DigIn! is The Shed’s educational campaign aimed at getting people involved with the local food movement in Boulder County. We tend to hear a lot about local food and its benefits, but what does it truly mean to eat “local?” Thanks to the efforts of The Shed, local farms, and our supporting partners, education revolving around the importance of local food is beginning to come to the forefront. We challenge you to become knowledgeable about what you are putting in your body, where it comes from, and ways to support community building efforts, and who knows, it may even ignite a passion. Local food is often understood as simply food that hasn’t traveled far to our plates. But not all local food is created equal.
Want to dig deeper? Here’s how
Step 1: REFLECT ON WHAT “LOCAL FOOD” AND A “FOODSHED” MEANS
Beyond miles or distance to your plate, how might you define a “foodshed”? What and who is involved in “local food” practices? What are your assumptions about the impacts of “local food” on our community, including the land, air, water, animals, and people in our region?
Step 2: GROUND YOUR REFLECTIONS
Think about one of your favorite foods. Do you know if it is grown and/or produced locally? If you couldn’t answer that question with complete confidence, Dig In! to how the food found its way to your plate. A local grocery store, restaurant, company, or farm might give you ideas about what food is determined as “local.” Do you agree with their definitions?
Step 3: DIG IN! TO WHAT A FOODSHED MEANS FOR BOULDER COUNTY
Use The Shed’s Resource list at our website, ask questions of local experts, read more, and find out about the foodshed in Boulder Valley. Learn where our regional food and/or its ingredients come from. Research how is it grown, raised, harvested, processed, packaged, and/or transported before you consume it–and by whom. Discover what threatens or makes possible local food.
Step 4: THINK CRITICALLY
What does it mean to think of yourself as part of this foodshed? What ideas do you want to share with our community that you learned? Is it connection to others and Earth? Humane treatment of animals or workers? Knowing the farmer who grew your food? Money kept in the local economy? A lower carbon footprint? Better taste? Healthier options? Does “digging in” uncover any surprises, inspirations, or complications you think are important for our community to discuss?
Why support Local?
Consuming Local Food in Boulder County is good for you. And that’s good for everyone.
Supporting local food is healthier because the shorter the time frame between the farm and your table, the less likely nutrients will be lost. Food imported from far away is older and has traveled in trucks or planes, and sat in warehouses before it gets to you. Supporting local helps save farmland, builds connections and community, and generates more income for the local economy. Supporting local, promotes self reliant and resilient food networks improving the sustainability of food production. By supporting Boulder farmers markets and educational campaigns such as DigIn! you are one of the helping hands contributing to a healthy relationship between farmers, friends, and the environment. Local food is an investment in the future. By supporting local farmers today, you are helping to ensure that there will be farms in your community tomorrow. With an uncertain energy future and our current reliance on fossil fuels to produce, package, and distribute food it’s of utmost importance to promote food security by supporting local food production.
How do I support local?
There are several avenues to support the production, consumption, and awareness surrounding local food. Initiatives such as The Shed, Boulder Farmer’s Markets, CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture, and projects like DigIn! are all making continuous efforts to spread the word about the benefits that local food can provide to the community of Boulder.
DigIn! The Art Show
On Earth Day 2017, DigIn! made its debut as The Shed: Boulder County Foodshed teamed up with BVSD art teachers and high school students along with CU Boulder faculty and students for a local food inspired art show. The purpose of this art show was to have high school students depict through art what local food means to them in order to encourage discussion about the local food movement. The students were asked to reflect on the positive impacts that local foods have on our community and the importance for future involvement in eating local. Below you will find some of the art made by the students. We are so pleased with the success of the first educational event DigIn! has hosted. With notable participation and support from high school artists, guest speakers, and wonderful food from Three Leaf Catering, we can proudly say that this is just the beginning of an ongoing community conversation about “local food” and how we can strengthen our foodshed.