In our monthly Sound Bites segment in partnership with Sauce Magazine, host Steve Potter discussed the production and sale of local foods in St. Louis with Sauce Magazine executive editor Ligaya Figueras, Fair Shares CCSA co-founder Sara Hale and Fields Foods co-founder Jeffrey Randol.
“There is a difference when you can get something that is grown nearby. It is going to be fresher, it’s more sustainable, and you’re supporting your local food community,” Figueras said.
Fair Shares is a Combined Community Supported Agriculture program in St. Louis that partners with an array of farmers to provide members with a weekly share of produce, grains, meats and cheeses for the length of the season.
“We started Fair Shares – we’re wrapping up our sixth season – because we were involved with Slow Food, which is an international organization that really focuses on the importance of knowing where your food came from,” Hale said. “We thought we should really make this more accessible to people in St. Louis.”
Fields Foods is a full-service grocery store that opened in Lafayette Square in January with a commitment to keeping half of their products natural. According to Randol, 15 percent of the store’s products are locally sourced and the store has contracts with 150 local vendors.
“We’re kind of a two-fold mission,” Randol said. “One is to bring food into food deserts; we’re focused on food security, bringing a product in where people don’t have access to it. And secondly would be to support the local farming community – growers, producers as well.”
Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer, hosted by Steve Potter and funded in part by the the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.