The rise of globalization brought the death of US manufacturing, and with it the rapid decay of many cities across the US.
However, what is left out of this storyline is the role that our broken industrial food supply chain played in their decline, and the perpetuation of their socioeconomic issues.
Verdant family farms and vibrant localized food economies gave way to centralized, corporate controlled, and government subsidized, industrial operations, creating a massive physical and emotional disconnect with the origins of our food.
It is easy to ignore these issues. However, from producer to consumer, we all share responsibility in the sustainability of our food system. In the words of Wendell Berry, "Eating is an agricultural act," or the late Brother David Andrews, "eating is a moral act," and Michael Pollan adds, "It is also an ecological act, and a political act, too." Ultimately, these quotes underline the core principle that food is much more than a vehicle for bodily nutrients; it is a profound microcosm of humanity's relationship with the natural world. Thus, we must educate our communities to be active consumers and vote honest and sustainable food with every dollar at the cash register.
At UP we believe that local production for a local market fosters a more intimate connection between the origins of our food. We also strive to challenge our perceptions of who is a farmer and what is a farm as our complex global food system evolves.