Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gleaning the Food System

       A young college student strolls leisurely down the campus nature path. As she nears the end of the trail, a branch catches her clothing and a vibrant red raspberry catches her eye. She eagerly savors its sun-ripened sweetness. This sounds like a fairy tale doesn’t it? It’s not; it was my very own experience not two months ago at a small liberal-arts school in Vermont. It’s 2014 in the United States: we have thousand-square-foot grocery stores packed with dozens of assorted fruits and vegetables, all fresh, dried, or frozen. No one picks wild berries from bushes to bring home and bake into pies anymore. But why? Why don’t we forage Vermont’s thousands of acres of forest for fresh food? It’s not as if we are a densely-populated state with no arable land. There is so much potential for Vermont to completely restructure its food production system, from the strong local-food movement to the advocacy for GMO-labeling. Vermont is arguably the best place in the U.S. to begin the transformation from behemoth factory farms to community-based agriculture. Who wants to start a revolution?

How Local is Local?
We’ve all heard the rhetoric: “Buy fresh, buy local,” or “Local food: taste the difference!”  It looks better, tastes better, is better for you—or so they say. But how local is local? During the school year I live just outside Burlington, Vt., the land of farmers markets and small dairy farms. My local can be as close as the weekly market in Winooski, a larger one in Burlington, or perhaps even one in New York, just across Lake Champlain. Or can it? When I buy Cabot brand cheese, or coffee from Keurig Green Mountain, am I really “buying local?” They are both locally-based companies that just happen to sell their products nationally. “We are a national company based in Vermont, but we’re not really a local company anymore,” says Winston Rost, Farmer Relations Manager at Keurig Green Mountain. So here’s the dilemma: at what mileage does local cease to be local enough? I could argue that once there is no longer a maple-flavored version of every available food that I have gone too far from home. Philip Ackerman-Leist, author and professor at Green Mountain College, believes the definition is about much more than physical geography. In his book Rebuilding the Foodshed, he says a successful local food system must “fit the community in question and its surrounding environment," as well as sponsor food sovereignty. Food sovereignty is the idea that people, individuals who live in a geographic location, have the right to determine their food and agricultural policies. This includes everything from GMO labeling to where you buy apples. Food sovereignty activists seek to adjust and democratize food production and agriculture. “If [the food system] was more diversified, which I think is needed nationally and in Vermont, it would actually meet our food needs,” said Theresa Snow, Executive Director of Salvation Farms, in a phone interview. “We are not meeting those needs with what we are producing [nationally] now. Not even close.” Local food could be the remedy. The more a community supports and relies on smaller, family-owned farms, the less they rely on imported goods and national companies like Monsanto. But it’s easy to say that every county needs a system of small family farms and farmers markets. Is it really that simple?

Arable Available Land
 The United States has the most arable land of any country in the world. I’ll say that again: out of all the recognized countries on planet Earth, the U.S. has the most land available and suitable for farming. In 2007 alone, over 408 million acres of land were used to raise food crops. That is still less than one-fifth of our total land area. Of all privately-held land, about 25 percent, or 613 million acres, is used as grazing land for livestock (Environmental Protection Agency). That is a lot of field, a lot of plants, and a lot of animals. But is it enough? In Chittenden County, Vt., about 20 percent of the population faces issues with food security (United States Department of Agriculture). Those who live in areas of low food security, otherwise known as food deserts, do not have easy access to healthful, affordable food. This could mean that a household does not have a car or access to public transportation, or that there are no grocery stores within a half-mile radius, which is considered to be walking distance. In urban settings, food deserts are often whole city blocks with only convenience stores and fast food chains. In more rural areas, a household may be surrounded by crops that are not edible, like soy, and the nearest grocery store may be four miles away or more. If we have hundreds of millions of acres of land being farmed, and hundreds of millions more that can be farmed, why is a quarter of our population going hungry? In the past twenty years, the number of acres used for food production decreased from 987 million to 914 million acres—that is more than an eight percent decrease (EPA). In that time, the U.S. population has increased from 263 million to almost 317 million people—over a 20 percent increase (Multpl). It seems almost counter-intuitive to decrease the amount of land farmed for food when our population is increasing at such a rapid pace. It’s not as though we are facing a housing shortage, and need the land for living area. One of the problems lies in the food system itself: when everything is owned by corporate conglomerates like Monsanto, small farmers cannot make a livable wage. Once farmers go broke, they leave. It is a “rural bloodletting…When farms go out of business, the local businesses that depend on them also disappear” (Hauter). This damages local economies, creating food deserts where there could be a system of co-ops and farmers markets, while increasing dependency on foreign imports. 

