Posted on February 16, 2010 by Tia Lalani

Robin Galenza checks out the Boomtown Trails local food sourcing event at Augustana on February 16, 2010.

By Robin Galenza –

Boomtown Trails is hosting a local food sourcing event, February 16th in the U of A’s Augustana Campus Chapel. The day-long event will allow community members to learn the benefits of using local ingredients instead of relying on products that travel thousands of miles to reach our dinner plate.

Boomtown Trails is a tourist organization that highlights the amenities that towns like Camrose have to offer to visitors. Boomtown manager Ken Duncan says that events like these help people help their neighbours.

“The object of the day is to help people learn where they can buy food locally, and how to ensure that it does come from a local source,” Duncan adds.

The event is open to individuals or organizations who host food events or fundraisers throughout the year. The day will start at 9 a.m. and there will be several speakers addressing the benefits and difficulties of sourcing food locally. The speakers are guests from other regions who have successfully made the switch, such as the Edmonton Region Tourism Group. There will be lunch provided and, of course, it will highlight local ingredients.

“Buying food locally benefits the local suppliers, and it builds goodwill and friendships in the community. It also supports the local economy. Wouldn’t you rather help your neighbour and in turn help your community?” Duncan asks.

The benefits from sourcing local food are tremendous, he adds. The money spent on local food will stay in the area and boost the local economy. The food tastes better because it is fresh and in season. Also the less distance the food travels, the lower the amount of gas used and emissions produced, meaning it is beneficial for the environment to source local food.

Augustana Campus has been making strides towards sourcing local foods as well. The cafeteria regularly hosts local lunches where majority of the ingredients come from local producers.

“It’s a growing movement and we think it is a good idea,” Duncan says.

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