Local, Organic Farms Won't Save the Food System

The food movement has succeeded in identifying and raising awareness about the vast environmental and public health risks inherent in the world's food systems. Still waiting for a clear path to sustainability, however, is what to do about it.
September 26, 2017, 2pm PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Alice Henneman

Tamar Haspal, food columnist for The Washington Post, argues a point that might be difficult for some food reform advocates to hear: "The food movement has a problem: It’s right about what’s wrong with our system, but wrong about how to fix it."

After defining the "food movement" as a "loose coalition of sustainability-minded people calling for the food system to be more focused on environmental and human health," Haspal makes the case that buying fresh and local won’t save us. The reasons for Haspal's skepticism about the reach of small, local, organic farms are four, with more detail included in the article:

  • They don’t grow the right stuff.
  • They can’t grow the right stuff.
  • The land is in the wrong place.
  • Seasons.

Haspal's column concludes with a call to action to the food movement to change its focus toward solutions in the food system that can make a much bigger difference.

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Published on Friday, September 22, 2017 in The Washington Post
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