Green food!

February 17, 2011 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

Green food – it’s not just for fried green tomato eaters anymore. Time Magazine’s website has an article about the food movement that’s gaining steam in America. Increasingly, consumers are itching for food that is organic, local and prepared with care rather than slung out by the dozen at a fast food place. The motivations are everything from health to pleasure – good food just tastes better. The article notes that the nascent food movement seems to be eclipsing its much older sister, the environmental movement – gaining traction from quarters, like big business and politicians, whose interest in environmental sustainability has been lagging or non-existent. However, as Time concludes, the food movement isn’t competing with environmentalism – it’s complementing it.

And that’s exactly how we see it at the Supportive Housing Network.  The values of the food movement overlap with the values of the green movement to a large extent. Foodies like local food because it tastes fresher; greens like it because shorter journeys mean fewer emissions. Foodies like organic food because it protects us from ingesting chemical pesticides in our meals; greens like it because it keeps those chemicals from entering the eco-system, where they harm soil, animals and water supplies.

But we think the connection between green and food goes beyond benefits that can be easily measured and quantified. Eating local food – or, even better, urban gardening – matters because of the connection it fosters between an eater and her farmer, between a human and the land and community around him. When people can see for themselves the soil, the air and the water that go into the food they eat, they value their protection.

That’s why the Network Green Housing Initiative supports healthy, local food and gardening programs in supportive housing. We are currently collecting information and stories about our members’ experiences with food. Write and let us know what your own story is – Does your housing site provide food to residents? If so, what are the options? Are they fresh, organic, and/or local? If so, we’d love to learn the details. If not, what are the challenges you would face in greening your food?

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