The "Jersey Fresh" and "Jersey Grown" labels have been around for more than a quarter-century, but they are about to get a bit more prominent in the Garden State. Last week Governor Chris Christie signed legislation that requires state agencies, whenever possible, to give extra visibility and accessibility to products from New Jersey. Whether or not consumers find the idea of produce from our southern neighbor enticing is another matter entirely.
"Serving homegrown produce or baked goods at our state facilities sends a positive message about our state, supports local economies and helps preserve New Jersey's farming heritage," one of the bill's co-sponsors, Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose (R-Franklin), said of the new measure. "When people eat at a New Jersey facility, they should have no doubt they're in the Garden State with plenty of menu options featuring Jersey peaches, corn and tomatoes to choose from."
And it is true, when it comes to tomatoes it is hard to top Jersey's beefsteaks. And the corn is pretty sweet too! But do consumers really want to know their fare is from Jersey (even while in New Jersey) in this day and age when the state's most famous export is Jersey Shore—most of whose cast isn't even from Jersey? Still, it's probably better for Chris Christie to see the fresh food he wants to ignore clearly labeled.