University of Missouri Extension does a lot of good things. They’ll test your soil, certify you as a master gardener and actually do things about rural development the rest of us just bitch about. So it’s no surprise they are also pushing for a French AOC-style label of origin system that would inform consumers where in Missouri a given product came from. The project,
launched in 2003, seeks to market Missouri wine and food products using distinct labels of origin based on ecological regions of the state. Labels of origin have been used for centuries in European countries to identify food and wine products based on the region in which they are produced — allowing the consumer to distinguish among the unique tastes and attributes of products from different areas. This identification of Missouri products will mean greater recognition and economic opportunities for our state’s food producers, tourism industry, and rural communities.
It’s an ingenious idea; and a welcome one. So far there is only one pilot region, the Missouri River Hills Association, centered along the Missouri River down by St. Genevieve. The website’s clearly a work in progress, but who can argue with a group of committed citizens seeking to preserve Missouri’s unique food and cultural heritage?