Sustainability highly depends on where we live, what we have access to, and what we can afford.
Sustainability is context specific, which is why information on eating, diet, and how to source your food gets extremely complex, and often irrelevant because it is not tailored to where you live, and what’s produced in your region.
This project aims to take a proper step in that direction by offering a guide on eating sustainably, based on your location. Because sustainable food systems are rooted in nature, in communities, and in hardworking farmers and producers. Not in high-level data or far removed academic studies that fail to capture that complexity.
And while science and expertise are critical foundations for this project, a local lens is used to apply research and science for context- helping consumers focus on what they care about, what’s relevant to them, and where they live.
Furthermore, thus far, labels and certifications have failed to really help us in making more sustainable choices. Labels tend to focus on one thing: animal welfare, organic production, fair trade, etc., instead of looking at the whole picture. Another big component of this project is to create a new kind of “sustainability” rating that takes into account the big picture of sustainability, and the critical components of a sustainable food system based on research and best practices. Then, highlight the companies that doing great work, or are changing for the better, while helping consumers avoid those that are still stuck in destructive systems.
Some things to come and look out for!
In addition to the “9 rules” guide, in the works are some simple and easy tools that will provide you the steps and resources you need to meet all of the 9!
- A comprehensive farmers market map in the US, that includes opening/closing dates, days of the week and hours open, and what forms of payment are accepted which will be updated in real-time (only show the ones currently open/active).
- An interactive quiz that checks the sustainability of your diet (who doesn’t like quizzes?!) .
- A checklist of actionable items based off the “9 rules’, which are steps that you can take towards a more sustainable table.
- A “sustainability” rating of popular grocery store items and companies. The ratings will come form a system based on research and some fancy shmancy modeling (actually not that shmancy) that will evaluate several criteria including: types of certification, environmental impact, water use, worker welfare, green house gas emissions, seasonality, locality, and others.
- A list of programs that help low-income individuals and families with access to fresh, nutritious food.