So we’re losing farmland to unnecessary housing, and farmers to minimum-wage urban jobs. The solution to this is pretty simple: the federal government could subsidize farms and food crops, and offer tax breaks to organic farmers. If there is incentive, people will go….right? Maybe not. We’ve all seen the organic food section of our local big-name grocery store. Often, it is rather small; a basket of organic apples at the end of an aisle, a few heads of lettuce placed apart from the rest. This produce often looks different from their peers, with their misshapen bodies, dull skin, and smaller overall size. Why would we pay more for them? Is the FDA Organic label really worth an extra dollar or two per pound? I’ll let you in on a secret: organic food costs just as much as “conventionally grown” produce. Don’t believe me? Here’s a little tidbit: the government spent $15.8 billion on national farm subsidies in 2012 alone (2013 Farm Study). Vermont farmers received over $11 million, almost entirely to dairy farms. That’s not always a bad thing! Government subsidies, including crop insurance, is what has kept our ever-shrinking farming industry alive and the consumer costs down. However, these subsidies most often go to corn and soy producers, leading to an overabundance of these crops and a shortage of “edible crops.” Corn and soy have become the cash crops for modern farmers, much like tobacco in the Old South. They have been turned into biodiesel, plastics, and sugary syrups in an attempt to combat this gross overproduction. “Consumer demand has little to do with what crops are grown” in the United States, which is exactly the opposite of what we have always been taught about business (Bosia). There is simply too much risk and too little profit in growing the produce we see in our grocery stores, and so the government tries to subsidize that a bit, too. Organic food is different. In order to have an organic label, farmers must go through an intense certification process that can cost up to two percent of their yearly income (Fatemi). Two percent may not seem like a lot, but two-thirds of USDA-recognized farms are classified as “mid-sized,” and make less than $20,000 in net income per year (Hauter). Because of this expensive and time-consuming process, most certified organic farms are owned and operated by large-scale industrial businesses like Monsanto. So what does this have to do with local food? While buying organic is better for your body and the environment, it can also open the doors for smaller farmers. The next time you visit a farmers market, ask the person at the tent about their growing processes. More than likely, they will be using less pesticides than traditional growers, if any at all. They are also less likely to be GMO. This could be for economic as well an environmental reasons: not only are pesticides expensive, but they are extremely destructive. When large-scale growers spray pesticides over hundreds of thousands of acres of land, it will inevitably contaminate the water supply of the entire county. Additionally, the two most common chemicals found in pesticides, atrazine and glyphosate, are proven carcinogens and have been linked to breast cancer (Fatemi). In buying locally, or even organically, you can help reduce or completely bypass these malevolent practices and support the local economy all in one.

