What Does “Local Food” Mean Anyway?

Local food is difficult to define. Oftentimes institutions talk about local as meaning food grown in Ontario. Other times the term “local” is used to talk about food from Northwestern Ontario or food from around Thunder Bay. The Thunder Bay + Area Food Strategy does not currently have a definition of local food because there has not yet been a process to decide where the boundary of local/non-local lies, or how this would be verified.

All that said, one of the goals of the Thunder Bay + Area Food Strategy is to foster local economic development. Local food is therefore generally taken to mean food grown and processed in and around the Thunder Bay Area. Food grown or harvested in Northwestern Ontario is thought of as “regional” and food from elsewhere in the province as an Ontario product.