Festival at Indian Ladder Farms to highlight local food

In celebration of the local food movement that has sprouted up within the past few years, Indian Ladder Farms will host a Local Food Festival on Sunday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Numerous food producers from the area including, farmers, brewers, chocolatiers, cheese makers and vintners, will be offering a tasting of their goods and merchandise for sale. There will also be chefs from popular area restaurants providing cooking demonstrations using locally grown ingredients.

We are really excited about the attention local food is getting. People are starting to acknowledge how healthy it is to buy it, said Liesl Bailey, special events coordinator for Indian Ladder.

For the past few years, Indian Ladder Farms, along with several other farms in the area, has been a strong advocate of the local food movement, which encourages people to purchase mostly all natural and organic foods that have been grown and manufactured within a 100-mile radius. Commonly known as the 100-mile diet, the goal is for people to eat fresh foods regularly that have traveled short distances or have been preserved at their seasonal peak.

According to the 100-mile diet organization's Web site, it is estimated that most ingredients in the average North American meal have traveled more than 1,500 miles, something the organization says depletes the food of its nutritional value.

"Local food isn't shipped, so you're saving money not having to truck things as far and putting money back in to our local economy," said Chris Holcomb, owner of Brown Cow Ice Cream, an all-natural product that is produced at his farm in St. Johnsville in central New York. Brown Cow Ice Cream is sold at Indian Ladder Farms and other health food stores and samples will be provided at the Local Food Festival.

Holcomb advocates buying local food because, for one thing, people can stop by the local farm to get an idea of where the food is coming from.

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