Farmers’ Rights
Wherever you get your produce, someone somewhere had to till, sow, plant, water, weed, harvest, and otherwise tend to those precious plants. As previously mentioned, most individual farms and farmers don’t make more than $20,000 per year. But there are even more people involved in the process that are not technically farmers, yet still work twelve-hour days doing hard physical labor, tending to the food crops they may never be able to afford. Legality is a major part of modern-day agriculture. Almost every farm interacts on some level with large corporate conglomerates like Monsanto, whether through seed, pesticides, animal feed, or all of the above. In 2012, a soybean farmer was sued by Monsanto for “violat[ing] the company’s terms of use” for its “Roundup Ready” seeds, which are genetically engineered to be pesticide resistant (Laskawy). The farmer, Vernon Bowman, had bought seeds for his second crop from other farmers, which the contract allowed, but some of the seeds were “cross-contaminated” with the genetically engineered seeds, and Monsanto sued him.
Farming is already one of the most dangerous jobs in the world, and also one of the most important. So why are the federal government and big businesses making their job so much more difficult? The Vermont Agency of Agriculture has been working to aid farmers with its Farm First and Farm Safety programs. The Farm First program focuses on solution for problems such as “health or family-related, stress, financial, legal, disability or other concerns,” consulting with them to not only fix these problems, but also to improve communication and reduce accidental injury (Farmer Wellness). In buying local food, you are supporting small farmers, giving them the resources to increase their standards of living and possibly even expanding their land area. Buying locally also reduces our overall dependency on foreign-grown food products, diminishing the environmental toll of processing, packaging, and shipping. “Agriculture is the ground zero of climate change,” said Robert Parkhurst of the Environmental Defense Fund. “It helps so much if you can offer farmers a little money. You just need that little push to get them over the hump (Johnson).” In supporting farmers, you reinforce the local economy, cut down on negative environmental impacts, and you could even help break the shackles companies like Monsanto have on the people who literally give us life.
Obesity and Nutrition
United States citizens are overweight. It’s nothing we haven’t heard a thousand times before: 35 percent of Americans are categorized as medically obese. That’s over 78.6 million people.
But what does that have to do with local food? Let’s start with the basics: low-income households are more likely to be overweight and have weight-related health problems than those considered to be “middle-” or “upper-class.” This goes back to the food deserts described earlier. But even when full-service grocery stores or farmers markets are available, they may still be inaccessible to low-income families. “Healthy food is often more expensive, whereas refined grains, added sugars, and fats are generally inexpensive and readily available in low-income communities,” either in supermarkets or convenience stores (Why Low-Income). When faced with limited funds, or when receiving government assistance through programs like SNAP, households often try to stretch their food budgets by purchasing cheap, processed, calorie-dense food. State officials in Michigan realized this, and created the Double Up Food Bucks program. Those who are eligible for federal SNAP benefits can visit local farmers markets, and whatever they spend on fruits and veggies is matched up to $20 to spend on other SNAP-eligible food items. This encourages healthier eating habits and the support of local food systems. Additionally, certain grocery stores in the Detroit area have adopted this program through November, so families can still have access to these benefits once farmers markets have closed for the season ("How it Works"). Schools are also incorporating more local food. The Vermont Food Bank recently started a School Food Pantry To-Go in collaboration with Feeding America to serve students and families in need. Beginning in April 2013, JFK Elementary in Winooski introduced this program with the hope of providing families with fresh, nutritious food.
Since its inception, this Food Pantry To-Go has begun work with Rutland Northeast Elementary School, Rutland Northwest Elementary School, Molly Stark Elementary School, and JFK Elementary School (“School Food Pantry To-Go”). It can be extremely difficult to access fresh and affordable food, especially with a low household income. But programs like Double Up Food Bucks and the School Food Pantry, designed with local families in mind, are encouraging more people to spend their money on fruits and vegetables as opposed to fast food and prepared meals. It’s not only good for the local economy, but for the health of the next generation.

