17 Oct 2011

Poll results -- urban food

Hey! There's a new poll (Contest! What's the best example of coping with the end of abundance?) on the right sidebar ===>
I will pay more for urban-grown food compared to farm-grown when (choose 1+)
It tastes better 27 votes
It helps my community 32 votes
It puts neighbors to work 22 votes
It makes me healthier 17 votes
It is more sustainable 33 votes

These results indicate that voters may be more interested in the health of their communities than their own health (or is that a misinterpretation)?

IMO, it's easily possible for farm-grown food to taste better, be more sustainable, and be healthier for you. It's also possible for urban food to be less useful for communities and jobs -- mainly in the case where resources (land, subsidies, political effort) devoted to urban ag leaves fewer resources for other businesses, e.g., light industry, professional services, education, and so on.

I'm not saying this because I think it's always true (or even often true), but because a lot of people claim that urban agriculture will bring these benefits without thinking too much about how and why that would be so.

Bottom Line: We should all get food from places that deliver value (a big idea) for money; we should also spend time working together with our neighbors. Urban agriculture can deliver on both of those needs, but not automatically.