MSU: More interest in buying locally grown food

May 5, 2013

A new Michigan State University survey finds a growing number of school lunch rooms, hospitals cafeterias and other institutions are interested in filling their pantries with locally grown food.

MSU’s Center for Regional Food Systems has been asking institutions about whether they buy locally grown fruits, vegetables and other food staples since 2004.

Center director Michael Hamm says the number of school cafeterias buying local has tripled in the last decade. But he says there’s only so much more local farmers can produce now.

“What our hope is…is that overtime…we will get a much more robust four season production system in Michigan to produce greater volumes. So we will have greater out of season availability of some of these things locally,” says Hamm.

To achieve that, Hamm says Michigan schools, hospitals and other institutions will need to spend more for locally produced food staples. But he says its money that would be invested in the local community