Just Do It
Knowing about the benefits of local food systems is one thing—acting on that knowledge is another entirely. So what can you do? Keep it simple: start small by buying one kind of organic produce per shopping trip. It can be bananas one week and apples the next. See what works for you.
Alternatively, if it is farmers market season, find a variety of fruits and vegetables you already like and compare them to their “traditionally-grown” cousins from the supermarket. Once you start trying these locally-grown foods, it can be easier to branch out and try new things. After you’ve found a variety of foods you like, prepare a meal! Cooking food together is beneficial on many levels. Obviously, it provides sustenance for yourself and your family, and you know exactly what is going into your meal and can make it to your specific tastes. There is also the added benefit of bringing the family together. It can seem daunting to bring the whole family into the kitchen, especially if you have small children. But studies have shown time and time again that making meals together fosters familial connections, appreciation for family members, allows for the teaching of “life lessons,” and creates memories (“4 Benefits”). Even the pickiest of eaters is more willing to try something if they’ve helped to create it! “I have learned that the best way to teach people something is to make it fun, and to have it taste good!” says Joyce Cellars, Community Relations Manager of the Intervale Center. In order to get people interested, you have to make them care. As the saying goes, the way to someone’s heart is through their stomach. You could even make it a monthly or bimonthly event: a family trip to the grocery store or farmers market to buy food for that night’s meal. “Food is the biggest example of how young people, older people, people of all ages can get that connectivity back and feel that they’re making a difference, said Heather Lynch, Sustainability Coordinator at Saint Michael’s College. 
“We’re in a society that takes things for granted, and food is one of those things.” If you don’t have the time or talent to cook, there’s always container gardening. Container gardening is an easy way to grow your own fruits, vegetables, or herbs with little space or energy. Essentially, if you have a pot, soil, and water, you can grow your own food! Vegetables like carrots, peppers and tomatoes don’t take up much space, nor do most kinds of berries (Iannotti). This is even viable in areas considered to be food deserts; seed packets only cost a dollar, and it’s easy to get dirt from outside. Even old milk jugs and other empty containers can be re-purposed as a planter. It really doesn’t take much. There are all kinds of little ways to bring fresh, local, nutritious foods into your own home, no matter what your income level or geographic location.

So now what? People everywhere are making a difference, from growing tomatoes out of milk jugs, to gleaning extra produce from fields, to buying food from farmers markets. It’s not just about what we eat, but about the rights of those who grow it. The local food movement is all about the connections we make: to our neighbors, to our land, and to ourselves. “Everyone else is in their own world, with their own time frame, on their own track, and it’s amazing what a process it is to take a vision and make it into something when it isn’t just money and bricks and mortar, it’s actually building movement and change with people,” said Snow. Sure, buying local food is good for economy, and yes it is good for the environment. But at the end of the day it all comes back to people. Cellars agrees, “It’s about knowing where your food comes from, and knowing who grew it. It’s about understanding the complexities and difficult choices that we have to make to feed ourselves sustainably in our changing world. And, finally, it’s about shared responsibility – for each other, for our natural resources, and for making sure that farming is a viable livelihood.” In supporting local food systems, you are exhibiting pride for the place you call home. So I’ll ask my question again: who wants to start a food revolution?


Bosia, Michael. "Can We Eat Our Way to a Better World?" Food Sustainability Panel. Saint Michael's College, Colchester, VT. 27 Oct. 2014. Lecture.
Cellars, Joyce. E-mail interview. 28 Oct. 2014.
Fatemi, Farrah. "Can We Eat Our Way to a Better World?" Food Sustainability Panel. Saint Michael's College, Colchester, VT. 27 Oct. 2014. Lecture.
Lynch, Heather. Personal interview. 28 Oct. 2014.
Rost, Winston. Telephone interview. 30 Oct. 2014.
Snow, Theresa. Telephone Interview. 15 Oct. 2014.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Local, Sustainable, Secure: Food Justice in the U.S.

The 21st century U.S. food production systems are harming us, its citizens, more than helping us. In the past five years, the terms “locally grown” and “organic” have become buzzwords for those trying to eat in a healthier and more environmentally friendly way. But what does “locally grown” really mean? Are we all expected to become backyard farmers? It is often debated whether the economic and ecological costs of buying locally produced food really outweigh those of buying from traditional supermarkets. What is the true price of these massive corporate food production methods on our cultures, our wildlife, and our communities? Philip Ackerman-Leist, author and Green Mountain College professor, suggests we go back to basics and rebuild our eating habits, and our communities, quite literally from the ground up.

