The Atlanta Local Food Initiative outlines a plan for a sustainable food future

If you’re concerned about where our food is grown and who supplies it in the Atlanta and Decatur area, you’re not alone. The Atlanta Local Food Initiative was formed to address just that issue with a plan for Atlanta’s sustainable food future. Their website has a ton of great information that you can browse at www.AtlantaLocalFood.org. You can also download their report The Plan for Atlanta’s Sustainable Food Future.

On May 1st, 2009, the Atlanta Local Food Initiative hosted the Atlanta Local Food Forward conference to bring together leaders and put together viable actions steps. You can view illustrations and read text from the breakout sessions on www.AtlantaLocalFood.org under the “News” tab. Below are the eight goals outlined in the plan:

Supply

1. Increase sustainable farms, farmers and food production in Metro Atlanta.
2. Expand number of community gardens.
3. Encourage backyard gardens, edible landscaping, and urban orchards.

Consumption

4. Launch Farm-to-School programs (gardens, cafeteria food, and curriculum).
5. Expand cooking skills for simple dishes made from fresh, locally grown foods.
6. Develop local purchasing guidelines and incentives for governments, hospitals, and Atlanta institutions.

Access

7. Increase local, fresh food availability in underserved neighborhoods.
8. Increase and promote local food in grocery stores, farmers’ markets,
restaurants, and other food outlets.

To borrow further from their website, below is the executive summary of the organization:

The Atlanta Local Food Initiative envisions a transformed food system in which every Atlantan has access to safe, nutritious, and affordable food grown by a thriving network of sustainable farms and gardens. A greener Metro Atlanta that embraces a sustainable, local food system will enhance human health, promote environmental renewal, foster local economies, and link rural and urban communities.

Our city faces health and environmental challenges, including the obesity and diabetes epidemics and the contamination of soil, water, and air. Consumers are calling for clean food, grown without pesticides, antibiotics, and hormones. A local food system can meet this demand and rebuild Southern foodways in harmony with the land. Shortening the distance from farm to fork can reduce petroleum use, enhance safety through traceability, and provide fresher, healthier products. Also, a local system can address existing “food deserts,” areas where there is little or no fresh food available in under-served neighborhoods. Municipal food initiatives that encourage sustainably grown food improve urban livability, health, and wealth. Local food systems encompass activities such as: regional food distribution systems, community gardens, farmers’ markets, farm-to-school programs, urban agriculture, and green roof designs where food is grown on building rooftops. Developing a strong, local food system is an exciting opportunity for Metro Atlanta that has the potential to deliver a multitude of benefits:

• Promote healthy eating
• Reduce petroleum consumption
• Preserve greenspace and farmland
• Reduce harmful environmental impacts
• Minimize pesticide exposure
• Build local economies
• Create new jobs
• Strengthen the social fabric
• Celebrate our food heritage

Is that enough to make you want to go check out the website? Go do it! www.AtlantaLocalFood.org

Atlanta Local Food Initiative

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Comments
One Response to “The Atlanta Local Food Initiative outlines a plan for a sustainable food future”
  1. Mandy says:

    Jenny
    Thanks for posting this about ALFI! And thanks for your note last month thru Matt Nusunbaum. I came across it today. I also got your post thru my google alerts! Great coverage for you.

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