Closer to Home:
Healthier Food, Farms and Families in Oklahoma

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 dairy, Braum’s.

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 healthier.

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.

Go to Table of Contents

This project is supported
by the Community Food Projects Program of the USDA Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service,
grant #2004-33800-15141

Check out the handouts below for summaries of key findings from
Closer to Home:

Bustin a myth flyer
5 a Day
Get Healthy
direct sales
growing what we eat



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