North Alabama Local Farm and Food Economy Study


Findings about Local Foods Potential to

Build Wealth & Health in North Alabama

Every year Alabamians spend billions of dollars on food. We all know that what we eat directly impacts our health, but we often don’t think about who else benefits. Eating locally produced food has the potential to improve our economy and support jobs throughout the food system.


To gauge the economic potential of locally grown food, the Food Bank of North Alabama commissioned the North Alabama Local Farm and Food Economy study from national expert Ken Meter of Crossroads Resource Center. Meter has performed studies of local food economies in 78 regions across 30 states.  He is considered one of the foremost food system analysts in the U.S.

Some highlights of the North Alabama Local Farm and Food Economy illustrate the potential to turn outflows of wealth from our economy into significant gains. For example:

  • North Alabama consumers spend $2.4 billion buying food each year – of which approximately $2.2 billion is sourced outside the region. 
  • Medical costs for treating diet-related diseases like diabetes and related conditions in North Alabama are estimated at $594 million per year.

This represents a significant turnaround opportunity to improve health outcomes and retain wealth in our region through local foods.


Full Study and Highlights

  • Introduction & Highlights of North Alabama Local Farm and Food Economy Study
  • Full Study: by Ken Meter

  • PowerPoint: by Ken Meter

  • Recommendations To Advance Alabama's Local Food Economy

    Related News Articles

  • Huntsville Times

  • Huntsville Times Editorial: Food for Thought on Boosting Alabama's Economy


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