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Cheaper Local Food? Expensive Local Food Myth Dispelled 

Article from Farmland Report

A new study by the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture is out to disprove the myth that local food is more expensive than its non-local counterpart…in Iowa, at least.

After examining Iowa-grown vegetables, eggs and meat, the study concludes that local food does in fact have very competitive prices compared to non-local super-market varieties.  Rich Pirog, Leopold Center associate director and project collaborator sums it up like this:

“We found that during peak season, produce items at farmers’ markets were very competitive and in several cases lower than prices for the same non-local items found at supermarkets.”

Critics of local food claim higher prices make it unfeasible for many Americans to purchase it. 

However, local food – especially when purchased directly from farmers, through farmers markets, farm stands, CSA’s etc- can be a crucial boost to farmer’s bottom lines.  For American Farmland Trust, improving the economic viability of farmers is a key step towards keeping the land in agriculture. 

This study demonstrates a real opportunity for Iowa farmers to sell beyond local food enthusiasts – who are willing to pay higher prices –  to their neighbors who may be more price conscious. 

In the meantime, it appears that in the peak season of Iowa produce, buying local may keep a little change in your pocket- and some in your farmers’ pockets too.

To learn more about the study, visit the Leopold Center’s Study homepage.

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