This weekend kicks off what is probably the most exciting few months in the year for local foods in Ithaca – at 9 a.m. on Saturday the Ithaca Farmers Market opens its stalls for the 2008 season! The Ithaca Farmers Market started up in 1973 and has grown to 165 vendors selling a variety of products from produce to crafts. And this is the really cool part – every vendor comes from within a 30-mile radius! This stuff basically comes from your back yard. It’s local food in Tompkins County at its best!
If you’re interested in the local foods movement and want do more than just eat locally, you might be interested in the work of the Farm to Cornell student group. After all, informed consumerism can do a lot for a movement, but it can’t do everything. In order to ensure that Cornell continues to increase its purchase and use of local foods, we as students need to collaborate with the decision makers in Cornell Dining and Campus Life.
It’s great to eat local. You can eat amazing stuff and at the same time know that your bite is loaded with more than just flavor. You’re supporting your local economy and the environment. But wouldn’t it be cool to take a step further and actually get involved with the production of your food? At Cornell’s student-run organic farm, Dilmun Hill , you can do just that!
If you haven’t heard of Greenstar Cooperative Market, you probably haven’t been in Ithaca all that long, but don’t worry, that’s okay – now you’ve heard of it, right? Greenstar started up in the early 1970s as a small purchasing co-op, and members would take turns picking up orders for the group at a wholesale market in Syracuse.
When we buy ‘locally grown,’ the food doesn’t have to travel 1,500 miles from the farm to your fork – which is the average distance an American bite travels these days. In a world threatened, as ours is, by climate change, the amount of carbon emissions we save by eating local food is very important.
Have you ever thought about how what you eat actually impacts the environment? Maybe a ‘granola-munching vegetarian’ once chided you for filling your plate with a main dish of ribs and a side of chicken at the dining hall. As students, we tend to take food for granted, or try to eke out a living on ramen and mac and cheese – or both. And what else can we do? We’re students after all, right? We’ve no time, and maybe no money to really think about what we eat. Shouldn’t that kind of thing should be left to the 63-year-old retirees that jog to the health food store every morning?