Growing Happiness through The New Food Economy
- Top 10 questions to assess the ‘Happiness Footprint’ of our food
The New Food Economy invites a rediscovery of our sense of place through relationships with the land and the people that matter most to us. Eaters everywhere are creating alternatives to the monopolization of the global mono-cropping mega corporations and their high carbon trail of destruction and inhumane, profit-first policies. We can symbiotically meet the mutual needs of both eaters and producers for health, community resilience and the purity of our natural world through emerging options for relationship based trade. These include Community Supported Agriculture (CSA’s), Food Co-ops, 'Cow Shares', 'Goat Shares', and Farmer's Markets. Home based production also enhances relationships by reconnecting us Nature and often, with our neighbours too. If you source your food at any of the above, you will already know a lot of the answers to the following questions but no matter where you source your food you can be part of the change by asking questions.
1. Where was it produced?
What are the health & environmental practices of the source country
2. What chemicals were used in production?
Were toxins or chemicals used for weed control, fertilizer, pest management, processing, preservation, processing, or packaging?
3. What is the ‘Compassion Footprint’ of the food?
Under what conditions were the animals raised, fed, transported and slaughtered?
4. Was it produced responsibly with consideration to the local area?
Did the production methods protect surrounding water and air quality?
5. Were human rights & the health of the workers respected?
What were the working conditions of the workers who produced & distributed it?
6. Is it a fairly traded product?
Was it sourced via an equitable system that enriches producer communities and pays at the very least, a fair, living wage?
7. What is its ‘Carbon Footprint’ and ‘Food Miles’?
How far did it travel and by what means?
8. What is the impact of this purchase on my local community?
If this food is not local, can I source this same food or an alternative nearby?
9. Can I be a part of creating “the change I want to see” locally?
In what ways could I support a local producer to provide this product here?
10. Vote for change with your dollar.
When possible if you can’t meet your principles, explain your reasons and decline.