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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 and creating alternatives to the food systems we now have. Creating new systems that align with a more sustainable worldview of these people. Most recently, large food movements have been associated with the worldwide participation in anti-gentically modified organism (GMO) demonstrations, 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)


Other movements have been more focused on developing change through offering alternatives to the dominant food systems available. The emergence of farmers markets around the country have increased at a staggering rate, more than quadrupling in the number of markets since 1994. Farmers markets have many benefits to communities and farmers as well. Farmers get a higher return for products, and are able to earn good money while producing a relatively small amount of foodstuff.

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

Communities are able to (at least those who can afford the generally higher prices) access fresh food that is more likely to be harvested at the fruit or vegetables peak of flavor and nutrition. This action keeps money circulating in the local economy and helps to perpetuate local business and builds resiliency.

(CC Image of intercropping tomatoes and coffee in permaculture methodology (right) by Neil Palmer [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0-2.5-2.0-1.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons))

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

Other notable food movements include slow food, local food, urban farming, permaculture, biodynamics, organics, non-gmo, fair trade, direct trade, agroecological restoration, and many more.

Resource websites that may help to build an understanding of the concepts (a small sample) follow:

Slow Food -,, and

Local Food -, and

Non-GMO -,, and

Permaculture -,, and

Biodynamics -, and

Organics -,,,, and

Fair Trade -,, and

Direct Trade -, and

Agroecological Restoration -

Traditional Food/Nutrition -

The following references discuss a myriad of food issues that either revolve around food movements or can be seen as increasing impetus to their legitimization, recognition, and enactment by those interested in changing the current food systems by offering alternatives.

Continue to references


(CC Image of March Against Monsanto by Rosalee Yagihara from Vancouver, Canada (032A3231) [CC-BY-2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons))

by Sorby, Coty E last modified Aug 07, 2014 02:18 PM

Teaching Resources CTA

Campus Sustainability Plan




Fair Trade