11 May 2010

USAIN 2010: Local Food - Revolution and Reality

Dr. John Ikerd (Prof. Emeritus, Ag Economics, University of Missouri-Columbia, USA) and Matthew Jose (Big City Farms (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA) shared their thoughts and experiences with the traditional industrialized food system and the local food movement in the US.

Ikerd, the author of “Return to Common Sense,” became a proponent of the local food movement when he did just that. After many years of teaching the ‘conventional’ food production system at several universities, he came to realize that is just doesn’t work. Thanks to its reliance on that system, the US has the most over fed and under nourished population in the world. In fact, the children of today are the first generation that has a shorter life expectancy than their parents. Ikerd delivered a passionate plea to information specialists to help make sure that people have access to the information they need to make informed decisions about their food and the food system.

Jose’s interest is in urban farming projects as a means of increasing awareness of farming and exposing people to healthy foods grown locally and with integrity, i.e. in a way that values the land and the economic health of its stewards. He stressed that we must think about the needs of future generations. His goal is ‘to give future generations something delicious to dream about.’

In addition to Big City Farms (www.bigcityfarmsindy.com/), Jose has also formed Growing Places Indy (http://growingplacesindy.org/), a non-profit organization that is committed to developing the “Culture” of agriculture and food in the urban setting of Indianapolis.

Story by Debbie Currie

More on the 2010 USAIN Congress

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