The Eat Local Foods Coalition (ELFC) is a nonprofit coalition of individuals and organizations committed to promoting and increasing in-state consumption of Maine farm products.
ELFC carries out its mission through a combination of networking, media activities, and occasional projects designed to:
raise public awareness about the multiple benefits – social, environmental, economic, health, gastronomic – of eating local foods
change consumer behavior
remove institutional barriers
create alternative marketing and distribution systems.
Membership is open to any organization that ascribes to ELFC's mission and purposes. Organizations currently participating in ELFC include:
Farm Fresh Connection
Hancock County Locally Grown Foods Project
Maine Farms Project of Coastal Enterprises, Inc. (CEI)
Maine Environmental Policy Institute
Maine Farmland Trust (MFT)
Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA)
Maine Sustainable Agriculture Society (MESAS)
Unity Barn Raisers
ELFC Media Liaison
Mailing Address: ELFC, PO Box 188, Unity, ME 04988
Links and Resources
MOFGA's Link Page has links to other resources and to find farms and CSAs in your area.
Maine Foods Networkis a website that makes the connection between farmers and local markets.
Maine Department of Agriculture's Get Real, Get Maine program has links to farms, CSAs, more.
Eat Local Foods: In the News
How to become an ELF for $10 a week (Bangor Daily News, 3/27/06)I have a friend whose "green" credentials are impeccable. I'm not sure how we got around to it but he told me the single most important thing I could do for the Earth was to eat local food.
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My Maine foods wish list (Bangor Daily News, 12/7/05)What few Maine residents realize is that by buying Maine foods, they give the gift that keeps giving.
One Garden Salad to Go, Hold the Oil (CommonDreams.org, 9/15/05)By raising gas prices and food transport costs, Katrina may end up blowing some wind into the sails of a local foods renaissance that has already started crossing the US.
Farmers' markets yield economic fruits (Portland Press Herald, 9/5/05)A number of people from urban planners to downtown merchants say that farmers' markets have grown to become important economic development tools by promoting a recirculation of local dollars, capturing some of the money that otherwise would leave the community.
Farmer's Market adds layers to sense of community (Bangor Daily News, 7/30/05) For many years now, I have viewed horticulture as a means of connecting with and learning about the ecology and economy of the place in which I live.
Farmers' markets and
the Maine economy (Bangor Daily News, 6/12/05)Mainstream economists argue that the shape of agriculture is determined by consumer choices. Yet public policy and economic power play a major role in the direction of our agricultural economy.
How about a trade mission closer to home? (Portland Press Herald, 5/26/05) If the purpose of trade missions is to grow new markets for Maine products and Maine jobs, wouldn't it make sense to start close to home?
Soggy spring delays farmers' markets (Kennebec Journal, 6/8/05)
Access to healthy foods is key to food security (Bangor Daily News, 6/1/05)Buy locally produced food from farmers' markets, improve senior nutrition and help develop local food systems.
Farmers market time resumes across state (Bangor Daily News, 5/9/05) Farmers market season in Maine is under way, with most of the state's 68 locations expected to open by month's end.
Local food 'greener than organic' (BBC News, 3/8/05) Local food is usually more "green" than organic food, according to a report published in the journal Food Policy.
On the Farm, In the Money (Portland Press Herald, 2/27/05) What do economic policy and organic gardening have to do with each other? Well, for starters, they're both about encouraging things to grow in a healthy way.
North American Farmers' Market Direct Marketing Convention (Bangor Daily News, 2/15/05)
Maine farmers using Internet as marketing tool (Bangor Daily News, 12/14/04)
First lady to highlight the good things produced by Maine farmers (Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel, 7/14/04)Karen Baldacci is using her unofficial post as first lady to highlight the good things produced by Maine farmers.
Farmers' markets in bloom (Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel, 6/25/04)Like Maine's growing season, farmers' markets are taking root slowly, but surely.
Dairy support package designed to protect farmers from periods of extremely low prices (Portland Press Herald, 6/6/04)Maine remains a great place to produce milk. We just need to be smart about how we do it.
New Web site is helping put Maine shoppers in touch with local farmers (Portland Press Herald, 6/2/04)The site, www.eatlocalfoods.org, aims to boost in-state consumption of Maine-grown foods by helping people find ways to buy their fresh produce from local farmers, farmers' markets and community-supported farming projects.
Mainers enjoy an enviable bounty of delectables coming from land and sea (Portland Press Herald, 3/28/09) In addition to keeping the money circulating within the local economy, buying local also helps keep Maine farmers farming and Maine farms as part of the natural landscape.
Study: Maine losing rural land Researchers say state's land-buying program needs more funding (Kennebec Journal/Morning Sentinel, 2/27/04)In the last 20 years, Maine has lost more than 70,000 acres of land that had been used to produce feed for livestock.
Remembering a time
when food was fun (Bangor Daily News, 2/2/04)In the end, it's about getting our priorities straight, both as individuals and a society. Food that saves us money while impoverishing our health, our local communities and our gastronomy isn't really cheap after all. And it certainly isn't fun.
Maine organic beef farms see uptick in sales (Associated Press, 1/13/04)Maine farms and retail operations that sell organic beef are seeing growing consumer interest in knowing where beef comes from and how it's produced.
Note: Some of these articles may available through the newspaper's archives only.
The Common Ground Country Fair was September 24-26 in Unity.
(See a slide show from this year's fair!)
Visit the Maine Environmental News website for news on all environmental issues in Maine