In this day and age, cities that aren’t taking steps to encourage food growth within city walls are in the minority. All across the globe, cities have realized the value that urban agriculture adds to the urban center and surrounding communities. Addressing challenges from climate change and food security to hunger and obesity prevention, there's no denying the benefits of bringing food production back into the city. Let’s take a deeper look into each:
1. Food security.
It’s no longer possible to ignore the risks of outsourcing large-scale food production, especially in the face of global climate change and the increasing occurrence of extreme weather conditions.The reality is, one contaminant scare or serious drought like California is experiencing can affect millions of consumers. With the majority of the population now living in urban centers, localizing food production to guarantee the a source of fresh food just makes sense.
2. Alleviate environmental effects of food production.
Large-scale industrial agriculture has a significant impact on the earth's ecosystem, affecting water levels and biodiversity while being a significant driver of climate change. With the increasing demand for locally grown and sustainably produced food, food production is being pulled back into the cities. Localized food production is one effective way to reduce the environmental impact of agriculture. Food grown locally travels significantly less from farm to fork, eliminating unnecessary food miles. Hear Phil’s take on the growing urban agriculture movement, and how it's getting more people to think about the issues of how food is produced and consumed.
3. Better access to fresh
Over the past few years, urban landscapes have been transforming into edible landscapes that strengthen communities and provide consumers with the freshest produce around. Community gardens and raised beds instantly transform spaces while giving individuals an opportunity to take stewardship of common land and become more involved in their communities. Urban ag increases access to affordable, healthy, fresh food and provides a unique opportunity for communities to learn about nutrition and how to grow food. Here in Boston we’ve seen a dramatic shift as the city recently passed Article 89 to allow commercial urban agriculture to thrive. Catch up with team member Caroline and hear about her experiences working in the city here!
4. Economic opportunities
As more restaurants, schools and institutions seek local food sources, there is an opportunity for small businesses and new food entrepreneurs to explore new markets and grow their operations. Recent innovations in food production remove market entry barriers and empower more communities and individuals to grow their own food. Whether urbanites want to start their own farming operation like our freight farmers have, or they just want to grow their own produce from their desk with Sprouts iO, anything is possible. Read up on Boston’s newly launched “All Local” Boston Public Market...you’ll find another pair of our freight farmers on the vendor list!
Here at Freight Farms we’ve gotten such pleasure watching the vibrant local food movement continue to grow and thrive as the urban agriculture movement grows and gains momentum. We’re most excited about our expanding network of urban freight farmers dedicated to providing fresh, high-quality produce, all while making a positive impact through education and sustainable practices.