Visiting author encourages local food

Joshua Farmer

The director of the Green Mountain College Farm and Food Project spoke to Appalachian State students Monday night in Plemmons Student Union about locally produced food.

Philip Ackerman-Leist, the director, shared ideas from his new book titled, “Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local Sustainable and Secure Food Systems.”

Ackerman-Leist shared his insights on the national food industry’s shortcomings based on two decades of experience working on farms, in sustainability classrooms, and with regional food system collaborators.

Using Watauga County as an example of a regional foodshed, Ackerman-Leist approached students with the idea that supporting local farmers and food producers consequently strengthens the local economy, thereby improving community living standards over time.

Ackerman-Leist cited Watauga County’s seasonal farmer’s market, located at the Horn in the West, between May and October and local food providers as grassroots solutions toward improving the overall quality of food and decreasing energy demands required to transport it.

“Students have power in numbers, and programs such as ‘The Real Food Challenge’ can help mobilize like-minded individuals to work towards more efficient and sustainable local foodsheds,” Ackerman-Leist said.

Ackerman-Leist addressed questions about the importance of buying organic, and whether it was in students’ best interests to pay extra for.

More than one third of energy consumed on U.S. farms is attributed to the use of pesticides and fertilizer—additives that make foods inorganic, Ackerman-Leist said.

Philip Ackerman-Leist’s newest book, “Rebuilding the Foodshed: How to Create Local Sustainable and Secure Food Systems,” is available in the University Bookstore.

Story: NOLEN NYCHAY, Intern News Reporter