here in Montana, the immediate goal is to get people to eat 50 percent of their food made right here in the state. Today Montanans spend about $3 billion on food each year, but less than 9 percent of that is spent on food produced in Montana. So you can see that eating locally produced food would help the economy tremendously.

This blog will document my own efforts to eat at least 50 percent of my food from local sources.

I'll also be visiting farmers markets to see what communities around the state are eating. I really enjoy meeting the people who grow and produce our food. They seem to have a real enjoyment in their work, coming out of, I suppose, a realization that what they do is vital.

Here's to safe travels and a hearty and healthy appetite!

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