Friday, December 17, 2010

Local Food Fail?

As a community, we pride ourselves in our support of, and ability to obtain local foods. According to Michigan Department of Agriculture documents, Washtenaw County only scores a 9 on the local food index (Michigan's average is 30).

What gives? Is the metric poorly designed, or are we a little overeager to praise ourselves for being good locavores? At least we rank high in goat, sheep, horse and pony operations.


  1. What about all of the Michigan produce available at Meijer, etc.? Local is local, right? Why does it have to be direct-to-consumer to count?

  2. My understanding is that direct-to-consumer is just in the same section. I think the local food metric is the per capita production of major staple crops (corn, potatoes, etc.) divided by the national per capita consumption of those crops. It's possible Washtenaw County doesn't produce a lot of staple crops relative to our other agricultural products.