Official SUNY ESF DLA Off-Campus Blog


The Reality of Food on Martha’s Vineyard by t.devlin
September 29, 2010, 2:30 pm
Filed under: Martha's Vineyard 2010

The chart above represents the total amount of food imported to the Vineyard in the year 2009, broken down into categories.  An alarming amount of food is imported to the Vineyard as result of developing agricultural lands on the island and taking them out of food production.  The importation of food is detrimental for a number of reasons as trucking food across the country consumes fossil fuels while emitting harmful pollutants.  Purchasing imported food to the Vineyard removes funds from the local community.  Year round residents paid a total of $43,196,679 on food in 2005, and this number is project to increase as the cost of living continues to climb on island.  The data in the chart above was developed using the U.S. Food Market Estimator.  To view other information regarding the importation of food to Martha’s Vineyard, please visit the document Agricultural Self-Sufficiency on Martha’s Vineyard prepared by the Martha’s Vineyard Commission in conjunction with the Island Plan.

Despite the decrease of agricultural lands on island, residents of Martha’s Vineyard still identify strongly with the remaining farms.  Many islanders support the idea of living local and moving toward the idea of the “Vineyard Food Basket” shifting focus from importing food to consuming what could viably be grown on island.  To stress the point of islanders valuing working farms on Martha’s Vineyard, here is a list of organizations involved with farming on island:

  • The Agricultural Society
  • The Island Grown Initiative
  • The Farm Institute
  • The Martha’s Vineyard Shellfish Group
  • The Martha’s Vineyard Conservation Partnership
  • The Dukes County Commission
  • The Martha’s Vineyard Commission
  • The Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Alliance

Live well and enjoy the local harvest,

Tim

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