“Everyone is an investor in food.” That’s the motto of Slow Money NYC, and it has rung true for me from the first time I heard it. As I started learning how interconnected everything is in life, the principles of Slow Money (a national organization that has inspired local groups like Slow Money NYC as well as a broader movement to investing in a sustainable food system) made a lot of sense.
The idea of connecting “where our food comes from with where our money goes” is simple but powerful, and addresses the challenges created by the industrial food and global finance systems. Relationships, communities and the environment matter. Farmers, place-based food entrepreneurs and healthy soil matter.
Don’t think you’re a food investor?
Every time you buy food, you are voting with your dollars. Those dollars directly support the business that produced and supplied the food.
When you cook and prepare meals, you are investing your time and energy for the delight and health of you and your family.
If you have a bank account, then your deposited money is being loaned out and financing businesses, many of which could be related to food.
If you have money invested in a mutual fund, it’s very likely that some of the companies you own are connected to the food system, whether they are producing pesticides and GMO seeds or organic yogurt and baby food.
The bottom line: You are an investor in food. And every investment has an impact.
According to the World Wildlife Fund, we will need to produce as much food in the next 40 years as we have in the last 8,000 to sustain a growing global population. If the status quo—of food, health, environment and well-being—is good for you, then stop reading. However, if you believe that there is an urgent need to improve our food system and an opportunity to so, then let’s get started.
First, slow down. There’s a reason that concept is embraced by the Slow Food movement as well as Slow Money (which was inspired by it). Slowing down allows you to reflect and learn, create new relationships and co-create a new status quo.
Second, think about aligning your money and values. It’s not that hard to do if you know where to look.
Here are some steps you can take…
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