Are you curious about your food, and where it comes from? If so, you are not alone. Interest in local foods, farmers markets, and special dietary needs is on the rise. Chances are that you cannot go into your grocery store without seeing something labeled as “local”, “organic”, “gluten free” or another designation that refers to where your food comes from, how it was produced, or what it contains. All this information can be overwhelming, at the least.
The good news is that having a conversation with farmers or store owners that do source locally can help us learn what it takes to produce food, how it was grown, and the multitude of benefits that purchasing local products can bestow on our local community. Macomb and Lapeer Counties in southeast Michigan are home to many fruit and vegetable farms, which fortunately makes purchasing local food a lot easier. The area also boasts a number of farm stands, farmers markets, stores and restaurants that source their ingredients locally. Advocates for local food say that the food is more fresh, more nutritious, and that the money used to purchase it will most often circulate in the local economy, which benefits other local businesses.
Events that highlight local farms and local food are also increasing around Michigan and across Macomb County. An example of one of these events is Tour de Food, hosted by Skyline Retreat Center and Camp in Almont. This event features a beautiful bike ride, through rural northern Macomb County, with the opportunity to visit a number of local farms, purchase local food, and learn more about each farm operation. The day culminates in a farm to table dinner at Skyline Camp, showcasing locally grown ingredients from the farms on the tour. The event is an annual fundraiser for Skyline which has hosted children at its camp since 1964.
If you are interested in learning more about where your food comes from and the members of your community who grow it, attend the 4th annual Tour de Food on September 20, 2015.