Organic Consumers Association

Campaigning for health, justice, sustainability, peace, and democracy

The Good Food Evolution

That's because most Americans still believe we have no alternative to the food produced by agribusinesses who care as little about our health as they do about the health of the chickens, turkeys, cows and pigs, so tightly packed in pens and cages on factory farms that the floor is scarcely visible, and where visible, is covered with excrement.

Fortunately, another healthier agriculture has been emerging in the last few decades.

This good food evolution has usually been started by grassroots individuals who grew up in rural communities and now live in cities.

In Detroit, for example, African American elders raised in the South saw the vacant lots in our deteriorating neighborhoods not as blight but as opportunities to plant community gardens that would also give city kids a sense of the time and patience that are a normal part of country life and that human beings now need for our continuing evolution. Detroiter Gerald Hairston, who grew up in W.Virginia. brought these elders together, and called them "Gardening Angels."

When we started Detroit Summer in 1992, a program to involve Detroit youth in rebuilding, redefining, and respiriting Detroit from the ground up, these Gardening Angels provided the agricultural experience and skills needed to reconnect city youth with the Earth. Out of this reconnection of country and city, of oldsters and youngsters, the Detroit urban agricultural movement was born.  


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