As Oklahoma celebrates its 100th
birthday in 2007, it is time to take stock of the health
of Oklahoma’s families and farms. Closer to Home is
a look at Oklahoma’s food system from farm to table;
information on nutrition, health and food access along with
information about agricultural production and marketing have
been combined to paint an in-depth portrait of food and agriculture
in the Sooner State as Oklahoma celebrates its centennial.
Closer to Home has a reader-friendly format. The
report features about two dozen magazine-style articles about
innovative people, businesses and programs contributing positively
to community food security in Oklahoma. The profiles run
the gamut from a successful community garden at a small country
school in Delaware County, to Oklahoma’s own regional
Alongside the profiles, we examine the community food security
issues raised by the articles. For example, alongside a profile
of the Oklahoma Farm-to-School program, we explore the diet-related
health problems of Oklahoma’s kids. Along with a profile
of the Muskogee Farmers’ Market, we investigate the
economic potential of farmers selling direct to consumers.
In the first five chapters of Closer to Home, we
take an in-depth look at food insecurity in the state, as
well as the diet-related health problems of Oklahomans and
efforts to find solutions to these problems.
In the next nine chapters, we explore the possible social
and economic benefits of more self-reliant, locally-based,
community food systems.
This report takes a closer look at several counties in Oklahoma
in the series of “county snapshots” that are
paired with profiles throughout. Together on one page
are key indicators of the physical and economic health of
county residents, information on crops and farm profitability,
and indicators of the potential for greater community food
security, such as interest in farm-to-school programs and
dollars spent on food.
The county snapshots could easily serve as a starting point
for groups who want to conduct a more in-depth assessment
of their community’s food security.
With this report, the Kerr Center hopes to increase public
understanding of our food system so as to broaden and deepen
the discussion of what we can do to make our fields and tables
Indeed, Closer to Home, is meant to be an ice-breaker,
a conversation starter, a catalyst for further study and
action to improve Oklahoma’s food system so that it
serves everyone well.
To this end, in each chapter we propose a number of steps
that individuals, community groups and institutions might
take to make the state healthier in its second 100 years.
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