The Aquidneck Community Table, the organization that produces the weekly farmers market, has launched its annual “Local Food Challenge”. The mission of this event is to encourage support for local farmers, fish sellers, bakers and all kinds of food producers.
The food challenge offers an opportunity for consumers, restaurants, institutions and food businesses to break out of conventional wisdom and explore what the island has to offer, while supporting state and local economies and working towards a more sustainable and equitable food system for all.
According to Cornell Cooperative Extension, a food system is “the route food travels from the field to the fork, from planting to harvesting, processing and packaging, transporting, consuming, and disposing of food.
“It also includes the required input and output generated at each step. Food systems operate within and are influenced by the social, economic and natural environment. Each step depends on human resources. “
The challenge for those participating in this event is to spend as many days as possible consuming food grown or raised on Aquidneck Island, caught in the waters of Narragansett Bay or produced locally. Other options for participating include adding one local ingredient to each meal or choosing to cook at least one “alllocal” meal per day.
Over the coming months, ACT executive director Bevan Linsley says the organization will highlight popular local food heroes.
“Since we couldn’t get people together for the usual food challenge week event this year, we focused on local food heroes, feeling fortunate that we were able to buy directly and safely from so many producers in our strong regional food economy,” he said.
Linsley encourages people to take part, use the hashtag #aquidneckfoodchallenge and share their motivation to buy locally, promote their own local food heroes, or share a favorite recipe or menu made with fresh Rhode Island ingredients.
“In challenge week, we want to hear from our customers about which Rhode Island food producers, farmers, fishermen and small food businesses they prefer to shop for, and have a little fun sharing ideas now that everyone is cooking more often,” he said. “[The event also helps] to raise locally sourced restaurants in this challenging time. “
A food map, along with information on the food challenge, is available at aquidneckcommunitytable.org
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