Well, it’s now been confirmed. There’s enough local food for everyone! That’s right, according to a UC study put out this last month, there is enough locally grown and raised food for 90% of Americans to eat 100% local (food produced within 100 miles). That’s an encouraging statistic to be sure but, before I put on my party hat and partake of the locally sourced vegetable platter I have one aching question. Why does it feel like we’re still a far cry from that reality? I ask this because yes, despite the growing number of local food choices available today, my squash does occasionally have a Mexico sticker slapped on it and my Florida Orange juice well, I think it’s from Florida. The simple truth is, eating 100% affordable local food diet is still not convenient for most folks.
Am I thankful and supportive of small local farmers and artisanal food makers? Absolutely! They are integral to making our food system more sustainable. That said, there has to be more options to make a primarily local food diet more attainable for a lot more people. I mean for crying out loud a hundred years ago the only option was local food (even if it was mutton chops and potatoes) so what can we do? This issue is of course exactly what Ripelist wants to help solve. A means to an affordable local food diet.
We no longer live in an agricultural society but more and more people, especially in urban/suburban areas are rediscovering the dirt and turning their yards into food producing micro-plots. Homesteading practices are also gaining in popularity as more people are raising chickens, bees, and canning vegetables among other things. Some may pass it off as a fad reserved for idealists obsessed with Little House on The Prairie, but I believe it’s a growing shift in cultural values. Think about it, Industrial food has been around for over one hundred years which I think is long enough for us to see what works and what doesn’t and now we are adjusting accordingly. Ripelist connects all these new, urban micro food producers and others in their neighborhoods and provides that convenient and affordable option that has largely been missing in the local food movement.
Our dream is that as Ripelist grows, more and more users will be inspired to grow or make something they can offer and the neighborhood food ecosystem will once again become a substantial component in the movement towards a more sustainable food system providing an affordable local food diet for all!
If you’re interested, you can sign up for the app on our website and try it out. At the moment it’s only available in Portland, Oregon but if you live somewhere else feel free to sign up anyway so we can let you know when we’re coming to you!