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 Titlesort icon Description Author
Blog USDA MyPlate Graphic Supports Rethinking School Lunch Suggested Portions

The USDA's new graphic for a healthy diet fits nicely with the Center's ideas for Rethinking School Lunch.

Zenobia Barlow
Essay Unhappy Meals

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

Michael Pollan
Essay Uncertain Peril

Is industrial agriculture, with its focus on chemical and genetic technologies, the best choice for ensuring a healthy future?

Claire Hope Cummings
Essay Three Sisters: An Ancient Garden Trio

The "Three Sisters" — corn, beans, and squash — provide a meaningful context for school garden education.

Sara Marcellino
Blog The Working Mom's Eating In Challenge

Professionally, I understand food as a green issue. Personally, living it is a very different story.

Lisa Bennett
Essay The School Garden Debate: To Weep or Reap?

The Atlantic article lambasted school gardens by stirring up charged emotions. But what are the facts?

Lisa Bennett
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
Event The National Heirloom Exposition

September 14, 2011: Karen Brown addressed the need for "50,000,000 new farmers" at the first-ever National Heirloom Exposition in Santa Rosa, California.

Essay The Meaning of Food

Traditional Hawaiian farmers address problems of diet-related diseases by reconnecting food, farming, education, and health.

Claire Hope Cummings
Essay The Many Wonders of Plants

To learn to eat well, children need to be reconnected with nature and with living food.

Joan Dye Gussow
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