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Issue Position: And you could say that we eat oil, too!

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That's an unpalatable concept, I know, but just as heating oil is a vulnerability to Maine, the cost of shipping our food great distances will become less manageable if oil prices continue to rise (and they will). Maine was once the "breadbasket of New England". In an exciting turn of events, the number of active farms in Maine is now increasing. This has implications for new business around agricultural value-added products. This means better food, grown closer to home.

This is but one part of the emerging "buy local" movement, which is proving to be a powerful economic development principle, as well as a quality of life issue. One recent study in Portland indicated that the economic impact of buying from local businesses local is almost double of that that takes place when purchasing from national chains. We need to make sure that our state policies encourage new agricultural trends (how about more schools buying local produce, for example?). We need to embrace the ideas of permaculture and make them mainstream.


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