"Step Up to the Plate"
and take the WI Buy Local Challenge
The Women’s Institutes of Nova Scotia is pleased to announce the start of our new project, The WI Buy Local Challenge. This project is being supported by Agri-Futures Nova Scotia.
The idea behind the project is to encourage more people to buy local food products when grocery shopping. Women's Institutes believe in supporting our local farmers and producers. We also believe that by promoting this project we can help to support our producers while enjoying the benefits of fresh, local food products.
The term ‘local' can be misleading in the marketplace. What does ‘local' really mean? Does it mean foods produced within a certain number of kilometers of where you live? Does it mean foods produced in Nova Scotia or in the Maritimes? It is interesting to note that some food retailers consider any food items that can be shipped to their store within a 24 hour period to be ‘local'. This could mean that you could see food products in-store that may have traveled thousands of miles the day before, being labeled as ‘local'. This information is viewed by many as misleading to the consumer.
While developing this project, Women’s Institutes had to decide upon what they consider to be the definition of ‘local' food products. Here is the definition that has been adopted by the Women’s Institutes:
When purchasing local food products - first look for food products produced in your community. If you cannot find products from your community, then look to products produced in your county and then province. Remember - Community, County, Province.
To gauge the buying habits and opinions of consumers, we have developed a survey in conjunction with the Rural Research Center at the Nova Scotia Agricultural College.
More than 2400 people were surveyed on their food buying preferences and you
can read the complete
So what is the actual ‘Challenge’?
The WI Buy Local Challenge requirements will ask the participants to do the following:
- To eat at least one home-cooked meal per week, using mainly local ingredients.
- To incorporate at least one never-before-tried local ingredient into their diet.
- To ‘brown-bag’ at least one meal per week that is primarily made of local ingredients.
- To talk to at least one food retailer and one food producer about local food choices.
- To complete the WI Buy Local Challenge survey.
- To choose local food products whenever possible.
Women’s Institutes of Nova Scotia is a well respected organization and the public does take notice of the projects and programs we support. We hope that this project will help to educate and encourage the public, our membership, producers, restaurant owners and retailers to think local and make educated decisions when purchasing their food products.