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Right Under Our Nose

As we are enlightened to the things wrong in our food system, it is easy to get discouraged. Each time we learn something new – the life of battery caged hens, excess nitrogen fertilizer in the soil – we realize how many others need to learn the same thing. You start feeling like no one is doing anything when there is so much to be done. If you just read the food books and watch ag movies, your despair will fester and you’ll be that person in the corner at the party who can’t talk about anything else but how messed up everything is spewing facts and figures to prove a point. Most of those statistics are probably accurate and we really do have a long way to go before major progress is made but noticeable dents are being made and most are right under our nose…

I would wager to say that in most US cities there is some food movement afoot whether bubbling below the radar in backyard gardens or fully fledged farm coalitions, outdoor markets and festivals. We foodies aren’t alone. There are many of us. To start making a difference, you often don’t have too look much further than in your own community. It might be a core group of gardeners sharing ideas or regional publications promoting local farms, food artisans and other area resources. In many areas, there is a franchise publication called Edible which uses the surname of its region like Edible Reno/Tahoe, Edible Austin, etc…They profile food producers, restaurants, classes, farmers markets, etc… It is a great resource for getting connected to your foodshed and it’s FREE! Some areas are branding their growing region to generate interest in local and organic, i.e. Nevada County Grown. Start poking around. The more folks who participate, the more vibrant each local food movement will become. Let’s work from the inside out to change things (local to state to national) and soon one food movement will be bumping up against a food movement in another town. Access to quality, ethical food will become the rule not the exception.