More Consumers, Restaurants Buying Local

By Ali Ingersoll

Published 07/15 2014 09:52PM

Updated 07/15 2014 11:44PM

Agriculture products grown in Pennsylvania are the largest economic supplier in the state. The multi-billion dollar business helps create jobs, promotes healthy eating habits and improves water and air quality.

More and more people now are starting to access their local Farmers' markets for many different reasons.

"The food is fresh," says Jim Eisenstein, a local consumer who also is in charge of public outreach for the Boalsburg Farmers' Market.  "That is absolutely essential."

The fresh food, which most of the time was picked earlier that day or the day before, is a main reason people enjoy buying from the markets.

"It starts to decrease in nutrients the moment it is picked," says Anne Quinn Corr, a Centre County food writer and chef.

"It's much more nutritious and that is why we eat," says Eisenstein.

Another reason, consumers know where their food is coming from.

"You don't need to have the organic label on it to be able to know what's been put on your food if you're at the farmers' market and talking to the person who grew that," says Rebecca Robertson, a consumer who frequents the Boalsburg Farmers' market. 

Quinn Corr agrees.  She says people in the Centre Region are in the forefront of the movement and they're really starting to appreciate locally grown food.

"People really want to look the person that grows their food in the eye and say, 'How did you grow this?'," says Quinn Corr. "They want to connect with the farmer and talk about the different varieties.  The food just tastes so much better."

Restaurants in Centre County are opting to buy local produce too.

"We have a lot more local stuff than we used to," says Severin Liskowski, a server at Green Bowl in State College.

He says around 7 to 12 percent of the vegetables available at the restaurant are from local producers; that is something that makes him proud.

"It helps support the infrastructure of places around here and of this town," says Liskowski.  "I would rather local farmers being paid rather than some big business."

The increase in interest to buy local is helping growers in the area.

"It's allowing us to keep our farm," says Erik Stewart, a 7th generation farmer at Clan Stewart Farm.  "It is our bread and butter.  We would like to keep it as long as possible."


For more information on the Farmers' Markets in Centre County, click here.

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