LIVINGSTON, Calif. - California's budget woes – and the state's economy – could be bolstered to the tune of $15.6 billion annually if Californians pledged to eat all locally grown foods one day a week. So say lawmakers and agriculture leaders who gathered today at the state's capitol to urge Californians to Eat Local, Buy California Grown with a new resolution introduced during California Ag Day at the Capitol. A new NSON Opinion Strategy survey commissioned by California poultry producer Foster Farms shows 85 percent of California consumers say it is important to purchase foods "Grown in California," yet millions of dollars are still spent on so-called "fresh" foods from across state lines – more than a quarter billion dollars on out-of-state chicken alone.
The new "Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day" resolution is authored by Assembly Members Fiona Ma and Cathleen Galgiani, Chair of the Assembly Committee on Agriculture. The resolution was announced today by Ma and State Senator Anthony Cannella. Also speaking in support of the resolution at the Capitol were Ira Brill of Foster Farms and Chris Zanobini of California Grown. The resolution, which is quickly gaining support from other California agricultural leaders and officials, calls for Californians to prepare meals made exclusively from California-grown ingredients at least one day a week – Sundays. According to the just-released survey, more than 73 percent of Californians say they would be willing to do just that.
The "Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day" movement celebrates California, the country's most agriculturally abundant state, which produces 400 commodities and a significant amount of food for the rest of the country. By making a conscious decision to Eat Local, Buy California Grown, Californians can support California farmers who work hard to raise healthy, high-quality food locally while keeping billions of consumer dollars within the state supporting local businesses, communities and families. California consumers can also show support by signing a pledge to dedicate Sundays to eating local on the "Eat Local, Buy California Grown Day" Facebook page (www.facebook.com/eatlocalbuycaliforniagrown).
"We've always said it's important not to be fooled by Imposter chicken from out of state," says Ira Brill, Director of Marketing and Advertising Services for Foster Farms who represented the poultry industry at the state event. "But now, more than ever, it's important for us to band together and support our California-grown neighbors. With the budget deficit as it is in California, we need to keep hardworking Californians' money in the state – for the good of all Californians," adds Brill. "Our research shows that California consumers know that the food safety and environmental standards in this state are more stringent."