Contributing Factors

Solutions happen one consumer – or farm or restaurant – at a time

When the concept of a Green Issue first showed up on the story calendar, the magnitude of coverage possibilities to consider in the world of food was overwhelming. Should we cover organic farms, local artisan food producers, the impact of the new farm bill being considered in Congress, environmentally conscious restaurants, the National Animal Identification System controversy, the energy consumption inherent in international produce distribution, or what? Luckily, my focus was sharpened by a conversation with area farmer Kim Alexander. He spoke eloquently about making himself part of the solution rather than waiting for someone else – be it some government entity or even our neighbors – to solve problems. That conversation reminded me of a saying encouraging individuals to "be the change you would like to see in the world," and the thread connecting the elements of our story became evident. Barbara Chisholm, Kate Thornberry, and I interviewed some local farmers, food producers, and restaurateurs about how they are implementing the changes they would like to see in the world. By no means are these the only folks in Austin making a personal effort to be part of the solution, but they've got some inspiring stories to share.

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