Campus Sustainability Office

Food movements (e.g., slow food, local food, urban food production)

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Food movements have proliferated in recent history in the United States and around the world. Food movements today revolve around sustainable farming practices, farmers markets, localization and urbanization of food, restoration agriculture, permaculture, cooperatives, and much more. These movements involve both activism in favor of policy amendments and the creation of alternatives to the business system we now have producing our calories. Most recently, the equity of food availability and distribution has taken the forefront. Demonstrations against gentically modified organisms (GMOs) have also become popular. Dubbed the March Against Monsanto, these demonstrations garnered an estimated two million participants.

(Short food movement promo video from Over Grow The System)

Over Grow The System Promo #1 from Grounded TV Network on Vimeo.

(Over Grow The System Promo #1 from Grounded TV Network on Vimeo)

 

Other movements have focused on creating change by offering alternatives to the dominant food systems available. The locations and frequency of farmers markets around the country have increased at a staggering rate, more than quadrupling since 1994, benefiting communities and farmers alike. Farmers are able to stay in business without economies of scale, preventing exploitation and degradation of the environment that is so often a byproduct of large commercial agriculture. They may even get a higher return for products and because the food is produced and purchased locally so more money stays in the community, improving quality of life. The foods are able to be harvested at the peak of freshness (which is coincidentally when they are most nutritious) instead of weeks ahead of time and shipped. Many farmer's markets are located in cities where there are food deserts, so they fill a huge gap in making our food system more healthy and equitable for vulnerable and marginalized populations.

 

(NRDC Report on chemicals in our food and the FDA)

 

(Mark Bittman: What's wrong with what we eat TED Talk)

Other notable elements of the food movement include slow foodurban farmingbiodynamicsorganicsnon-gmofair tradedirect trade, and many more. These websites have more information.

Slow Food - slowfood.comslowfoodusa.org, and slowfoodmadison.org

Local Food - sustainabletable.org, and localharvest.org

Non-GMO - nongmoproject.orgnongmoshoppingguide.com, and non-gmoreport.com

Permaculture - permaculture.orgpermacultureprinciples.com, and permaculturenews.org

Biodynamics - biodynamics.com, and organicconsumers.org

Organics - ofrf.orgattra.ncat.orgwwoof.netnal.usda.gov, and rodaleinstitute.org

Fair Trade - fairtradeusa.orgfairtradefederation.org, and globalexchange.org

Direct Trade - ethicalcoffee.net, and directtradecoffee.com

Agroecological Restoration - globalrestorationnetwork.org

Traditional Food/Nutrition - westonaprice.org

 

The following references discuss a myriad of food issues that either revolve around food movements or increase the impetus towards their legitimization, recognition, and participation by those interested in changing the current food systems.

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