Sustainable Food Kit download this kit

Help promote sustainable food and save family farms. Use our downloadable handouts to learn about the problems with our current food system, and the solutions we're working on. This kit contains every handout that GRACE's food program, Sustainable Table, makes available.

Sustainable vs. Industrial

Have you ever wondered exactly how sustainable agriculture is better than industrial agriculture? Read this to learn some of the major differences.

Why Buy Sustainable

Create change - one forkful at a time! Here are some great reasons to buy sustainable food.

Three Easy Steps to Sustainability

If you want to support a sustainable food system but aren't sure where to begin, start with our Three Easy Steps: Educate Yourself, Ask Questions, Take Action. Using these three steps, you can help build or strengthen your local food system.

10 Steps to Eating Sustainable

Want to eat better but aren't sure what to do? Click here to see some suggestions on what you can do to eat healthier, shop smarter and find great tasting sustainable food in your area!

10 Reasons to Learn Sustainable Home Cooking

We're all cooks now. Or at least we should be. Everybody's talking about home cooking and the connection to sustainable, local food - so, if you need a push, here are ten reasons to help you get cooking with conviction!

The Meat to Eat

Sustainably raised meat is fantastic; it tastes great, it's produced without destroying the environment or threatening public health, and its sale supports responsible farmers who choose to use sound agricultural practices. Unfortunately, it's more expensive to raise animals sustainably than to mass-produce them on a factory farm (these industrial operations benefit from hefty government subsidies -- and don't have to pay for the damage they cause). As a result, sustainably raised meat usually costs more than the cheap meat churned out by factory farms.

Additives

Americans spend about ninety percent of their food budget on processed foods, which, unlike whole foods, have been treated in some way after being harvested or butchered. Almost all of these processed foods contain additives, substances intended to change the food in some way before it is sold to consumers.

Air Pollution

Industrial farms, also called factory farms or CAFOs (concentrated animal feeding operations) pollute the air in many ways, emitting foul odors, airborne particles, greenhouse gases, and numerous toxic chemicals. Industrial farms are leading producers of noxious substances such as nitrous oxide and ammonia. Air pollution from industrial farms can cause health problems in agricultural workers, in residents of neighboring communities, and in farm animals. Although strategies exist to reduce air pollution, many industrial farms do little or nothing in this regard.

Animal Welfare

Every year, hundreds of thousands of animals experience terrible living conditions because the majority of meat, dairy, and poultry produced in the U.S. is from factory farms or concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs). Animals suffer needless mutation and cramped, confined living conditions, exposing them to a wide range of injury and disease. They are routinely kept alive with daily doses of antibiotics.

Antibiotics

Bacteria are everywhere, including on the skin and in the digestive system of humans. While bacteria are critical to normal bodily functions, some types can cause illness. In humans, antibiotics are used to treat health conditions caused by bacteria, including ear and skin infections, food poisoning, pneumonia, meningitis and other serious illnesses. Antibiotics are also used to treat or prevent infections that can complicate critical medical procedures including surgery, cancer therapy, and transplants.

Bottled Water

American consumers drink vast quantities of bottled water, in part because they have bought into the idea that it is somehow safer than tap water. Collectively we spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per gallon for water in plastic bottles, when tap water is generally safer and cleaner than bottled water. By taking back the tap, you can save money, protect your health, and help prevent environmental and social problems as well.

Climate Change

Choosing to eat less meat is one of the most effective personal choices we can make to address climate change. This may come as a surprise. When we think about the climate crisis, we tend to think about fossil fuel or dirty coal-fired powered plants. However, the global food system is responsible for an estimated one-third of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Cloning

Cloning is a scientific process that allows scientists to copy the genetic traits of a plant or animal to create one or more living replicas. In 1996, Scottish scientists successfully created the first mammal ever cloned from an adult cell--a sheep, which they named "Dolly." This followed the 1995 cloning of two sheep from embryonic cells. Cloning is a highly controversial topic.

Dairy

The United States dairy industry produces over 20 billion gallons of milk. This milk is pasteurized and sold, or transformed into cheese, butter, cream and ice cream for consumers in the U.S. and around the world. Many people believe dairy farms are characterized by an agrarian ideal of open grassy pastures, rolling hills, grazing cows and red barns. Unfortunately, today most of our milk is produced in large industrial facilities that hardly resemble that ideal vision.

Food Safety

The significant corporate consolidation of global food production has created a food system that values quantity over quality. Every single decision a farmer or corporation makes about growing or raising a certain kind of food affects the final product. Cutting corners on the quality of animal feed, waste management, training for farm workers, processing methods and distribution all affect the safety of our food. From E. coli in spinach to mad cow disease in beef, it is clear that lowering the bottom line at any cost creates significant concerns about the safety of our food.

Slaughterhouses and Processing

The drastic expansion of industrial animal production in the United States has been accompanied by the rapid consolidation of the meat industry. This industry is now dominated by a handful of huge corporations that process most of the country's meat at enormous facilities, and consolidation continues to increase. As a result, meat packing companies have become increasingly powerful, while the government bodies that regulate them have done little to keep them in line.

Questions to Ask a Beef Farmer

Asking questions is the best way to ensure that you're purchasing sustainably raised, healthy foods, and supporting sustainable farmers. Here are some questions to get you started.

Questions to Ask a Dairy Farmer

Asking questions is the best way to ensure that you're purchasing sustainably raised, healthy foods, and supporting sustainable farmers. Here are some questions to get you started.

Questions to Ask a Farmer

Asking questions is the best way to ensure that you're purchasing sustainably raised, healthy foods, and supporting sustainable farms. Here are some general questions to ask your local farmers. For more in-depth questions, information on why you should be asking them, and the answers you want to hear, download our detailed "Questions to Ask" guides for each type of farm.

Questions to Ask a Hog Farmer

Asking questions is the best way to ensure that you're purchasing sustainably raised, healthy foods, and supporting sustainable farmers. Here are some questions to get you started.

Questions to Ask a Poultry Farmer

Asking questions is the best way to ensure that you're purchasing sustainably raised, healthy foods, and supporting sustainable farmers. Here are some questions to get you started.

Questions to Ask a Store Manager

Asking questions is the best way to ensure that you're purchasing sustainably raised, healthy foods, and supporting sustainable farmers. Here are some questions to get you started.

Sustainable Dinner Party: The Food

Hosting a sustainable dinner party but unsure of where to get your food? Check this out for ideas on places where you can find local, seasonal, organic ingredients!

Sustainable Dinner Party: Theme Ideas

There are essentially two types of dinner parties - the one where you get culinary help from your friends and family (a potluck), and the one where you plan, shop, clean, prepare, cook, serve, and host - all by yourself or with a partner. Check this out for more ideas on how to host a dinner party with a sustainable focus.