               In his new book, Rebuilding the Foodshed, one of the first issues Ackerman-Leist raises is how “local” local really is. Is it just about geography? Before you answer that, consider this: where do you consider “home”? Why? Is it just because that is where your house is? Probably not. We humans tend to feel at home in places where we have made connections; and Ackerman-Leist is all about connections. When we feel a physical, emotional attachment to a town, state, or region, we like to take ownership of it. This is where local food appeals to us. Vermont FEED, one of the first farm-to-school systems and food education programs, focuses on bringing the food conversation to "the three C's: cafeteria, classroom, and community." The program reminds Vermonters that there are many benefits to supporting local agriculture; economically, environmentally, and nutritionally. As many of us know very well, education is the first step to change.

It’s not just about facts and figures, miles and minutes of travel, gas consumption and greenhouse gasses. It is much more personal than that: the feeling of biting into a fresh, crisp apple may take you back to apple-picking with your family when you were 10. Or the smell of melting mozzarella makes you yearn for your mother’s lasagna. It is a deep cultural and familial connection to what we eat, how we eat and prepare it, and how we feel while doing it. Think of Italy, for example. What is the first image that pops into your mind? For me, it is fresh garlic, tomato sauce, and warm home cooking. It is the feeling that I am missing out on something essential if I do not visit the country, and try these things while I am there. Or, to bring it closer to home, think of the Deep South. Louisiana gumbo, hand-battered fried chicken, home-grown strawberry jams; all are an indispensable part of the local culture. Even Vermont has maple syrup...and maple candies, maple lemonade, maple cotton get the point. As Ackerman-Leist says, it's idea that “we can never truly experience a place until we taste a particular fruit, a time-honored dish, a unique spirit, any of which may be replicated elsewhere but diminishes in authenticity with every mile it travels.”

                The current mentality of the United States is that “food can be grown elsewhere.” But why does it have to be? We have some of the most fertile, arable land here in the U.S., but it is being targeted for urban development. Instead of using these vast expanses of beautiful land to help sustain us, we are building more property that we don’t need, killing wildlife and ecosystems, and utterly destroying the landscape. Urban development also has its own issues. Have you ever heard of a food desert? Neither had I until about this time last year. A food desert describes an urban or suburban area that has no access to grocery stores, and instead must rely on convenience marts and beverage shops for food. Not very healthy, is it? Nor it is affordable: these neighborhoods are mostly populated by “racially diverse workers so critical to our food production system,” and yet they are living off wages that do not even allow them to adequately feed their own families. Take, for example, Birmingham, Alabama. Yes, a bustling city smack in the middle of one of the most food-centric cultures in the United States has areas where access to fresh, nutritious food is nearly impossible. To combat this, a woman named Taylor Clark began the Urban Food Project to support local food production. It is difficult to introduce any kind of urban farming in Birmingham, as there is a cultural bias toward unhealthier food, such as the fried chicken I mentioned earlier. Additionally, it is an area where poverty is prevalent, and many cannot afford to buy local produce, or sometimes any produce at all. But bringing healthy, sustainably-raised food to markets like these, Clark admits, can be slow. Theresa Snow, a graduate of Sterling College, has taken steps to increase food security in Vermont as well. In 2005, she co-founded Salvation Farms, a nonprofit that would absorb and redistribute surplus fruits and vegetables throughout northern Vermont. She works very closely with the Vermont Food Bank to increase food security and create community-based solutions to aid food accessibility.

