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10 Cities That Are Sustainable Food Vanguards

EmmamHowe MA, United States 0 Ratings 13 Discussions 8 Group posts

Posted by: EmmamHowe // Marketing/Green Policy Development

With the world population expected to rise from 7.4 billion to a whopping 11.2 billion by 2011, a serious and significant question has been percolating through the international community: how are we going to feed all of these people? Our current food system is highly flawed, and is mostly dependent on the use of fossil fuels and chemical fertilizers. These fuels can greatly harm our health and the health of the environment, which is already in danger of human-caused climate change. Thus, a move towards sustainable food in the upcoming years will be crucial for managing the ever-growing population’s health and environmental security.

Fortunately, some cities are already making the shift to sustainable food systems, serving as vanguards for the movement. They seek to provide healthy, sustainable choices, minimize environmental impacts, and serve as models for the broader public health community. Check out the top 10 most Sustainable Food Cities Below (in alphabetical order):

1. Amsterdam, Denmark: Amsterdam has long been known as a sustainable food city, and the city has now tackled another component of their food system: transportation. Through the company, Foodlogica, Amsterdam seeks to provide e-tricycles to move local food from farms to shops and restaurants, linking local food, consumers and businesses throughout the city while at the same time reducing emissions, congestion, and pollution. The revolutionary program will solve both environmental concerns and congestion issues in the city.

2. Austin, TA: Austin has recently been at the epicenter of both the “green” and “foodie” world. Austin’s Sustainable Food Center has strengthened the local food system and has improved access to nutritious, affordable food. SFC envisions a food secure community where all children and adults grow, share and prepare healthy, local food. Whether it’s growing their own food, meeting local farmers, or learning to cook seasonally and nutritiously, citizens can actively engage in creating a more sustainable food system.

3. Boston, MA: Boston has recently launched Project Bread, their local, sustainable food plan focused on collaborating with others to build Massachusetts’ robust regional food system. They’ve created projects like food rescue, double value coupons at farmers markets, subsidized CSA shares, farm to school and urban boost community food security and wellbeing policies. Also, every Sunday in May to October, Boston holds the SoWa farmers market, CSA, and local food truck festival, celebrating farm fresh, organic food and local vendors.

4. Bristol, UK: In March of 2016, Bristol received the top award from the Sustainable Food City Network, recognizing the pioneering work in the city to promote healthy and sustainable food. Bristol has been working towards making its food system healthier and more resilient for over two decades, and collaborative working is at the heart of the city’s success. The Bristol Food Policy Council brings together a wide range of stakeholders from businesses, community groups and public bodies who want to improve Bristol’s food system.

5. Calgary, UK: Calgary EATS! Is a sustainable and resilient food system in the Calgary region making sure that every Calgarian has access to local, healthy and environmentally friendly food. By 2036, the EATS team aims to increase consumption of local food to 30 percent, and have 100 percent of the city’s food supply be a product of sustainable practices. These targets were set based on feedback from Calgary citizens who saw food sustainability initiatives as some of the most important for their city.

6. Edinburgh, Scotland: With the ambitious goal of becoming “the most sustainable food city in the UK,” Edinburgh has launched Edible Edinburgh, a plan focused on the health and wellbeing of its citizens, the environment, land use, and the city’s economy. They believe that a city where good food is available for all is bound to make healthy people, thriving communities and a sustainable environment.

7. Newcastle: Food Newcastle is an independent non-profit leading a movement of organizations and individuals demanding a healthier food culture in Newcastle. They are open to everyone with a passion for making fresh, affordable and local food a defining characteristic of their city. Newcastle is also striving to become the “World’s First Sustainable Fish City”; Newcastle University has even signed a Sustainable Fish Pledge, declaring that they will only serve sustainable seafood.

8. Oakland, CA: Organizations like the Oakland Food Policy Council, the HOPE Collaborative, and City Slicker Farms are working to improve the food system in the city by tackling issues including urban farming, regional food hubs, and food security for its residents. Oakland has made priority food policy initiatives, including economic security & development, local and sustainable food procurement, urban agriculture, urban community gardens, and healthy, organic food access.

9. Portland, OR: Portland has topped the charts in terms of being seen as a sustainable, foodie paradise. The James Beard Public Market will create 45,000 square feet of vendor space selling fresh food, beverages, and flowers by 2018. The market will focus on sustainability, utilizing solar panels and green roofing, as well as concentrating on cutting down food waste. The market will feature more than 50 permanent vendors, 40 day tables, full-service restaurants, a teaching kitchen and a green event space!

10. Seattle, WA: Seattle is constantly adopting new policies and programs to improve the city’s food sustainability. The city has implemented the Parks Urban Food System, the P-patch Community Garden Program, and the Food and Farms roundtable in an effort to promote environmental awareness, allow access to healthy food, as well as support sustainable agriculture and incentivize local food providers. In addition to providing community gardens, the city encourages residents to beautify their streets by growing food in planting strips along sidewalks.

Thus, there is hope that as more cities make the shift to more sustainable food programs, the world will be able to mitigate negative climatological effects as well provide nourishment for the expanding population. You can also take sustainable steps as both a purchaser and consumer by choosing local, healthy, environmentally responsible food the next time you decide to go out to eat or go to the supermarket.

For more information on these cities’ food programs see:



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