Food and Farming

How we grow, process, transport, market, prepare, and dispose of food is critical to many of the central issues of sustainable living. Over the last decades, factory farming has displaced many small family farms and created several environmental and health issues. Reviving smaller-scale farms, a process that schools might help though their purchasing, could encourage agricultural practices that are more sustainable in terms of the environment, health, and the local economy.

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Tools for demonstrating the academic, health, environmental, and financial benefits of high-quality, appealing school meals.


Oct. 17, 2014: Karen Brown to discuss "Re-Localizing the Food System" at the annual Bioneers Conference in San Rafael, CA.


School food system reform is a critical strategy for addressing fundamental justice issues.

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Type Title Description Author
Essay California Thursdays Success Story: San Diego Unified

San Diego USD is sending the message that school food can be both delicious and nutritious, and the district's students are listening.

Clare Leschin-Hoar
Download Big Ideas: A New Alignment with Academic Standards

Created in partnership with National Geographic, with examples of learning experiences for linking food, culture, health, and the environment.

Essay Long before the First Thanksgiving

Arizona Pima Indian elders teach children to prepare traditional foods while sharing stories, songs, history, and culture.

Gary Paul Nabhan
Essay Meditations on an Apple

As you raise the apple to your lips, savor the millions of agreements and simple actions, arrayed across time and space, connecting you to each other and to the land.

Janet Brown
Essay Unhappy Meals

How whole foods came to be treated not as complex ecologies, but as mere delivery systems for "nutrients."

Michael Pollan
Essay Farming the Future

Future food security will require new crops of farmers with a diversity of approaches adapted to local conditions.

Kenny Ausubel
Essay The Pleasures of Eating

Much of the pleasure of eating is in consciousness of the world from which food comes. This pleasure may be the best available standard of our health.

Wendell Berry
Essay In the Tangle

Work that permeates your entire life and demands your energy and heart returns great treasures.

Wendy Johnson
Essay Taking Back Our Food

Local agriculture and a return to small-scale farming are essential to solving the global food crisis.

Miguel A. Altieri
Essay Farming's Central Role in Alleviating Poverty

Farming, ecological stewardship, and a sense of place play central roles in efforts to alleviate poverty.

Michael Ableman
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