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 grow the food that we eat. 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 with Nature and often, our neighbors 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.
- Where was it produced?
What are the health & environmental practices of the source country?
- What chemicals were used in production?
Were toxins or chemicals used for weed control, fertilizer, pest management, processing, preservation, processing, or packaging?
- What is the ‘Compassion Footprint’ of the food?
Under what conditions were the animals raised, fed, transported and processed?
- Was it produced responsibly with consideration to the local area?
Did the production methods protect surrounding water and air quality?
- Were human rights & the health of the workers respected?
What were the working conditions of the workers who produced & distributed it?
- Is it a fairly-traded product?
Was it sourced via an equitable system that enriches producer communities and pays a fair living wage?
- What is its ‘Carbon Footprint’ and ‘Food Miles’?
How far did it travel and by what means?
- 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?
- 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?
- If I’m not getting the answers I want to hear, do I really need to buy this/eat this?
Whenever we can align our spending with our principles we are ‘being the change’ (Gandhi).