Local Food at Any Price
As I wrote yesterday, school districts that give preference to local food suppliers incur significant costs. Processing crops obtained directly from nearby farms calls for more labor, or new equipment, or both:
Eric Cartwright, the executive chef of the MU’s Campus Dining Service, spoke about the problems with getting produce from local sources.
“Without laser cutters or big machines, it’s much more time consuming to cut tomatoes and vegetables,” he said.
Those are the costs of preparing produce in season, when it’s cheapest. Serving local food at any other time calls for even more hard work and money. But local food advocates seem to enjoy the challenge — and to disregard any cost-benefit analysis. In New Jersey, Rutgers is bending over backwards to bring local food to schools during the winter:
The East Broad Street facility is assisting the school in finding ways to better preserve New Jersey-grown produce so the food can be served at school cafeterias year-round, even when the produce is out of season.
The push to better preserve and package fruits and vegetables is part of the larger Rutgers Against Hunger initiative […]
I thought people bought local in order to avoid preserved and packaged food, because fresh food is healthier. Why go to all that trouble to preserve local food when you can fly it in fresh from a warmer climate?