Sustainable Food and Agriculture
Fact: On average, food travels 1,500 miles before it gets to your table.
Eat local and organic food. It’s fresh, delicious and nutritious. Buying local strengthens the local economy and is better for the environment because it travels less distance and means fewer carbon emissions from transportation.
Organic farming is usually based on sustainable methods of production that support biodiversity within the soil and the farm. Organic production uses less energy than conventional production and does not pollute water and air sources.
Neighborhood and Community Gardens, a self-reliant and fun way of growing your own food, appear to be increasing in popularity since First Lady Michelle Obama planted an edible White House Garden in 2009, partly a response to the economic downturn. Some historians claim that during the World War II era, when First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt encouraged the country to start their own “Victory Gardens,” such home gardening supplied 40 percent of the food required in the United States.
Local Farmers and Consumers
Farmers produce the seasonal supply of fruits, vegetables, grains, and meats and need to have a locally established system through which local consumers may “access” what is available for sale. Currently, these local (or regional) access points may include farmers markets, pick-your-own farms, buying directly from a nearby farm, or through community supported agriculture (CSA), in which a farmer and consumer enter into a pre-arranged contractual food-purchasing arrangement.
Working Group Agenda
The Bethesda Green Sustainable Agriculture and Food working group meets with farmers, restaurant buyers, consumers, and parents of school children to improve the supply and access to healthy, locally produced foods. The group seeks ways to strengthen relationships in the producer-consumer food chain.