ALL IN Eats Circular Food Economy
Growing Fresh Produce through Regenerative Agriculture & Permaculture
Foundational to any circular economy for food system are the farms and farmers who grow the food people need to lead healthy lives. Dig Deep Farms (DDF), a leader in the ALL IN Eats farmer community, integrates community involvement, healthy food access, and job creation to raise the quality of life, individually and collectively, of a community. DDF has launched the ALL IN Eats Farmer Collective. In collaboration with the County, these farmers are working to add new urban, peri-urban (plots of land on the outskirts of urban centers), and rural farming capacity, as well as building a pipeline of urban agriculture farming talent, and developing standards for ensuring consistency and sustainability.
Sustainable Farming’s Benefits
There are significant benefits to increasing urban and peri-urban farming within a community.
Increasing the number of peri-urban and urban farms:
- Lowers County healthcare costs
- Creates jobs and business knowledge
- Lowers food costs for community residents
- Increases home values
Physical Health & Wellbeing
Growing produce within a community improves the health of the residents who live within it. The Modified Retail Food Environment Index (mRFEI) measures the number of healthy (supermarkets, larger grocery stores, supercenters, produce stores) and less healthy (fast food restaurants, small grocery stores, convenience stores) sources of food by census tract. A food desert lacks access to affordable fruits, vegetables, low-fat/non-fat milk or dairy alternatives, whole grains, and other healthy foods. A food swamp has a large number of energy-dense snack food sources.
Research on how retail food environments near schools impact adolescent health show that food swamps (low mRFEI scores) in low-income communities are more likely to increase rates of obesity. Conversely, proximity to urban farms and farmers’ markets have been shown to increase:
- Food security and access
- Food source and nutrition literacy
- Consumption of fruits and vegetables
- Mental and physical health
Community gardens, community-supported farms, and urban farms provide the following positive social impacts:
- Providing opportunities for employment
- Offering youth education and leadership development opportunities
- Transforming blighted spaces into safe, healthy spaces and generating pride of place
- Fostering cross-generational and cultural integration
- Building social capital and enhancing a sense of community
- Providing access to land and outdoor recreation space (particularly important during the COVID-19 pandemic)
If you’re a farmer or you have land and would like to connect with the ALL IN Eats Farmer Collective to get involved, please get in touch with Sasha Shankar (email@example.com) or Troy Horton (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Learn More About the Full Circular Food Economy
Bring together all aspects of the food system – farm produce, recovered food, prepared meals – for organization into food bundles for the food insecure.
Food entrepreneur incubation and support for local vendors to create prepared meals and lightly processed produce (sliced/diced for institutional buyers).
Pick-up of produce, recovered food, and prepared foods for transport to the Food Hub, and then delivery of all foods to Food As Medicine recipients and families within the community.
Redirecting edible food to those who are food insecure and composting inedible food on local farms for reintegration into the land.
ALL IN Eats News & Events
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