Localvore movement gains steam

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(Host) The push to buy local is gathering steam across Vermont and nationally. In Rutland, several groups promoting local farmers and food co-ops have invited hunger activist and best selling author Frances Moore Lappe` to speak on their behalf tomorrow night. VPR’s Nina Keck has more.

The name Frances Moore Lappe` may or may not ring a bell – but when you mention her 1971 bestseller – Diet for a Small Planet – people often nod their heads.

(Tashe) “And you get this look of recognition on people’s faces and the most common response people give is – Oh, I read her book and it changed my life.”

(Keck) Carol Tashe is one of the leaders of Rutland’s Localvore movement. They’re a group which encourages people to eat more locally grown and produced foods. Tashe says Lappe is the perfect speaker to help them get their message across.

(Tashe) “Frances Moore Lappe was one of the first people to start talking about a vegetarian diet. So they know her for that as well as one of the first people talk about world hunger and what was the problem. Why is it that so many people are starving and came to realize that it’s not a lack of food, it was a lack of how that food was used.”

(Keck) Lappe has written extensively on food hunger, poverty and democracy. Today, she runs the Small Planet Institute in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Tashe says her talk in Rutland will highlight the importance of feeding one’s body while supporting one’s community. Tashe says people don’t realize that most of the produce at the grocery store is grown hundreds if not thousands of miles away.

Considering the recent scare with spinach, she says buying locally is more important than ever.

(Tashe) “In order to bring that spinach to our grocery shelves it needs to be packaged, it needs to be preserved, it needs to be stored and transplanted. So it’s really no surprise that a lot of the foods that we’re eating is not as healthy as before.”

(Keck) Frances Moore Lappe will speak at the Rutland Intermediate School at 6:30 tomorrow night. A community localvores meal will follow. There is no charge but donations will be accepted.

For Vermont Public Radio, I’m Nina Keck in Rutland.

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