What can local food do for you? Aside from providing superior produce and meats, small-scale, hyper-local farms allow for a dialogue between consumer, chef, and grower that aren't possible with large agribusiness operations. Chefs can inform farmers on desired traits, farmers can instruct chefs on the science behind the vegetable, ultimately facilitating a connection to food that industrial farming simply doesn't allow. In Highland Park, LA, a community garden, local homesteader, and dinette have formed their own sort of ecosystem, where decisions at one entity inform decisions at the others, and where hyper-local takes on new meaning.
Los Angeles, blessed with a climate ideal for year round growth. has long been an mecca of locavory. The first farmers market began in 1934, and has since multiplied in size more than five times. Infrastructure limits around the country are being broken by these types of closed-loop systems, and for the fist time in the history of the Federal Farm Bill (which is renewed every five years), this years included a proposed provision called the, "Local Farms and Jobs Act," which invests in local farmers markets and promotes access to underserved communities. With a little help from the federal government, in ten or twenty years, this dialogue between farmers, chefs, and consumers may no longer be the exception, but rather the rule.
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