Effort to increase state foods in institutions worthy

We support an effort that got off the ground this week that encourages schools, hospitals and other institutions to use increasingly larger amounts of food from the state of Michigan.

The Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems and the nonprofit Ecology Center environmental group announced the launch of the Michigan Farm to Institution Network on Thursday, according to The Associated Press.

In a nutshell, organizers want schools, child care centers, hospitals, colleges and universities to get 20 percent of their food products from Michigan growers, producers and processors by 2020, AP reported.

The Ann Arbor-based Ecology Center is working with Michigan hospitals on the effort. A campaign called “Cultivate Michigan” aims to help institutions reach the goal, featuring four local, seasonally available foods each year to help support the effort, stated AP.

The only potential downside we can see going into all of this is cost. Institutions, like families, tend to gravitate to the lowest price when quality is acceptable.

The takeaway for growers and producers, therefore, might be to insure that their products are always competitively priced.

And that would be a good thing for everyone.