Biting into food access

In Nebraska, more than $4.4 billion is spent annually on food, and 90 percent of that food comes from outside of the state.

When we spend food dollars outside of the state, that weakens our local economy and limits local access points. We rely on other areas of the country, the strength of their food systems and local economies, and the availability of their natural resources to provide us with food. The idea that we are “feeding the world” ignores the unsustainability of our current food system.

The Center for Rural Affairs and Nebraska Food Council examined demographics, food production and land use, food consumption and access, and food waste in a report released early this month.

One section of the report zooms in on next steps for the newly-formed Nebraska Food Council. After reviewing the research in the assessment, council members created an initial list of research topics, policy work, and areas of focus they would like to pursue. 

We’re looking at how to better feed our population and how to shift toward creating opportunities for more food production aimed at human consumption. By addressing key issues in food, farm, small business, and community-level and institutional policy, there is potential to identify strengths, changes needed, and gaps in the food system.

You can find the report at cfra.org/publications/BitingIntoFoodAccess.