Tuesday, September 27, 2011

The Power of Slow

AliciaNext month, I’m traveling to Slow Money’s National Gathering in San Francisco, CA. The event will gather dynamic individuals, companies and organizations that are all investing in social change—with food!


In our too-fast world full of companies that are “too big to fail” and a national debt too big to imagine, Slow Money begins with a refreshingly simple principle: slow and small are beautiful.

It’s a powerful notion causing people to pause and reconsider the long-term prospects of our giant, industrial, globalized food system controlled by just a handful of BIG corporations. Instead, the ever-growing Slow Money community is careful with its money, keeping investments closer to home in order to grow an economy with integrity, stability and sustainability.

Says Slow Money founder and chairman Woody Tasch in a recent Fast Company article:

What we are interested in is healthy food, sustainable farms, and soil fertility—and the many benefits these generate: less carbon in the atmosphere, fewer chemicals in the environment, more biodiversity in the soil and in our food supply, fewer pesticides and herbicides on our food, stable water supplies in our aquifers, less soil erosion, fewer food miles, healthier diets, maybe even healthier communities.

So what does that mean in the real world? Last year's gathering in Vermont brought together 600 people that together invested $4 million in 12 small food enterprises – a local, organic food home delivery service, an organic creamery, an inner city farming project and much, much more! The ultimate goal is to get 1 million Americans investing 1% of their money in local food systems, within a decade.

Farm Aid is attending to emphasize the importance of the family farmer in the big picture. Without thriving family farms, healthy food systems are impossible. And in order to understand farms, you have to understand the logic of a farm business and diverse financial needs of farms of all types and sizes. In an era of bank consolidations, tightening credit conditions and volatile farm prices (the price farmers earn), so many farmers are still struggling to obtain the credit and financing they need for their farms.

Slow Money is a fantastic opportunity to ground our food system and bring it back to its roots: a diverse landscape of thriving family farms that are bringing good food and strong economies to communities across the country.


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