By: Vincenzo Sisti, Co-Founder at SunFlower LLC
First and foremost, I want to start off by saying we hope everyone is staying safe and healthy during these difficult days. Our hearts go out to the entire world and anyone who has been or is currently being impacted by this pandemic.
Growing up in the rural town of Gilmanton, NH, I’ve been lucky enough to live on a farm and be surrounded by countless other farmers who provide necessary dietary needs to the community, such as farm raised meats, eggs, cheeses and a wide array of produce! A recent analysis taken by a third party showed that there are 51 farms in Gilmanton, NH alone! It helps knowing that when I wake up everyday - even if the grocery store is out of stock or limiting access to patrons - I can call upon my neighbors to fill my fridge and, therefore, my belly!
That being said, so many people around the state, country and globe do not have access to locally-sourced or produced goods, as we do in the town of Gilmanton. This pandemic has shown communities worldwide the importance of creating and supporting local food-sourcing infrastructure, as well as the need for year-round and efficient farming techniques and capabilities.
At SunFlower LLC, localized food sourcing is critical to our mission, as is solarizing farms and local agriculture to enable lower operating costs, which in turn will help their bottom lines and annual revenues. We are rapidly moving towards creating and implementing microgrids for self-sufficient energy use and resilience within municipalities, educational systems and large business parks. We want communities to have the ability to provide for their members and enable healthy eating habits, in addition to giving access to localized energy solutions, all while keeping the environment in mind.
There are numerous positive benefits to creating an efficient and localized food distribution and sourcing network, including:
Lowered carbon footprints resulting from the distribution and transportation of these commodities. Localized food sourcing means less driving, which in turn can translate into reduced CO2 emissions (so long as the method of farming is also efficient).
Expanded opportunities to educate children and adults alike on the health benefits of nutrient balance in their daily diet. Whether it be direct from the farmers mouth or through lesson plans developed for your local school curriculum, these programs could highlight the importance of local produce commodities and the lives of people doing hard work behind the scenes.
Economic positives - such as increased employment opportunities, diversified worker skill sets and the simple fact that money generated in a local community tends to stay within the community.
According to the FDA, approximately 15% of our food in the United States is currently imported from other countries. According to an article from WorldAtlas, 1 in 6 people around the globe rely on imported foods. Imagine the environmental benefits that could result from a localized food supply chain, not to mention the web of other economic benefits that are harder to tease out!
We encourage you to support your local farmers, natural foods stores and small businesses to ensure that the economic fallout from this global pandemic is minimized within your home community!
Stay healthy and shine on!
Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition. “Safety of Imported Foods.”U.S. Food and Drug Administration, FDA, 20 Apr. 2017, www.fda.gov/food/cfsan-constituent-updates/advancing-safety-imported-food
Cago , Lanessa. "Countries Most Dependent On Others For Food." WorldAtlas, Dec. 5, 2017, worldatlas.com/articles/the-countries-importing-the-most-food-in-the-world.html