Our cause is to promote a local, sustainable food system.
In order for this to be a meaningful cause, we need to go into detail about what a few things mean to us.
The most widely interpreted word in our cause is sustainable. Sustainability is defined many ways by many people. Here is the definition we will use when considering our success. Sustainability is composed of four aspects.
The economic aspect means that the system is using its resources to provide necessary and desirable products and services for the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to do the same.
The social aspect is about equity within and between generations and within and between ethnic and social groups. This aspect also includes people’s mental and physical well-being and cohesion of their communities based on fair distribution of natural resources.
The cultural aspect is about the nourishment and sharing of attitudes and values that represent diverse ways of viewing the world. This aspect includes the political aspect which is about citizens having the opportunity to express their views freely and participate in decision making.
The environmental aspect is about the overall viability and health of our living systems. This applies to both natural and managed systems
With the understanding of these components of sustainability, one can understand and appreciate the challenges and needs for a local food system that meets these criteria to be nurtured and promoted.
The second most widely interpreted word in our cause is the question of what is local. This has been defined differently by many organizations for a long time and range anywhere from politically drawn zones to a distance radius to various other methods. In defining this for ourselves, we have to look at the intent. The intent is to benefit Muncie and Delaware County. In doing so, the sustainable, local food system should incorporate the surrounding area in order to build a sustainable system as defined above. As such, we will define local in this case to mean a 50 mile radius around the city of Muncie.
The food system is worth mentioning here even though it is more commonly understood. For this we like the Wikipedia definition. When we talk about the food system we are including all the processes and infrastructure involved in feeding a population including the growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, marketing, consumption, and disposal of food and food-related items. It also includes the inputs needed and outputs generated at each of those steps.
If there are other aspects that you feel would benefit from clarification, we would like to hear from you! Drop us a note.