“Eating foods from local sources is an excellent choice that leads to greater market access for our farmers while growing the economy,” said Nova Scotia Agriculture Minister John MacDonelll. “I encourage Nova Scotians to take part in this friendly competition which raises profile for inter- province exports and production for all four Atlantic provinces.” The winning province is designated by the highest per capita participation rate, with PEI being last year’s winner.
To participate, residents of all Atlantic Provinces can fill out an online pledge at www.eatatlantic.ca and eat only Atlantic foods that day. People who fill out the pledge have a chance to win a $250 Atlantic foods gift basket donated by the region’s Co-op food stores, who are sponsoring the challenge
The organizers argue that Choosing local food supports local entrepreneurs and strengthens the regional economy. With a variety of fruits, vegetables, grain products, meat, seafood, and other items available in the region, eating local also offers a more environmentally sustainable way to eat.
The Eat Atlantic website features a provincial leaderboard, which keeps a running tally of pledges, as well as a map of Atlantic Canada that shows where participants are located. The website also features links to an Eat Atlantic Challenge Facebook site, Twitter feeds, videos submitted by Atlantic Canadians, and information on Let’s Grow, where more than 25,000 Atlantic school children were given a chance to grow their own bean seeds.
Co-op Atlantic launched the first Eat Atlantic Challenge in 2008. Many of the stores will host corn boils Sept. 2 to promote the challenge.