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National Sustainable Food Resources

Click to see a listing of websites that offer fresh, local products in your area

Glossary of Sustainable Agriculture Terms

Click to see a glossary of helpful terms dealing with sustainable agriculture



National Sustainable Food Resources

We have compiled a brief listing of websites that can help you to find fresh, sustainable food in
your neighborhood.

Click To Find:

Farmers Markets

These websites enable you to search for farmers markets in your area as well as find other sustainable resources near you.

Real Time Farms
Eat Well
Local Harvest
USDA Farmers Market Search

CSA’s

These websites offer a listing of CSA’s in your area as well as other sustainable resources.

Eat Well
Local Harvest

Local Farms

These websites offer an easy way to find local farms in your area that sell directly to the consumer.

Rodale Institute Farm Locator
Local Dirt

Pasture Raised Meat and Dairy Products

This website enables you to find local, pasture raised meat in your area.

Eat Wild

Organic Restaurants

This website offers a listing of restaurants that offer organic foods.

Organic Highways

Glossary of Sustainable Agriculture Terms

What is sustainability?

When a process is sustainable, it can be maintained indefinitely. Sustainable food production can be maintained indefinitely because sustainable farmers do not take more resources to produce food than they give back. A reliance on renewable resources—as well as on symbiotic relationships with nature and the surrounding community—means that these farms do not damage the environment, are humane for workers and animals, provide a fair wage to the farmer, and support and enhance rural life.

Because sustainable farmers see nature as an ally rather an obstacle, they are able to produce more wholesome food while using less fossil fuels (thus lessening the impact on global warming), and without using any synthetic pesticides, artificial hormones, or antibiotics.

Important Topics in the Sustainable Food Movement:

Animal Welfare
Antibiotics
Biodiversity
Community
Feed
Economics
Environment
Factory Farming
Eat Local, Buy Local, Be Local
Health
Organic
Pasture-Raised
Pesticides
Waste

Animal Welfare
Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals raised for food experience terrible living conditions because the majority of meat, dairy, and poultry production in the U.S. takes place in industrialized or factory farms. These factory farms are large, profit driven companies, which view animals as units of production, rather than living creatures, and exchange the animals’ health and welfare for efficiency and profit. While views differ about the degree of comfort and freedom that farm animals deserve, most people can agree on a minimum standard of cleanliness and space, and that animals should not needlessly suffer. Learn more…

Antibiotics
On industrial farms, animals are administered antibiotics on a routine basis – through feed, water, or injection. But not all animals are raised in such a manner. Ending or minimizing the use of antibiotics in animal agriculture is both feasible and potentially beneficial to consumers. Many small, sustainable producers do not use antibiotics at all, in large part because they don’t have to compensate for unhealthy conditions. On sustainable farms, animals are raised in a clean, natural environment that is not a breeding ground for bacteria. Other sustainable farmers will use antibiotics to treat animals only when they become sick, and they will make sure the antibiotics have passed out of the animal’s system before using its meat, eggs or milk. Learn more…

Biodiversity
Short for biological diversity, biodiversity is the variety of all life in a given area – this area could be as small as your backyard, or as large as the entire planet.

Biodiversity is essential for our existence because the earth’s biological systems and processes provide us with food, materials for clothing and shelter, fuel, medicine, clean water, and clean air. Biodiversity also provides all other species with the resources required for their survival. In fact, given the interdependence of the Earth’s living organisms, ecosystems, and biological processes, without biodiversity, life on Earth would become extinct. Learn more…

Community
Agribusiness often claims that its presence will have a positive impact on a local economy by creating new jobs and investing in the community. Recent experience, however, has shown that when large-scale farms enter communities and replace small farmers, they can actually create a downturn in the local economy. Industrial farms not only produce foods that are potentially harmful to our health, but they also negatively affect local economies, community health and the surrounding environment. Learn more…

Eat Local, Buy Local, Be Local
With the explosion of interest in local food, consumers now have more choices of products, labels, and ways to shop, so, many people are left wondering where to start. Food choices can be overwhelming, and changing where and how we shop can be stressful. On the other hand, the benefits of buying local can be great. Sustainable Table’s “Eat Local, Buy Local, Be Local” section is designed to help consumers learn what’s happening in the local movement, and to better understand the concept of local food. Learn more…

