People on WSIU Radio
Fri June 15, 2012
Study Shows Local Food Dollars Leave the Region
A new report shows southern Illinoisans spend nearly $2-Billion on food each year, and most of that money goes out of the region.
Crossroads Research Center President Ken Meter conducted the study, which he says shows a need for area residents to better understand what they're buying and where it comes from. Meter says the growing "shop local" movement is something consumers and producers need to pay attention to: "This hunger that people have to buy foods from farms they know and trust is, really, incredibly strong. In fact, I would argue it's the strongest force in U.S. agriculture right now. Sales directly from farmers to consumers increased ten-percent per year from 2002-2007, the most recent dates we have data for."
Meter goes on to say his research shows more than half of southern Illinoisans are overweight or obese, and a connection to local, healthy foods could help to turn that trend around. He will be in southern Illinois next week to talk about his study, in partnership with the local group "Food Works". You can get more information at www.eatsouthernillinois.org.