GREEN CITY BLUE LAKE - Cleveland adopts local food incentives

Today’s Cleveland-Cuyahoga Food Policy Coalition meeting shed light on Cleveland’s new policy to attract and create local, sustainable business. New legislation allows the city to offer a 5% discount to local food businesses bidding for city contracts.

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Local food is not available at the West Side Market. That’s an opportunity, said Ben Bebenroth, chef and co-owner of Spice of Life Catering, which provides a local and seasonal menu for big events. Bebenroth is working with urban farmers and restaurateurs like Flying Fig chef/owner Karen Small to change the model of the market back to what it once was: A place for local food.

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David Pearl, producer of PolyCultures and now co-convener of the Cleveland-Cuyahoga Food Policy Coalition (FPC), talked about buying local food from the consumer’s viewpoint. He first considered what buying local meant to him and then set a goal to purchase his groceries this summer from his Cleveland west side neighborhood, even though it lacks a grocery store, from local farmers and/or local businesses (with a strong preference for naturally raised, healthful food).