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Program Post: Do Shoppers Do as They Say?!

Appalachian Grown

Each Thursday, our programs take you behind the scenes of their work. This week, our Local Food Research Center plans to go grocery shopping! They’re curious: Is what people say the same as what they do when it comes to buying local food?

From ASAP’s Local Food Research Center (LFRC)

The LFRC is thrilled with all of the press we’ve received over the past month. From acknowledgement of our inaugural year’s work (ASAP’s Local Food Research Center has Busy First Year) to stories covering our recent research into increasing low-income communities’ access to farmers markets (ASAP Center Promotes Local Food and The Push for Local Food Continues to Gain Steam), we’re proud to see that the word has gotten out about our work and the impacts we’re having in WNC. At the LFRC, we believe our research helps members of our community understand the value of eating local food for themselves, the environment, and the local economy. These media articles, as a reflection of the values and interests of their readers, show us how much you care about and are devoted to our work, and we thank you for that!

The LFRC hopes to conduct even more newsworthy research over the next several weeks. In February, we began interviewing area farmers to find out what it takes to provide fresh local food to area residents. This month, we are deep in the planning process for our team-up with area grocers to find out what makes shoppers choose to purchase local products in grocery stores. Our research tells us that people say they will buy a local product if it’s labeled as local. We intend to find out if what people say is the same as what they do, something no other researchers have done before. Our strategy is built upon a recent study we conducted with area tailgate market shoppers to find out what local messages they most trust and value. Signs labeling the farm name that include pictures or stories about the farmers are the types of local labeling that were rated most trustworthy. We will again team up with our partners from UNCA and Clemson University, so keep an eye out! In the coming months, you may spot an elusive ASAP researcher during a trip to the grocery store. Come by, say hi, and tell us why YOU buy local.

Or, comment below and fill in the blank: “I buy local because ____________!”

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