Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Can you have fair, green, affordable, and healthy food all at once?

What do you think?  The folks at Slow Food USA are vehemently divided on the subject.  Last August, after electing a new president, Slow Food started the "$5 Challenge", a pledge to share a fresh, healthy meal for under $5 per person as an alternative to a fast food value meal.  This marks a change in direction for Slow Food, as they were originally an organization that believed consumers should be willing to pay more for their food.  Proponents of this new outlook believe that the old way of doing things preached too much to the choir, and was often elitist, classist, and exclusionary.  Critics, however, argue that competing financially with fast food companies and big agribusiness is nothing more than a race to the bottom - an unsustainable effort that sacrifices the livelihoods of small scale farmers and food producers.  Personally, I can see both sides of the debate.  Not everyone can afford to pay more for the organic items sold in stores, but it's also dangerous to apply fast food economics to slow food situations.

However, you don't necessarily have to pay a lot more for healthy organic food.  Offset packaging and transportation costs by buying goods from your local farmer's market or CSA program.  Visit a farm and pick your own.  Or start a garden, either in your yard if you have one, or in containers if you don't.  You'll be supporting the local food movement, helping the environment, being kind to your wallet, and doing your health a favor.  Check out our Winter Food Project webpage and CT Farms and Food webpage to learn more about farms, markets, and CSA programs in your area all year round.

Read a Chow article here to learn more about the Slow Food debate and let us know what you think either here or on Facebook!

No comments:

Post a Comment