A recent national survey found that many consumers buy local, sustainably grown food (what I’m calling “just” food) because of their commitment to personal health. The same survey suggests that efforts to help consumers“connect the dots” between “just food” and human health would result in an increase of sales and consumption of local food. For a look at the results of the survey from this professional marketing firm, check this link.
Check out this 9 minute video which presents both the impact climate change will have on agriculture, the contribution industrial farming makes to climate change, and the ways in which sustainable farming helps to solve the problem. This video includes local farmer, Ricky Baruc from Seeds of Solidarity Farm in Orange, MA. Check it out here.
Taking part in gardening can make a child feel happy and boost their development, research suggests. A study of 1,300 teachers and 10 schools commissioned by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) found children in schools that encouraged gardening became more resilient, confident and lived healthier lives. Check this out here.
While most of us probably feel that family run farms are a “good thing”, it is sometimes difficult to articulate why we feel this way. Here is a link to a nice page that lays out some reasons in a way that is easily understood (and shared with “non-believers”). Click on Why family farms?
Nice article on one of our UMass student’s projects in Springfield, MA. Pete is working to bring local food to the city. “I think city people, especially young people, should understand where food comes from and how connected our well-being is to what, how, where, and why we eat,” says Merzbacher, “but I also want to provide the means of food production that can feed thousands of people.” Check it out here.
The National Research Council recently published an extensive report on the status of sustainable agriculture claiming the current industrial food system is no longer sustainable without huge subsidies. What used to be called “alternative” agriculture is now rapidly becoming mainstream. According to the report, the Four Goals Of Sustainable Agriculture are:
Satisfy human food, feed, and fiber needs, and contribute to biofuel needs.
Enhance environmental quality and the resource base.
Sustain the economic viability of agriculture
Enhance the quality of life for farmers, farm workers, and society as a whole.
Many individuals have made the decision to try to live more sustainably, but without shifts in public policy substantive change won’t happen. “Eaters” alone won’t change the world, but unless “eaters” do change the necessary shift in public policy is unlikely. Read more here.