Last week, Metro Louisville’s Farm to Table coordinator Sarah Fritschner told WFPL there are more beef cattle in Kentucky than there are in any other state east of the Mississippi. Governor Steve Beshear repeated that claim at the state FFA convention in Lexington yesterday.

The statement is true (I fact checked it when Fritscher said it). On two sets of stats I found, Kentucky and Tennessee were the only states east of the Mississippi in the top 10, and Kentucky topped Tennessee in production.

But with that fact coming up twice in a seven-day period, and with Metro Government focusing on improving access to quality food, something else Fritschner said has stuck out.

“There’s more beef cattle in Kentucky than any other state east of the Mississippi, and yet we have to send them to Iowa to process them because there’s no big processor here.”

We previously posted about the lack of slaughterhouses, and it seems that the local food movement is hurt by how scarce food processing facilities are. Food purchased from a farmers’ market may have advantages, but Fritschner the extra time and effort required to prepare it (thoroughly wash, chop, etc.) is prohibitive to people who may be busy parenting and/or working long hours. This is often brought up to help explain the prevalence of fast food outlets in low-income areas?

What are your thoughts? Do you wish you had more time to prepare food? Does your schedule hurt your diet?