Fellow Michigan students:
You know that the food you eat is responsible for the nourishment of our bodies and many aspects of our health. It’s an intuitive concept that fresh produce raised without harmful pesticides will be better for our bodies... but are there other benefits to eating organic foods?
Our food system also affects the realms of social justice and environmental sustainability. You’ve probably heard that US small farms are slowly being lost to large agri-business operations. Additionally, many farm workers in both the US and other countries that provide our produce we suffer from chemical exposure and poor working conditions. Though we produce plenty of food for every person in the world to have more than enough food, unequal distribution keeps many people hungry and malnourished.
But there are ways we can make a positive impact on our own health, the health of he planet, and in the lives of those that provide our food – by buying sustainably produced food that is grown locally or traded fairly.
But as standards and labels don’t always exist to help us reach these goals, becoming informed, responsible consumers can be a huge challenge. So we are chronicling our daily actions and experiences to give you a behind-the-scenes look into the local "food web". Earl, Ally and I will be sharing information we find when talking with experts, local farmers, retailers, and even University of Michigan dining facilities.
In our efforts this semester, we will strive to consume responsibly, enjoy our food, and improve our world along the way. We’d like you to join us and give us your comments and suggestions – so that the simple act of eating becomes the most satisfying way to make a difference.
–Ally, Earl, and Julie