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Beating out New York City, the small Tennessee town of Signal Mountain is the first in the nation to pass a Green Food Resolution. But, just what does a Green Food Resolution mean for farmers, consumers, and even the livestock themselves? Read on to find out more. Farm Sanctuary, the organization fueling these resolutions is looking for more towns and yours just might be next.For starters,
a Green Food Resolution is, "an ordinance designed to counteract the massive health and environmental damage created by large-scale factory farms and the meat industry, by encouraging local farms, plant-based diets, ecological sustainability and nutritious eating habits."In the case of Signal Mountain, the leaders all agree that steps need to be taken to not just promote but to ensure that local, organic, plant-based food is given priority.
And in this case, the pen truly is mightier than the sword because this all started when one local columnist, David Cook, suggested the town of Signal Mountain consider adopting such a resolution. The article then caught the eye of local councilman Paul M. Hendricks, who submitted the idea to the five member council where it passed unanimously. Hendricks, the councilmember who launched the initiative, is also a physician and immediately connected with the idea of doing something to support healthier food choices and healthier methods of food production.
What Does a Green Food Resolution Do?
A Green Food Resolution has several objectives, one being to lower the carbon footprint of the agriculture industry (and the town) by paying more attention to how food is treated. There is an emphasis on using fewer (or none) chemicals, pesticides, fertilizers, etc that will just end up in local water supplies. In addition, the resolution is a way for communities to organize their production and sale of food. With an emphasis on growing organic, locally-grown and plant-based foods - the plant-based being particularly important as it is "much less detrimental to the environment than is animal agriculture."
In the case of Signal Mountain, their GFR
RESOLVED that the Signal Mountain Council promotes expansions of the number of Farmers' Markets, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs, Community Gardens, and other venues for providing healthful plant-based foods, and encourages food retailers to offer more plant-based options.
The town of Signal Mountain is not new to the green scene. While a smaller town, (pop: roughly 7,000), they are members of the US Conference of Mayor's Agreement on Climate Change, which aims to reduce the carbon footprint of a city or town. Plus, many of the local farmers are members of CSA's (Community Supported Agriculture programs).
Who will pass a GFR next? Well, in June, New York City proposed a similar resolution which would lower their carbon footprint as well as make local, fresh, healthy food more readily available, particularly in low-income areas and at city-run institutions. At this time, the resolution is still pending. Alexandria, VA is also considering a similar proposal and while it looks promising, there is no word yet.
Farm Sanctuary is an organization that works to expose and education the public about the abuses of factory farming. In addition, they provide lifelong care for rescued and abused animals. If you would like to find out more about Green Food Resolutions or even propose one for your town, Farm Sanctuary is ready to help and has a website full of research and tips.