Buying local, artisanal, and organic is one way to help change the way our food is made -- but getting a real alternative production system off the ground will also take cold, hard cash.
We’ve written about the Slow Money Alliance on Grist before -- it sprang up as an alternative to "fast money" and what founder Woody Tasch calls our “out-of-control capital markets.” Slow Money steers investment dollars to small food and farm businesses. And it’s no coincidence that it sounds an awful lot like Slow Food, the movement that came to life in the late 1980s in response to the rise of fast food and the breakdown of local food traditions.
But, until recently, Slow Money has been aimed at people who can write a check for $5,000 or $50,000 to finance a food or farm startup. Now the organization has made it easier for people like you and me -- people who want to see big changes in the food system but don’t have big dollars -- to get involved through a new fund called the Soil Trust.
Now, the regular Joes can chip in as little as $50 online to help organic farmers, butchers, and jam-makers grow, and small-scale meat processors and food hubs get off the ground. The Soil Trust is meant to democratize the world of venture capital for people without deep pockets or investment experience but who happen to care about where their food comes from.