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Do you know where your Thanksgiving turkey is coming from? A statewide effort to build North Carolina’s food economy can help identify resources to keep your Thanksgiving menu close to home.

The 10% Campaign, coordinated by the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS), encourages consumers to spend 10 percent of their existing food dollars on foods produced in North Carolina. The CEFS believes the campaign will create jobs, boost the viability of North Carolina farms and fisheries and promote healthy communities statewide.

The UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (HPDP) has made a pledge to join the 10% campaign for events held at the Center.  Staff are encouraged to use local ingredients for Center potlucks and to contract with caterers who use local foods for business meetings.  HPDP’s Tar Heel Guide to Restaurants and Caterers using Local Foods is a resource for identifying  businesses that have made a commitment to local and sustainable agriculture.

Several staff, including HPDP Director Alice Ammerman, have made individual commitments to the 10% campaign.

“It’s very easy to sign up on the website,” said Ammerman. “You get a weekly prompt to estimate the amount of your food budget you have spent on local food during the week and you can see the dollar figures on the website grow showing statewide purchases of local food.

The 10% Campaign website includes a guide to where to find local foods, including statewide and regional resources, as well as links to listings of local farmers’ markets and community-supported agriculture programs.

Many farmers’ markets in the Chapel Hill area will host special pre-Thanksgiving markets Tuesday. The Carrboro, South Estes and Eno River Farmers’ Markets will all be open on Tuesday afternoon.  The South Estes Market, located near University Mall, will have recipe books from local chefs compiled by the 10% campaign.

CEFS is a partnership between NC State University, NC A&T State University and the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.  HPDP partners with CEFS on the Quick Chef project and Ammerman serves on the Local and Sustainable Foods Advisory Council, a new legislative-appointed body that will advise state government on ways to build upon and strengthen North Carolina’s local food system.

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