The local foods landscape has seen a tide change in the past decade, and COVID-19 quickly ushered in the newest wave of innovation and consumer demand. We’re keeping tabs on the latest trends and digging into the issues around sustainable agriculture to bring you the best ways to support a food system that works for you and the planet. We are amped that we’ve been featured in two national media outlets this past month, and humbled to share our take on the future of local food.
Our first mention this month was in the Wall Street Journal article “The Digital Farmers’ Market: New Shortcuts to the Freshest Food,” which explains the inception of several local food tech companies and their vision for where the industry is headed. In the article, our CEO Simon calls out the origins of his CSA tech platform Small Farm Central in 2005, and the evolution into the Harvie you know and love today. The responsiveness of local food tech companies to the needs of farmers and consumers is unique, and this is the best way we can beat the big guys—farms and grocers alike—to create a food system that cultivates community, sustainability, and trust.
You may not be surprised to read yet another article about the age old plant-based vs. meat diet debate. But, we are in a new moment where top restaurants such as Eleven Madison Park are making the plant-based plunge, slashing animal products from their menu. While individuals and businesses can certainly make their own choices about the food they prepare and eat, categorically writing off animal products as a health and climate disaster is a surface level response to a deep issue of animal production practices, and ignores the actual benefits that animals can have in a balanced farming operation. As one example, recent studies indicate that well managed pasture lands can sequester impressive amounts of carbon and provide habitat for hundreds of species of insects. A plant-based, monoculture corn field couldn’t create that level of environmental asset. Moreover, for those home chefs who do enjoy eating animal products, removing them from our diets would strip us from the culinary exploration and delight that they bring to our palettes. Chef Dan Barber from Stone Barns Center in upstate New York knows this, and raises and sources sustainably produced meats to include in his exemplary menu. If this conversation piques your interest, check out the full op-ed in the Washington Post by Harvie COO and farmer Kyle Jaster, and let us know what you think! Find it here: Ditching meat isn’t the answer for climate change: better farming is.