This episode looks at what it might take to make locally grown and processed food the hub of our food system. Why? For one, Covid-19 has exposed vulnerabilities in our current food system that is dependent on a sprawling, global web of connections on the one hand, and industrial-scale, concentrated
Publish Date: Oct 08, 2021
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This episode looks at what it might take to make locally grown and processed food the hub of our food system. Why? For one, Covid-19 has exposed vulnerabilities in our current food system that is dependent on a sprawling, global web of connections on the one hand, and industrial-scale, concentrated agriculture on the other hand. The longer term threat that’s been creeping up on us for decades is the loss of soil fertility almost everywhere. A sustainable food system would be built on small, diversified farms close enough to form symbiotic relationships with population centers.I first speak with Thomas Locke of Bois d’Arc Farm. He raises livestock using sustainable practices less than 100 miles from the Dallas Farmer’s Market. Thomas shares his story and what it’ll take to make DFW a more vibrant local food scene.I then share part of my conversation about urban farming with Owen Lynch, an associate professor in the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU. Owen is helping folks in South Dallas help themselves to develop a systemic solution to systemic problems around food access by developing a network of professionally run urban farms to support a local produce market. The starting point is Restorative Farms.Jeff Bednar started Profound Foods several years ago as a small food hub in Dallas. Through it he sells his own small farm's 150 varieties of edible greens as well products from 50+ local farms to some 6,000 residential subscribers and a range of restaurant chefs. He tells me how he got started and reinforces the need for more food hubs like his.Next, Zach Correa describes for us how lemonGRAFT works. It's another sort of food hub based on software coordination. lemonGRAFT connects produce eaters with growers - backyard warriors and small farmers alike - who live in the same vicinity. He also talks about the compelling benefits of this system.Finally, Judith McGeary, of the Farm and Ranch Freedom Alliance, addresses the elephant the room when it comes to the local food movement; farm policy and regulation. After explaining the factors that have constrained local food, Judith suggests ways that citizen eaters like you and me can make a difference.There is local food potential everywhere. We have to want it…To really want to re-engineer the current food system model in favor of locally grown, raised and processed food. My sense is that we will need to live through more shocks to consider demanding change of others and of ourselves. Photo courtesy of Brad Roa at Restorative Farms