My non-dairy creamer,
manufactured in Dallas, Texas with 8 ingredients not squeezed from a cow, plus
multiple artificial colors and flavors (who knows what the total tally is!) is
called DAIRY FRESH.
Then, believe it or not, I put it in my tea.
Maybe I am an idiot.
OKAY. Well, here is what I sat down to write about…
Local food. Or, why not local everything?
Dan Houston, of Civic Economics, in Austin, Texas – not
too far from the non-dairy Dairy Fresh factory – reports that New Orleans could
boost its economy by $235 million if residents shifted 10% of their spending
from national chains to local businesses.
$235 million each year! This would translate into
100s of new jobs. Based on other cities, Dan estimates that about a 1,000 jobs would
be created. If your town or city is anything like Louisville, you could use more
good jobs, right?
Deep thinkers might wonder if new jobs in your town would
cause the loss of jobs somewhere else. Fortunately it doesn’t work like that.
While a few jobs might be lost in various locations in the US or overseas, the
reason why a small shift to local purchasing -10 cents on the dollar – creates
so much new wealth and jobs is the power of local money circulation. The
reason: Local money changes hands many more times than money going into chains
– most of which ends up accumulating in corporate coffers and in the dividends
of a relatively small number of stock holders.
The easiest way to support the local economy is through
our food and beverage choices. Even at your local pub, you can choose the
hometown brew. For us, it’s the Bluegrass Brewing Company.
But competition in the food arena is fierce. A
worker/producer cooperative is often the only way to survive
prices and corporate farm competition these days. Small-scale dairy farmers, by joining with others in co-ops
such as Organic Valley or Hudson Valley Fresh, find they can make a decent
living while producing a product healthier for both the cow and the consumer.
Organic Valley distributes nationally, but customers of Hudson Valley Fresh,
with its eight family farms, must be within 80 miles of the co-op. So the dairy
also leaves a small carbon footprint.
Michael Schuman, who I suspect I’ll see later today at
the Food and Community Conference, has written about local marketing strategy
in The Small Mart Revolution and the “small is beautiful” E.F. Schumacher
Society is a hub for information.
So, if you must buy, buy non-chain local.