Source: Center for Rural Affairs news release
In Nebraska, more than $4.4 billion is spent annually on food, and 90 percent of that food comes from outside the state, according to a report released by the Center for Rural Affairs and the Nebraska Food Council.
“Biting Into Food Access: A View of Nebraska’s Food System” provides background research describing the current food system in the state, taking a look at state-level and national-level data.
“When we spend food dollars outside of the state, that weakens our local economy and limits local access points,” said Sandra Renner, project associate with the Center for Rural Affairs and co-author of the report. “We rely on other areas of the country, the strength of their food systems and local economies, and the availability of their natural resources to provide us with food. The idea that we are ‘feeding the world’ ignores the unsustainability of our current food system.”
The report examines demographics, food production and land use, food consumption and access, and food waste.
The final section of the report zooms in on next steps for the newly-formed Nebraska Food Council. Members of the Nebraska Food Council reviewed the research in this assessment and created an initial list of research topics, policy work, and areas of focus they would like to pursue.
“We’re looking at how to better feed our population and how to shift toward creating opportunities for more food production aimed at human consumption,” Renner said. “By addressing key issues in food, farm, small business, and community-level and institutional policy, there is potential to identify strengths, changes needed, and gaps in the food system.”
Key findings of the report include:
For more information and to view “Biting Into Food Access: A View of Nebraska’s Food System,” visit cfra.org/publications/BitingIntoFoodAccess.