GOOD Ideas for Cities: Growing A Local Food System for St. Louis

Maga-
zines need love too!
Stressed-out cyclists may soon be able to find a city’s best bike path, thanks to a map that mines bikers’ brainwaves http://t.co/LQfqCeRMTc
GOOD Ideas for Cities: Growing A Local Food System for St. Louis GOOD Ideas for Cities: Growing A Local Food System for St. Louis
Cities

GOOD Ideas for Cities: Growing A Local Food System for St. Louis

by Chappell Ellison

September 25, 2012

St. Louis, Missouri is surrounded by some of the country's richest farmland. That's why it's all the more frustrating that local residents eat produce grown hundreds, sometimes thousands, of miles away. In February, GOOD Ideas for Cities came to St. Louis, providing a platform for groups to address citywide problems. Comprised of local food enthusiasts, STL Provocateur took the stage to present a solution toward fixing the city's local food problem. What was most extraordinary about STL Provocateur's presentation was that the solution they proposed was not a physical one—the group's participants focused on advocating a policy change that would allow and encourage urban agriculture in St. Louis. Within four months of presenting the idea, the policy, named Board Bill 79, passed in July.

[

Rhonda Smythe, a local food activist, brought together the STL Provocateur team to collaborate on a solution. "St. Louis has a vibrant local food scene, though much of the activity has been centered around the distribution of locally grown food to restaurants and farmers markets due to increased demand," says Smythe. "There are several groups working to support urban agriculture at the community level: Gateway Greening works with over 200 community gardens and four hub gardens, and the International Institute's Global Farm trains refugees how to build a successful farm career in the States. There are many community projects and initiatives that are unconnected, and up until June, no supportive policies for urban agriculture."

For Smythe, this was bigger than just addressing policy change to increase the presence of local produce. "The issues we want to tackle are deeper than the aggregation and distribution of local food," said Smythe. "The local food movement lacks equity and a focus on nutrition education and cooking skills. We believe environmental and cultural change is necessary to support healthier eating—merely providing people with fresh vegetables does not mean they will like or want them."

" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>'>

+
Join the discussion
Recently on GOOD