I've been interested in local food ever since I discovered Permaculture in 2009 and I realized there was an alternative to the industrial agriculture system that is so harmful to the environment and produces low quality food. My imagination would ignite with images of a burgeoning local food movement where everyone has access to fresh, local produce, and now it seems like I will see that happen in our county.
Reading the Kane 2040 Plan (here), you get the sense that there is a real desire to get local food systems put into place in Kane County. How best to do this is the question everyone is working on. I would like to add to the conversation.
Local-grown organic food is the best you can get. The more that people have access to it, the more they'll eat it. Many complain that it's too expensive or complicated but they just need good recipes and lower prices.
Our culture is changing to incorporate this into our normal lifestyle. We can easily envision a situation where Kane County is booming with small, localized food farms that provide a great diversity in selection and work toward building resilient communities of interest.
I think that what we're seeing now is the beginning of a larger transition into a more sustainable food system. CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) farms will be the norm, and almost anyone with a little sun in their yard will be growing heirloom vegetables. This is food democracy.
Is it possible to feed people, create jobs, provide opportunities for education, and reduce our reliance upon industrial agriculture? The United Nations thinks so and in 2010, they released a report entitled "Agroecology and the Right to Food," (read it here) in which they provided a 5-year study that showed how advanced organic farming practices can accomplish all of these things.
The potential of the local food movement is enormous: we can create value in our communities and work towards improving the health of all. I am proud to help move Kane County in that direction and I encourage you to make the journey with me.