Courtesy of
                But what about distance? What is the effect of actual miles traveled over physical land, via tractor trailer, plane, ship, or a local farmer’s pickup? The food we eat requires energy: electricity and fertilizer to grow, to harvest, to package, to ship, to prepare, to cook, to dispose of. That’s a lot of energy. Ackerman-Leist explains it this way: say each food serving gives us one calorie. It takes between seven and ten “calories” to produce that one serving. That a little but outrageous, no? That it takes seven to ten times more energy to produce a food serving than said food serving actually gives us. So how do we combat this obscene energy imbalance? Ackerman-Leist gives a few options, and describes what the most effective food production companies do. The biggest food suppliers use hybrid and fuel-efficient vehicles, computerized pickup and delivery systems that monitor supply and demand, supply food regionally rather than strictly locally, use local aggregates like Co-ops (or “food hubs”), and some workplaces even sponsor “community-supported agriculture” programs where food is regularly delivered to one work building for the benefit of many people. But what about waste? As much as we would like to believe otherwise, most of us buy too much food, or don’t eat our leftovers before they go bad. As Ackerman-Leist says, “it may not be the sexiest consideration, but it’s the most important.” After all, food wasted is energy wasted. In my hometown of West Boylston, MA, a composting initiative was started about five years ago. Like other towns nationwide, we had to buy special, more costly trash bags that would be picked up by our waste management trucks. This was supposed to encourage more recycling and composting and less willy-nilly tossing of reusable products. Vermont also has a similar "soil-to-soil" program to build a statewide food system over the next decade (from 2013-2023). It is the hope of environmentalists that programs like these will not only reduce energy consumption, but also packaging and waste products.

Courtesy of
                Of course, these are just a few ways in which we can all pitch in to rebuild our nation’s food production systems. The less we rely on CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations) and pesticide-pitching “factory farms,” the more we help our environment and our fellow Americans. Local and regional food systems don’t just encourage healthy lifestyles and a sense of community, but also food justice. There would be no workers doing dangerous jobs (like slaughtering animals on an assembly line) for wages that do not even cover the cost of their own dinner. It may be idealistic, but imagine if we all had a handful of local farmers and cooperatives that allowed us access to nutritious, affordable, delicious fresh food. We would have a sense of community with our neighbors, and feel more attached to where we live. It’s not just about the environment, fossil fuels, or our next meal. Local and sustainable food systems are about us, our impact, and our future.

Also featured on Amazon.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Nature's War on People

Courtesy of
As I mindlessly scrolled through my Facebook feed a few days ago, a small notification popped up at the corner of my screen. One of my friends had shared a link on my wall. Not unusual for my group of friends, who all know how passionate I am about various social issues. But this article was different. It contained no cute pictures of animals, no GIFs of sassy women, no new political outcries.

It was an article from Parsnippety, titled Plants and Animals Vote Against War on People, Opting to Wait Them Out. If that doesn't catch your attention, what will?

I know it does not directly relate to the sustainable food systems of Vermont and the U.S., but climate change and the environmental movement are all about intersection. What is more relevant to food than the animals people tend to eat?

The short article by William Azalea is very cute in its presentation. It features "quotes" from "BioCongress" leader Elizabeth Steelhead Trout. Azalea imagines a meeting of local wildlife to vote on what actions to take against humans, who have launched a "comprehensive assault on them" throughout the past few centuries. The article subtly indicated the number of endangered species we currently know of: 217.
There are two hundred seventeen endangered species of animals and plants on planet Earth that we know of. As far as humans know, there could be hundreds or thousands more that are extinct or near extinct, and we just have not found them yet. It actually took me several read-throughs of this article before I realized the significance of this number, posed as a voting result.

Steelhead Trout points out that humans have destroyed so much natural habitat for these species that many have either gone extinct, or have been forced to live "in the foul, polluted conditions that their greedy habits and unthinking excesses have created." Ouch. Yet despite this act of war we have imposed on all wildlife, they have not declared war back. It can be argued that this is because animals and plants are not sentient beings that are capable of collectively taking up arms against the human race. I would attest to that. But are they not fighting back in their own way?

Courtesy of
When we abandon buildings such as the Minnesota farmhouse above, do plants not slowly overcome them? Does the Earth not take back its own? Small animals make homes and build families in these old, forgotten places. Tiny and frail blades of grass can push their way through black concrete. Nature takes back what humans stole from her.

