While I was visiting my family in Maryland, I learned some things about its new progressive Governor, Martin O’Malley, such as his efforts to promote local agriculture. In Hometown Annapolis, the July 19th article, Your challenge: Eat locally–State, county officials encourage consumption of area’s produce, written by Tim Ebner (which also was posted on Common Dreams), describes the challenge the Governor put forth to Marylanders to eat at least one locally grown food each day.
The heat did not stop Gov. Martin O’Malley and Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown from throwing a party yesterday on the lawn of the Governor’s Mansion. Mr. O’Malley opened his front yard to host a barbecue banquet of foods produced by Maryland’s farmers.
The event kicked off the state’s Buy Local Challenge, a week of events promoting and supporting the state’s agricultural community.
Mr. O’Malley and other state leaders are challenging Marylanders to eat at least one locally grown food each day from now until July 27th. The governor said he hopes this week will change the way Marylanders think about their food.
“If you buy a tomato and have to drive it here from Mexico or Florida, there’s a lot of cost and environmental impact in the transportation,” Mr. O’Malley said. “If you buy a tomato that was raised in Anne Arundel County, it’s safer and tastier, and a larger percentage of that dollar goes to Maryland farmers,” he said.
In the past few years, the local foods movement has gained wide popularity across the country. Many “locavores” buy directly from regional farms because of the food’s nutritional and organic value. Grocery stores that cater to organic tastes, like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s, also have seen a growing consumer demand.
In Maryland, residents said they would prefer to eat locally.
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