Food Sustainability

As Vermont’s food and nutrition leaders, we would like to help you make decisions regarding you food choices with consideration for inclusivity as well as environmental, economic and social implications that impact Vermont’s food sufficiency and sustainability. 

Definition of Food Sustainability:  Sustain means to hold something.  Sustainability means capable of being maintained over the long term and meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. (From ADA Position Statement 2007 J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107:1033-1043) Sustainability recognizes interdependence of people, culture, economy in both urbanized and rural environments.  Foods that are "closer to nature" have a lower impact on the environment. 

The ADA encourages environmentally responsible practices that conserve natural resources, minimize the quantity of waste generated, and support the ecological sustainability of the food system- the process of food production, transformation, distribution, access, and consumption.  The ADA supports programs and encourages practices that combat hunger and malnutrition, produce food security, promote self-sufficiency, respect local cultures, and are environmentally and economically sustainable.

What is a sustainable diet?
This is a diet which is composed of foods that contribute to human health and also encourage the sustainability of food production.  (From ADA Position Statement 2007 J Am Diet Assoc. 2007;107:1033-1043). 

Where does your food come from?   
What is an Ecological Footprint? An analysis process which accounts for the flow of energy and matter to and from any defined economy and converts these into the corresponding land/water area required from nature to support these flows. (Wackernagel & Rees. 1996).  How big is your Ecological Footprint?

Where to start and what to do?
Reduce waste (food and packaging); buy or eat seasonally (choose local). 

Check out the following links to help you make a positive impact regarding your local food choices.

Support our Local Farmers

Check out the Vermont Agency of Agriculture. (link) The site lists all farmers markets, farm stands, pick your own farms, and CSAs in Vermont by county as well as by type of food and market.  

In over 50 communities across the state, what began as a gathering of a few local growers has grown into a community event. From the Farmers Market first crop of tender asparagus in the spring to September's pumpkin harvest, you can buy it fresh from the grower. As farmers' markets have grown, so has the selection of goods for sale. Markets typically feature fresh baked goods, specialty foods, arts and crafts, and of course a wide variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, cheese, eggs, meat and maple syrup. Many markets feature live music and activities such as sheep shearing, weaving and spinning.

Local Farming and Sustainable Food Resources link
Gardening Resources link
Healthcare and Community Action Resources link

Nutrition Experts in Vermont