J500 Media and the Environment


Be a Prouder Lawrencian by sachikom

“Poor Sachiko. You have to eat McDonald and pizza everyday.”

I’m a student from Japan. Before I left Japan, many of my friends mentioned fast food and felt sorry about an unhealthy and tasteless diet I’d go through.

Now, I can say they’re not right, at least in Lawrence. I like to go to downtown restaurants that serve a variety of food around the world. I love to cook using fresh ingredients from the downtown farmers’ market. After coming to Lawrence, I’m converted to a supporter of local food, too.

 


Photo Credit: Farmers’ Market in Downtown Lawrence Lawrence farmers’ market is open on Saturday morning and Tuesday and Thursday evening.

 

The farmers’ market, a community garden and restaurants that specialize in regional ingredients, Lawrence offers great venues for local food. The benefits of local food vary from taste to health, to the environment and local economy.

To be a prouder Lawrencian, how can we support local food and build a more sustainable food network in Lawrence?

Search Lawrence Sustainability Network and Local HarvestThey tell us farms and restaurants that specialize in regional ingredients.

Support local farmers through a subscription service: Small-scale local firms are vulnerable to risks such as bad weather and pests. Daniel Dermitzel, farmer and associate director of Kansas City Center for Urban Agriculture, said we can help local formers by sharing those risks and subscribing to Community Supported Agriculture. Under the subscription service, organized farmers collect a fixed fee from customers and provide products periodically. The amount of share depends on the performance of those farmers. Rolling Prairie Farmers Alliance is available for the Lawrence area. 

Volunteer for the Lawrence farmers’ market: It’s a great way to share your passion with customers and vendors. 

In the long run, we should create more opportunities for farmers to sell their products.

Open the farmers’ market in winter: Although not many products are available during the winter season, opening the markets would help stabilize farmers’ income and satisfy customers’ demands. The Christian Science Monitor reports winter indoor markets that have become popular in Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa. 

Create a local food kiosk on the KU campus: The kiosk could sell fruits, snacks and meals made of locally grown ingredients. It can be promotional, too.

Start a Farm-to-School program in Lawrence public schools: Farm to School is a program which schools provide meals using locally produced foods. Schools also provide learning opportunities, such as farming, gardening and studying about nutrition. This program would enable local farmers to sell their products and raise students’ awareness of food and health. 

Your participation wanted! And don’t miss Lawrence farmers’ market! It opens on Saturday morning and Tuesday and Thursday evening from mid April to November.

By Sachiko Miyakawa

 

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