Economics
Supporters of industrial farming often claim that sustainable agriculture is not an economically viable way to produce food. They believe large-scale factory farming is the most efficient way to produce huge quantities of cheap food.What these advocates fail to recognize is that the seemingly low price of industrial food does not take into account the true costs of production. These hidden costs include environmental degradation, use of fossil fuels, damage to human health, and the destruction of rural communities. These costs are not paid for by the owners of factory farms; they are paid for by residents of the communities in which these operations are located, by taxpayers and by consumers. Learn more…

Environment
In a healthy farm system, agriculture works in harmony with the natural environment. This begins with healthy soil that stores water and nutrients and provides a stable base to support plant roots. In a sustainable system, soil is kept in balance. Crops are rotated through the fields to replace nutrients in the soil. Where there is livestock, animals graze the land, then waste from those animals is used to fertilize the soil. The idea is that as farmers take from the land they also give back. Learn more…

Factory Farming
In the last few decades, consolidation of food production has concentrated power in the hands of fewer and fewer corporations. Many of today’s farms are actually large industrial facilities, not the green pastures and red barns that most Americans imagine. These consolidated operations are able to produce food in high volume but have little to no regard for the environment, animal welfare, or food safety. In order to maximize profits, factory farms often put the health of consumers and rural communities at risk. Learn more…

Feed
Farm animals, like humans, are healthiest when they eat certain foods. Cows, have stomachs that are designed to digest grass. Pigs can digest grass, corn, grains, soy and other plants. Chickens and turkeys can eat plants as well as bugs and worms found on the pasture. When animals are fed conventional (or industrial) feed, which can include animal products, antibiotics, and other unnatural substances such as chewing gum and chicken manure, their health is put in jeopardy. And when an animal is unhealthy, the meat and other products made from it will also be less healthy. Learn more…

Health
Over the last several decades, industrial agriculture has had an increasingly negative effect on human health. Industrial farms take an enormous toll on the environment, lowering the quality of life and endangering the health of those who live nearby. They also produce food, which may contain bacteria, pesticides, antibiotic residue and artificial hormones, all of which can be harmful to those who consume them. Small sustainable farms, on the other hand, produce healthy, high quality food and preserve the environment. In order to protect and promote their health, consumers have a clear choice: shop sustainable. Learn more…

Organic
The fundamentals of organic farming – the ideals of land stewardship in order to keep the land productive for generations – are not new. However, organic farming as we know it now came about as a reaction to the wide adaptation of input intensive farming around the time of WWII, as a result of technological advances made earlier in the century and food shortages experienced during the war. During the first half of the last century, synthetic fertilizers were affordably manufactured and tractors were quickly replacing manual labor. Farmers around the world saw the potential detriment of this industrialized farming, rejected the idea that this was advancement in agriculture, and began to study and develop methods that increased the long term productivity of their farm system and practiced farming as stewards of the land. This type of farming soon came to be known as “organic.” Learn more…

Pasture-Raised
Truly sustainable livestock farming requires the use of a pasture-based system. Pasture-raised animals roam freely in their natural environment where they’re able to eat nutritious grasses and other plants that their bodies are adapted to digest. In addition to dramatically improving the welfare of farm animals, pasturing also helps reduce environmental damage, and yields meat, eggs, and dairy products that are tastier and more nutritious than foods produced on factory farms. Learn more…

Pesticides
Pesticides are chemicals used to eliminate or control a variety of agricultural pests that can damage crops and livestock and reduce farm productivity. The most commonly applied pesticides are insecticides (to kill insects), herbicides (to kill weeds), rodenticides (to kill rodents), and fungicides (to control fungi, mold, and mildew). Of these pesticide classes, herbicides (weed killers) are the most widely used. Today, over 1 billion tons of pesticides are used in the US every year. Learn more…

Waste
Where there are animals, there is animal waste, and as the growth of industrial farming concentrates thousands of animals on increasingly fewer farms, it produces massive amounts of animal waste on relatively small plots of land. When too much waste is produced in one place, there’s no safe, cost-effective way to either use it productively or dispose of it. While government regulation and better waste management practices can make a difference and should be encouraged for existing farms, the problem of livestock waste will never end so long as we rely on concentrated industrial farms to produce our food. Learn more…

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