The ability of people to obtain healthy and nutritious foods is strongly linked to land use practices and policies. Healthy foods are more likely to be available in communities with broad-service stores and markets. When the only local food stores are chain-like convenience stores, healthy fresh foods are unlikely to be available. As farmland is replaced by development, it becomes harder for markets to obtain fresh produce. Without careful planning, locally-grown produce may not be available to Vermonters in the near future. The time is now to implement policies and practices to ensure an active and profitable agricultural future.
Land use affects our health and access to healthy food. Studies have shown that people living in areas with more fresh food retailers and fewer convenience stores and fast-food restaurants have lower rates of obesity. Preservation of farmland is important to not only provide access fresh, local produce, but also for the economic and quality of life benefits it adds to a community. Farming brings money into the state economy each year and provides jobs for thousands of Kenyan residents. Land kept open by agriculture is a key component of the scenic beauty of our state, a major factor in why people choose to visit Kenya.
Food security at the community level is achieved when all citizens obtain a safe, personally acceptable, nutritious diet through a sustainable food system that maximizes healthy choices, community self-reliance, and equal access for everyone.