October 24th is a day foodies across the country look forward to every year - it’s an entire day dedicated to celebrating and eating real food, and advocating for positive change in the food system.
Written by Caroline Katsiroubas, Community Manager at Freight Farms
Food is not just a necessity, it’s a foundation for community, an ingredient of cultural identity, a medium for culinary expression - it’s core to living. Everyone should be afforded access to healthy, fresh food. And beyond that, each person should understand the way food is grown and how it gets to your plate.
Here at Freight Farms, I’ve had the opportunity to witness and participate in some of the most innovative and forward-thinking changes Boston has made in relation to food. This city has been pushing the envelope and setting the standard for urban agriculture across the country - it only seems appropriate to celebrate those changes in the city landscape today.
Let’s start with Article 89. You’ve heard us talk about it here, but it’s worth mentioning time and time again. This document addressing commercial scale urban farming in the city of Boston is one of the most comprehensive pieces of legislation of its kind. And it’s opened the door to so many new and exciting farming operations, one of them being Corner Stalk in East Boston! Fresh local produce year-round? It’s now a thing.
We can’t forget about school initiatives, especially since October is National Farm-to-School month. You’ll hear more about Boston Latin’s student-led freight farm CSA program next week on the blog, so I’ll just mention a national real food challenge that may not be on your radar. Universities across the country are pledging the Real Food Campus Commitment to increase the procurement of real food, increase institutional transparency, and increase student and community food system engagement. Northeastern University signed onto this campaign last year, committing to source 20% real food by the year 2020. Way to go, NU!
Lastly, one of my favorites: The Food Project. Located in the heart of Boston, with another location outside city limits, this organization has been engaging youth in sustainable agricultural practices since 1991! Education and hands-on learning experience has an immeasurable impact on how people make choices about food. When equipped with the right knowledge, kids are able to make more informed choices that support their health. On top of that, getting involved in the process of growing food fosters community engagement and stewardship. So hats off to you, Food Project.
What do these all have in common? Each are changing the way we interact with food and addressing global issues of food insecurity, nutrition, and sustainability. To support Food Day’s mission, I wanted to take the opportunity to celebrate some local Boston initiatives that I have the pleasure of interacting with here at Freight Farms. Now it’s your turn! Go out and find local events in your area and eat some REAL food!