For many Coloradans, eating local is a longtime passion, nurtured by the simple pleasure of harvesting dinner from our own backyard.
Now, there is a growing movement afoot to fortify eating local, so Coloradans are no longer passive “food consumers,” but are more engaged and pro-active “food citizens.” Making Local Food Work is an ad-hoc group greasing the groundswell for food that is more personal – food that comes from close by, with a community connection.
Recently, Making Local Food Work launched an online hub, The Shed: Boulder County. The goal is to promote the production, consumption and preservation of regional and local food.
Bolstered with local political clout, The Shed:Boulder County is the initiative of a nine-member coalition of Boulder County business, government and non-profit leaders such as the city and county of Boulder, Boulder County Farmer’s Market, Chef Anne Foundation, BVSD’s School Food Project and Local Food Shift.
“People want local food,” says Michael Brownlee, founder of Making Local Food Work and Local Food Shift.
In a sort of ‘chicken and egg’ dance, the local food segment is growing. “It’s growing much more rapidly than the organic segment, and it’s completely market driven,” says Brownlee, who has been nurturing and cultivating the emerging trend for the last eight years.
Soon, Brownlee and co-publisher, Lynette Marie Hanthorn, will further fuel the local food movement with the launch of a focal point intended to by catalytic. “Local Food Shift Magazine” will provide a long-needed hub for information about local food.
“People want more access to local food and more information about local food. They want to know exactly where their food is coming from, who grew it, how it was grown, how the animals and workers were treated along the way.
With the magazine, we’re creating a content umbrella that can provide access to all of this. It’s certainly for eaters who are interested in local food, but it’s as much for this emerging business segment, the farmers and ranchers, the food entrepreneurs that are getting into local food,” says Brownlee, noting that the many enterprises working on various aspects of local food are mostly disconnected from each other.
On September 1, the first edition of “Local Food Shift Magazine” will hit newsstands and local outlets from restaurants to CSAs.
For now you can get a taste of the quality and depth planned in the 28-page preview issue available online here.
Or you can become a member subscriber and get access to premium online content after the launch.
As a phenomenon that spans Colorado, the U.S. and Europe, Boulder is in good company with its local food movement. In a sustainably and health-focused community such as ours, Boulder’s local food movement has many local connections. One is the Boulder-headquartered, “Slow Money.” With a focus on providing patient money to local food enterprises, Slow Money has invested more than $40 million nationwide since 2010.
Boulder’s Slow Money 27-member club has made eight loans to date, totaling $81,000 to such companies as LoCo Foods, Urban Farm Co., De La Chiva Goat Dairy and Ozuké Pickled Things.
The numbers lend credence to the value of ‘thinking like a food shed.’ Today, we share a few of those with you in the following infographic.
Please stay tuned for future stories on Local Food Shift Magazine.
For more on eating local, read our post Get a Bite of Boulder’s Most Local Produce