Mainers prefer to buy local food from in-state farmers, fishermen and businesses, according to a new survey. The findings are indicative of a sea change happening in the food industry, says SSI/Mitchell Center researcher Timothy Waring, who was part of a multi-institution team that prepared the report. And Maine is on the leading edge.
In total, 80 percent of those surveyed said they purchase at least some produce, meat and fish from local sources, according to a report by Maine Food Strategy. Two-thirds of respondents said they did so out of a desire to support local food providers.
“Maine is a national leader in supporting the local foods industry,” said Waring, Assistant Professor of Social-Ecological Systems Modeling and a member of the Sustainability Solution Initiative’s (SSI). “People have altruistic motives when it comes to local foods, sometimes at a monetary cost to themselves. They want to support the community. That’s not the reason people normally go to a grocery store.”