What is the local food movement?

24th July 2021 | Moira Geddes

The local food movement is hardly a new concept, but ever since COVID-19 hit communities across the nation, it’s started to see a major resurgence. The best part of this regional revival is that it’s no longer limited to small farming districts, “hippy” food towns like Byron Bay or artisan produce pockets like the Margaret River or the Fleurieu Peninsula. These days, city folk in urban areas are also actively jumping on board.

The concept of supporting and buying only from local food producers started in the US back in the 1970s as a reaction to President Nixon’s promise to cut food prices. Nixon did this by reallocating federal dollars from small farmers growing a diverse range of crops to industrial agriculture focused on the mass production of corn and soy – two of the major ingredients in most cheap, processed foods in the States. When many small farms went bankrupt as a result, angry locals consciously started to throw their support behind the few that were able to survive, thereby igniting the philosophy behind the local food movement.

While this form of activism was originally inspired by the need to keep a handful of local farmers in business, it’s now grown into a far greater social enterprise that aims to promote the value of consuming locally-grown food. In the video below, Eativity takes a look at the modern-day local food movement, and how it can benefit both people and the planet.