Everybody Eats :: How a Community Food System Works
| It begins with small farms working with natural cycles and ends with fresh food and stronger communities in nearby cities.
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Clean energy such as solar, wind, and biogas provides clean power for farm machinery.
Closed-loop cycles mimic nature and eliminate waste. Nutrients are returned to soil.
Grass-fed livestock has a smaller carbon footprint and leaves grain for humans to eat.
Crop diversity increases yield, keeps soil fertile, helps fight pests.
Homegrown seed keeps old strains alive, produces new varieties adapted to local conditions.
No-till farming reduces soil loss and sequesters carbon. Edible prairie produces grain while building soil.
Regional Processing: Local cooperatives can replace giant corporate processors for frozen and canned foods. Food processing waste is composted and goes back to farms.
Short Haul Distribution: Using electric vehicles to move food from railheads and ports to markets in cities will result in cleaner air and a new automobile industry.
Long-Haul Distribution: Use trains to transport goods over large distances.
Money spent locally increases a community’s economic health.
Cooperatives allow farmers to share the cost of buying land and supplies, and to share labor and equipment.
Where we get our food: Farmers markets and community supported agriculture (CSA) leave out the big-retailer middleman. Small farmers make a living; communities get fresh, healthy, affordable food. Buy local food from farmers markets, urban food vans, co-ops and CSAs.
Lawns, abandoned lots, balconies, roofs, and even windowsills become gardens. Neighbors build community gardens and share the bounty at neighborhood feasts.
When you grow your own, use homegrown seeds, use garden waste to compost and allow household food scraps to be composted by worms.
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In the United States farms of 27 acres or less have more than ten times greater dollar output per acre than larger farms.
US Dept. of Transportation via Appalachian Regional Commission,
Institute for Local Self-Reliance,
A regional diet consumed 17 times less oil and gas than a typical diet based on food shipped across the country
Michael Pollan, New York Times,
|This article is part of Food for Everyone, the Spring 2009 issue of YES! Magazine.
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