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Super Bowl Concessions Go Organic and Local

Fans at the Lucas Oil Stadium, pictured here, will be served three flavors of chili made from organic and locally grown ingredients.  The USDA’s National Organic Program oversees the certification of USDA organic products.  (Photo by Carl Van Rooy)

Fans at the Lucas Oil Stadium, pictured here, will be served three flavors of chili made from organic and locally grown ingredients. The USDA’s National Organic Program oversees the certification of USDA organic products. (Photo by Carl Van Rooy)

There’s a new menu item in town for the Super Bowl: white bean chili made with organic beans and vegetables.  The push to bring organic and locally-grown options to the concession stand came from a partnership between non-profits that support family farms, celebrities and Centerplate, the NFL’s largest concession provider.

The USDA National Organic Program—within the Agricultural Marketing Service—oversees the certification of USDA organic products.  We also certify third-party agents around the world to uphold the integrity of the organic label.

The farmers providing the beans for the white bean chili are organic farmers, certified by Indiana Certified Organic LLC—one of the third-party agents we have accredited.  Check out our database to find certified organic products near you.

Two additional chili dishes will bring locally-raised meat options for omnivore football fans – red beef chili and green pork chili.   For each bowl of chili sold—no matter the flavor—$2 will be donated to Farm Aid.

There can be no doubt that Indianapolis and the rest of the state will see tremendous economic benefits from hosting the most-watched sporting event of the year.  By embracing locally grown produce and locally raised meat to supply concession dishes, the financial benefits to Indiana’s economy will extend to local farmers—a trend that we hope continues from events like this.

It’s exciting to see organic farmers and local Indiana communities benefit from a simple menu change.

For more information on the National Organic Program, you can sign up to receive our newsletter, the Organic Insider.  You can also learn the basics through our Organic 101 blog series.

3 Responses to “Super Bowl Concessions Go Organic and Local”

  1. Andy Dupraz says:

    I am a corn/soybean/wheat/beef producer from eastern SD. Wondering what the USDA’s definition of “local” is. I appreciate there is a proper certification process for “organic”, but wasn’t aware of one for “local”. I personally am concerned about this term getting thrown around inappropriately. Thank you. Andy

  2. jenna says:

    Awesome!!! So glad to see a focus on locally produced goods rather than those produced and shipped using so many petrochemicals!

    To andy: I would assume “local” means not shipped hundreds (or thousands) of miles using fossil fuels.

  3. Rebecca [USDA Moderator] says:

    Thanks so much, Andy, for your question about local foods. Many terms and definitions are used interchangeably to refer to “local foods” and “local food systems.” “Local” is typically defined by the individual consumer or community. In our research on local food systems, we found that a lot of factors influence the definition of “local” for any given situation—population density, existing social and supply chain characteristics, as well as geographic proximity. What is “local” to a less populated rural area may not be the same as “local” for a densely populated urban area.

    As far as “official” definitions go, the 2008 Food, Conservation, and Energy Act (2008 Farm Act), defines a “locally or regionally produced agricultural food product” as having less than 400 miles from origin to consumer, or within the state in which it is produced. It should be noted, though, that food businesses (e.g., regional food hubs) and food markets (e.g., farmers markets, grocery stores, institutions) often establish their own definitions of “local,” based on their own community profiles and the framework needed to make their market or system sustainable with as little geographic distance as possible between producer and consumer.

    If you’re interested in a more detailed look at the definition of “local” USDA published a report of our findings online at: http://www.ers.usda.gov/Publications/ERR97/ERR97.pdf.

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