Here’s a great AP story about colleges buying more food from local farmers. Students love it because it tastes better. School officials love it because it adds to the “quality of life” that attracts applicants. Cafeteria workers love it because they get to cook and prepare food again instead of just ripping open packages. Farmers with small- and medium-sized farms love it because it helps them stay above water. And environmentalists love it because it encourages the organic food industry and results in fewer miles of polluting transportation of food.
Consider what’s holding this back from spreading and becoming common practice, not only for schools and other institutions but for the average consumer. It is not desire, I suspect — even the totally eco-unconscious prefer better-tasting food. What’s lacking is technology: The ability to closely track exactly what farmer has what and when, what consumer wants it and when, where they both are, and the most efficient way for them to connect. This kind of technology is being developed in bits and pieces all around us.
Enviros can help by publicizing and celebrating trends like this.