The House Agricultural Affairs Committee voiced its unanimous support for a resolution supporting local food.
In testimony before the committee Thursday, Janie Burns, member of the Treasure Valley Food Coalition, urged lawmakers to pass the resolution. She believes a vote for the bill would be a vote for self-reliance among the citizens of Idaho. Burns, who originally brought the measure before the committee, said that locally grown foods provide various economic and environmental benefits to the state. She said that because much of the food consumed in Idaho is produced and processed out-of-state, governments are losing out on tax revenue that could be produced by those operations. Burns added that because local food requires less transportation than out-of-state foods, the impact of local growers on the environment is less than larger operations.
More importantly, noted Burns, is the need for Idahoans to become independent in matters of food production. Burns said national tragedies in the past few years, such as the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, various earthquakes, and infrastructure failures, have caused her to re-evaluate her feelings about food.
"What is the role of food in our lives and can we really feed ourselves?" Burns said she asked herself.