When did we start local food movements in America?



  1. 0 Votes

    In the 60’s, in response to the growing power of large agribusiness, many Americans began a “back to the land” movement. They adopted the idea of living on rural land and growing food sustainably and existing harmoniously with their environment. Ever since then, there have been a small, but growing number of people who choose to support local farmers and/or grow their own food. The real question, however, is when did we STOP buying and growing food locally? The industrial revolution changed many things for America, including the way which we grew crops. With new, more efficient machines taking place of manual labor, many farmers couldn’t compete with large, “industrialized” farms and left for work in the cities. Slowly America’s landscape changed from local farms that supplied the surrounding people with food, to ever-growing agribusiness. Due to America’s involvement in two world wars, men and women leaving to work in cities rather than farms, and economic forces that drove small farmers out of business, American’s began to rely on fewer and fewer (and larger and larger) farms to supply them with food. The problems that have arisen, are numerous and complex. Focussing on monetary gain over growing healthy food has it’s obvious, if not yet fully understood, consequences for the people at the dinner table. Furthermore, agribusiness contributes to environmental problems (like water and soil pollution,) the forcing out of small farmers, diseases in livestock (which can be communicable to humans,) the expense of government subsidies on taxpayers, and creating more and more monomorphous types of crops and animals which are easily susceptible to diseases and environmental changes. 

    You can support local, organic farms by reading labels at the store and knowing where your food comes from, going to farmer’s markets on a regular basis, and signing up for a CSA box (Community Supported Agriculture) in your area and receiving fresh, in-season produce. And when you can, grow your own food, and invest more time as a family to growing, preparing, and eating food. 

  2. 0 Votes

    The question should be, when — and why — did we move away from local food movements?  There was a time when people ate nothing but local food.

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