Animals that have been restricted in their living and hunting grounds must find refuge someplace else. How many bear sightings have you seen in your area? Wolf sightings? Fox? How many livestock/pets/properties destroyed at the paws of these poor creatures who have literally nowhere else to go? Yet most humans fail to acknowledge this tragedy and continue killing these "ruthless predators" because they are "scary" or "dangerous." What many fail to realize is that this is our fault. Mice and rats infest our homes because we built them on the fields the poor rodents once lived in. Squirrels eat from our bird-feeders because we cut down their trees to build houses and fuel fires. Animals don't owe us anything. We owe them.

We owe them apologies, homes, food. We have pushed them to the brink of extinction and refuse to help pull them back.

Courtesy of Rob McKay Photography
So no, maybe this article does not directly relate to agricultural systems or sustainability. But if we continue clear-cutting forests for farmland and building empty houses, these animals will be further marginalized and eventually killed. Then what will the next generation do? There will be no birds singing, no fish for fishing (if that's what you're into), and no beautiful, untouched stretches of nature to inspire books like Walden, or poems like those from Alice Walker.

Take a moment to read this short piece. It's funny, it's cute, and it will help you appreciate that we still have Steelhead Trout to give us words of wisdom.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Welcome to Sustainable Security!
Hey there everyone! If you're here, odds are that you are at least a little interested in sustainable food systems, permaculture, and other environmental issues. If so, you are in the perfect place.

I'm new to "professional," journalistic blogging, so it might take me a post or two to get the hang of things. I am dedicated to providing you, my audience, with the newest and most relevant facts and stories about sustainable agriculture, the local food movement, and how each and every human on planet Earth is affected by food justice.

As for me, my name is Alanna. I am a college student in Vermont, USA. Stay tuned for news, book reviews, and some really cool websites.


I will be pulling information from various digital and analog sources throughout my time here at Sustainable Security. Here are just a few to get us started....
"Dynamic" Sources:
(Continuous, content-tracking, collaborative)

6. Grist  

9. The Green Room (environmental podcasts)

10. LiveGreenBeGreen

"Static" Sources:
(Stand-alone news articles, videos, podcasts)

1. Rebuilding the Foodshed, book by Philip Ackerman-Leist

Organic garden at Saint Michael's College

1. Theresa Snow, Salvation Farms

2. Tim Laird, Intervale Community Farm

3. Deb Krempecke, Lamoille Community Food Share

4. Abbie Nelson, Shelburne Farms
5. Linda Berlin, UVM Cooperative Extension
(Food Access)

6. Heather Ellis-Lynch, Director of Saint Michael's College Office of Sustainability

7. Kirby Peters, Intern at SMC Office of Sustainability
(Local Food Initiative)

8. Michael Bosia, Professor of Sustainable Food Systems and
Political Science at Saint Michael's College

9. Paul Comey, VP of Environmental Affairs at
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters
LinkedIn Profile

10. Jeffrey Ayres, Professor of Political Science at Saint Michael's College, Author of  
Globalization and Food Sovereignty: Global and Local Change in the New Politics of Food


·         How did you get involved in the local, sustainable farming movement?
o   How long have you been a part of it?
·         What does the local food movement mean to you?
o   Why is it so important?
o   Was there anyone who told you, “you can’t?”
§  Did they mean legally, agriculturally, or socially acceptably?
·         When does the cost of buying traditionally-grown food outweigh the benefits of buying locally?
o   How local is local?
·         How do you manage resources?
o   Water? Finances? Employees?
o   (Gleaning)
·         What has been your greatest challenge?
·         How would you encourage the “average Vermonter” to get involved?
o   Education/buying/growing?

Sites and other sources

6. Green Up! (Saint Michael's College environmental club)

Google Alert Tracking:

1. Permaculture

2. Local Food

3.   Vermont

4. Sustainability

5. Food Justice

6. Agribusiness

7. Monoculture

8. Organic Farming

9. Hedge Funds