If New Yorkers Want Local Food, We Must Protect Local Farmland
It’s 2017, and if you were to look back at America only a decade ago, you’d probably be impressed by how far we’ve come. Today, locally-grown food is pushing its way into the mainstream as health conscious consumers drive demand for more fresh, local fruit and veg.
But while public opinion is on the up and up, our love of all things fooddoesn’t always add up to much concern for America’s farmland. Right here in New York, there is an urgent need to link this interest in healthy, local food to the protection of the Empire State’s farmland.
Local food connects all New Yorkers, whether you’re cramming in a salad on your lunch break, baking a loaf of bread, or toiling elbow deep in dirt.
But the farmland on which meals and jobs alike depend is being paved over. Since the 1980s, roughly 5,000 farms have been lost to real estate development in New York. That’s an average of three farms per week over the last 30 years.
In a time of seemingly endless divisiveness (example: Counting Crows Vs. Joni), we must come together around the things that connect us all and matter the most. For us at American Farmland Trust, that means protecting the farmland that grows our food, supports farmers, and bolsters the food businesses that are creating jobs in our communities.
How can I help?
Supporting businesses that source from local farmers is an important action everyone can take to support New York’s farm and food economy. (Conveniently, it’s the sort of thing Dig Inn takes really, really seriously.) Keeping farms economically viable is one of the best ways to ensure land remains in agriculture.
Remember, No Farms — No Food!
We hope to see you at the opening of Dig Inn’s new restaurant in Rye Ridge, NY on January 12, 2017. Fifty percent of proceeds from their opening day will support American Farmland Trust’s work to save that land that sustains New Yorkers.