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Could You Eat Local All The Time? This UC Merced Professor Thinks So

UC Merced

A new study out of the University of California, Merced suggests that many Americans could sustain themselves off of entirely locally grown or raised food. FM89’s Ezra David Romero reports.  

Over the last two years UC Merced Professor Elliot Campbell has pondered and researched how to get food grown regionally into local homes and mouths. This week he released his findings.

CAMPBELL: “If you drew a 100 mile circle around each city in the US and then you looked at the capacity of the existing farmland you’d find that 90 percent of the people could be fed within those circles.”

Campbell says Central California cities, like Merced and Fresno, could feed all their residents off the land surrounding them, but existing farms aren’t set up for that.

CAMPBELL: “We’re providing food for a global economy, but if we wanted to earmark some of our croplands for our local needs it would be absolutely no problem to be 100 percent self-sufficient.”

He says Los Angeles could provide half of its population with the food grown with the 100 mile radius and San Francisco could provide all its residents with locally sourced foods. 

Ezra David Romero is an award-winning radio reporter and producer. His stories have run on Morning Edition, Morning Edition Saturday, Morning Edition Sunday, All Things Considered, Here & Now, The Salt, Latino USA, KQED, KALW, Harvest Public Radio, etc.
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