SLC program to educate community about the origins of their food

Posted at 3:46 PM, Feb 15, 2012
and last updated 2012-02-22 18:14:02-05

Salt Lake City will introduce the new Community Food Assessment program to encourage people to grow their own food and understand where their food comes from.

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker says that many people do not know the origin of the food they buy at the store. The mayor says the average grocery item travels more than 1,500 miles before it is placed on a shelf.

“That’s not the best way for us to make sure we have good healthy food and reduce our impact on the environment,” said Becker.

Part of the program involves polling Utahns using an online survey about what may be stopping them from growing their own food or participating in community gardens.

“We want to ID how much food we process, how we get food to us and how are we accessing food,” Becker says. “It’s one of the more important thing we can do as we look long term towards our future”

The city also introduced a food production mapping tool to help residents estimate how much food can be grown in their backyard (click here to view).

The program’s food assessment outreach manager Bridget Stuchly says their goal is to give everyone the opportunity to grow fresh fruits and vegetables, shop at more farmers markets, and get rid of city ordinances that stand in the way of Utahns achieving a healthy lifestyle.

“Food plays a huge role in how we are in the health of our community,” Stuchly said.