Why is Sustainability Important?

You may have heard through the media or elsewhere that you should try to eat local and sustainable foods.  But what does it mean to eat locally and sustainably?

Sustainable foods are those that are produced by methods that are healthy and do not harm the environment.  Sustainable production also respects works, is humane to animals, provides fair wages to farmers, and supports farming communities.

But why is sustainable agriculture important, you ask?  Big farming corporations (also called “factory farms”) provide a vast majority of food in the global market.  Since big farming corporations have such a large presence in the global market, it is nearly impossible for small-scale farmers to compete in the market. 

Big farming corporations may also use pesticides, harmful chemicals, pay their workers low wages, and do not offer benefits to employees (such as Wisconsin health insurance policies) in order to keep their costs low.  Some local farmers may also use pesticides, chemical fertilizers, and other non-sustainable means in their farming, so make sure to ask that the local food you are buying is also sustainable.  Just because it is local does not mean it is sustainable.

Luckily for us, there are many local and sustainable food sources in Central Wisconsin.  You can find restaurants, farmers markets, or even attend a workshop on how to eat sustainably.  Eating locally and sustainably is easier than you think!
 
-Sam

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