It's been a long while since I had the chance to blog! Here's why, I've been really busy working with the ND Dept. of Agriculture and many other FINE sponsors to travel ND and do some local foods meetings.
We had a great time and met a ton of wonderful people. We even ate local foods at each of our meals which was fabulous. In the end though I got more than good food - I also got very inspired to keep doing what Barry and I have always done - trying to stay local.
Did you know that more than 13,000 kids in North Dakota are undernourished? Did you know that to feed all the people in ND that are hungry or concerned about their ability to have food on the table would mean increasing all the reserves in all the food banks until they were at least DOUBLE what they are now - or to around 9.1 million pounds of food?
Fifty percent of North Dakotans have a chronic illness, 12% have diabetes and 77% do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. Diabetes health care costs in ND alone are over $209 million.
If 1/3 of all ND churchs found just 10 volunteers each and each volunteer planted 8 tomato plants and each plant produced 15 pounds of tomatoes that were valued at $2 a pound - they could provide ND food banks with $1.7 million worth of food! Just this last week my mother told me that her Christmas present to me was a contribution to the Great Plains Food Bank - I'm so happy! What a great way to support local foods.
Other ways include participating in farmers markets, school gardens, and CSA's. We've just started a CSA in Bottineau at the college. For more information on that please call Kirsten Moseng at 701-228-5649. School gardens are also a great way to get younger people - who are especially at risk for many health/diet related diseases involved in living better. And last but not least- all of these things contribute to a better economy in our communities and a better quality of life. For more information contact the North Dakota Department of Agriculture - Sue Balcom - she's really fired up!
PS - I've eaten one or more North Dakota/locally produced meals every day for the last 10 days and I feel great!