A Long Haul For Localvores: An Edible Minute

May 18, 2010

The localvores are curious: Could we raise most of our food here in New Hampshire?

A recent study out of the University of New Hampshire suggests we’re a long way from self-sufficiency:

One of the things we were originally asked about is can New Hampshire meet 100% of its food needs through local foods, and there’s a pretty big gap.

That’s Matt Magnusson, co-author of the study.

Currently, we can produce just 6% of what we need. Compared to Maine and Vermont at nearly 40%, we’re lagging far behind.

One reason: our mostly small farms have trouble producing the volume the large chains prefer. But that’s not the biggest problem:

New Hampshire has the lowest farm profitably, basically, in all of New England.

Increasing farm profitability, the study suggests, would be the best first step to a strong local food economy. But for the foreseeable future, the Buy Local mantra will remain more food for thought than the actual food most of us see on our plates.