In New Mexico, the Grant County Food Policy Council is currently recommending ways to encourage local food production, distribution and availability. Currently, the state ranks second to last in the nation in food insecurity because of its limited supply of nutritious, healthful and safe foods.
Currently, the nation faces a health crisis as the obesity rate soars and chronic illnesses, like diabetes, abound as a result of poor nutrition. The Council hopes to reduce costs associated with health care by promoting freshly farmed, locally produced fruits and vegetables. Ultimately, the panel aims to ensure that state residents are granted access to more locally grown fruits and vegetables.
Alicia Edwards, a newly appointed member of the Food Policy Council, asserts that the issue of food security "is interconnected with locally grown food and nutritional food." In order to help its local farmers sell their goods directly to local consumers, "there needs to be a farmers' cooperative to sell to the larger markets," Steve Nienhaus, a local agriculturist, asserts.
The Council will begin meeting in 2011 as it works towards achieving its local farming initiatives. Until then, farmers may want to fire up their used tractors and think about increasing production to meet what the Council hopes will be increased local demand for their goods.