Vicki Robin, author of the bestselling Your Money or Your Life, decided to embark on a socioeconomic experiment…she wanted to find out what would happen if she tried to buy food that was produced within a ten mile radius of her home on Whidbey Island in Washington. Along the way she realized that she was helping build the area’s economy by giving her business to local produce and livestock vendors. Although a chicken raised at a local farm turned out to be $5 a pound, much more than the $1.49 at the grocery store for the imported chicken, she realized that cost was worth it to eat the healthier chicken while supporting her local farmer.
She also discovered that shopping from local vendors got her connected socially with her neighbors and helped build a stronger feeling of community.
Robin says not everyone can do this exact experiment but says most people can do this at least some of the time…resulting in stronger local economies and more interconnected communities.
She chronicles this experiment in her book Blessing the Hands That Feed Us: What Eating Closer to Home Can Teach Us About Food, Community, and Our Place on Earth.