Iowa County Mandates Purchase of Locally Grown Organic Foods

By Charlie Nardozzi

While many people agree that eating locally grown organic produce is a good idea, one county has put its money where its mouth is. Organic food producers in the Midwest got a big boost recently when the Woodbury County, Iowa, Board of Supervisors made Woodbury the first county in the United States to mandate the purchase of locally grown, organic foods.

The law requires that food service contractors for the county purchase locally grown organic foods as long as they are competitively priced and of good quality. The resolution potentially will shift almost $300,000 a year in food purchases to local farmers. If enough organic foods aren't available for purchase, local non-organic foods will be given preference to meet the demand. 'Local' is defined as within a 100-mile radius of Sioux City, Iowa.

This law not only boosts the local farm economy, it provides fresh, healthy food products to recipients of county food services, such as residents of the juvenile detention center and jail.

For more on this landmark legislation, go to: Woodbury County Local Food Purchase Policy.

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