Overview of Food System Issues

Environment & Sustainability

SUSTAINABLE FOOD PRODUCTION

Sustainable food production uses systems and practices that can be continued indefinitely without depleting non-renewable resources (e.g., soil, energy, biological diversity), causing ecological harm, or widening social inequities (within and across communities, countries, or generations). Certified organic products often—but not always—embody these goals. Groups that promote sustainable agriculture work on changing regulations and policies in order to increase the prevalence of sustainable food production in Southern California, and may also work on educating farmers, food processors, retailers, decision-makers and consumers about sustainable agriculture issues and practices.

Agriculture & Land Based Training Association (ALBA)
www.albafarmers.org

Alliance for Communities for Sustainable Fisheries
Alliance for Communities for Sustainable Fisheries

California Alliance for Family Farmers (CAFF)
http://caff.org/

California Climate and Agriculture Network
http://calclimateag.org/

California Department of Food & Agriculture
http://www.cdfa.ca.gov/

California Federation of Certified Farmers’ Markets
http://www.cafarmersmarkets.com/

California Lobster and Trap Fishermen’s Association
http://www.cltfa.com/

California Wetfish Producers Association
www.californiawetfish.org

CalPoly-Pomona, College of Agriculture
www.csupomona.edu/~agri/

Churchill Orchard
www.tangerineman.com

Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation
http://cehcf.org/

Community Services Unlimited, Inc. (CSU)
http://www.csuinc.org/

Coosemans Shipping
www.coosemans.com/shipping/

Earth Flow Design Works
www.earthflow.com

Earthworks Farm

Fair Trade Los Angeles
http://www.farmvetco.org/

Farmscape
www.farmscapegardens.com

Farmworks LA

Food Commons
www.trustforconservationinnovation.org

FreshPoint Southern California
www.freshpoint.com

Heath & LeJeune
http://www.soullyorganic.com/

Homegirl Café
http://www.homegirlcafe.org/

L.A. Green Grounds
http://lagreengrounds.org/

LA County Agricultural Commissioner
http://acwm.co.la.ca.us/

McGrath Family Farms
http://www.mcgrathfamilyfarm.com/

Menlo Lab
http://menlolabcommunities.com/home

Metabolic Studio
metabolicstudio.org

Model Neighborhood Program
www.lacienegafarmersmarket.com

National Resource Defense Council
http://www.nrdc.org/

O.C. Produce
http://ocproduce.com/

Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Association
http://www.pcffa.org/

Pacific Institute
http://www.pacinst.org/

Pesticide Action Network
http://www.panna.org/

Pesticide Watch Education Fund/The California Food Project
http://www.pesticidewatch.org/events

Pew Environment Group
http://www.pewenvironment.org/

Pierce College – Agriculture Department
http://www.piercecollege.edu/

Proyecto Jardin
laeastside.com/2009/03/proyecto-jardin/

Real Food Challenge (California Region)
www.sustainabilitycoalition.org/projects/

Santa Monica Farmers’ Market
www.smgov.net/portals/farmersmarket/

Save Open Space and Agricultural Resources (SOAR)
http://www.soarusa.org/

Seed Library of Los Angeles
http://www.slola.org

Silver Lake Farms
http://www.silverlakefarms.com/

Slow Food Los Angeles
http://slowfoodla.com/

Social Justice Learning Institute
http://www.sjli-cp.org/

South Central Farmers
www.southcentralfarmers.com

Sustainable Agricuture and Food Systems Funders
http://www.safsf.org/index.asp

The Humane Society
http://www.humanesociety.org/

UC Agricultural Sustainability Institute- Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program
http://www.sarep.ucdavis.edu/

UC Cooperative Extension- LA County
celosangeles.ucdavis.edu

United Farm Workers
http://www.ufw.org/

Urban Green LA
http://www.urbangreenla.com/

Urban Homestead- Path to Freedom
http://urbanhomestead.org/

Ventura County Farm Bureau
http://www.farmbureauvc.com/

Weiser Family Farms
http://www.weiserfamilyfarms.com/

West Central Produce
http://www.westcentralproduce.com/

Western Growers Association
http://www.wga.com/index.php

Whittier College
http://www.whittier.edu/

Whole Foods
www.wholefoodsmarket.com

 

FARMLAND CONSERVATION & ENVIRONMENTAL STEWARDSHIP

Farmland conservation and environmental stewardship are important elements to making sure that good food is also environmentally sustainable food. As the population of Southern California grows, more and more farmland is lost to urban development, which reduces potential animal habitat and pushes food production further away from the consumers who live at the urban core. Also, the drive to produce massive quantities of food at low prices can lead to host of serious environmental consequences, including: the loss of natural ecosystems, toxins from pesticides and fertilizers, pollution from fossil-fueled farm equipment, groundwater contamination, conflicts over water rights, the use of genetically engineered crops, reliance on livestock antibiotics and hormones, and the impacts of fumes and runoff from industrial feed lots. The many organizations that tackle these conservation and environmental issues conduct research, advocate for policy changes, and use public education to raise the awareness of consumers, farmers and government decision-makers.

 

American Farmland Trust (AFT)
http://www.farmland.org/

Antelope Valley Conservancy
www.avconservancy.org

Antioch University
www.antiochla.edu

Arroyos and Foothills Conservancy
www.arroyosfoothills.org

Backwards Beekeepers
www.backwardsbeekeepers.com

Border Grill
www.bordergrill.com

California Climate and Agriculture Network
http://calclimateag.org/

California Rangeland Trust
http://www.rangelandtrust.org/

California State Polytechnic University, College of Environmental Design
www.csupomona.edu/~env/

Center for Natural Lands Management
http://cnlm.org/cms/

Center for Race, Poverty and the Environment (CRPE)
http://www.crpe-ej.org/crpe/

City of Los Angeles- Office of Sustainability
http://mayor.lacity.org/Issues/Environment/index.htm

Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation
http://cehcf.org/

Climate Action Reserve
http://www.climateactionreserve.org/

Coastal Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE)
www.coastalalliance.com

Earth Flow Design Works
www.earthflow.com

Earth Resource Foundation
http://www.earthresource.org/

Ecology Center
http://www.ecologycenter.org/

Environment NOW
www.environmentnow.org

Environmental Working Group
http://www.ewg.org/

Food & Water Watch
http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/

Green LA Coalition
http://greenlacoalition.org/

LA Conservation Corps
http://www.lacorps.org/

Los Angeles County Farm Bureau
http://www.lacfb.org/

Los Angeles Neighborhood Land Trust (LANLT)
http://www.lanlt.org/

McGrath Family Farms
http://www.mcgrathfamilyfarm.com/

National Resource Defense Council
http://www.nrdc.org/

South Central Farmers
http://www.southcentralfarmers.com/

Sustainable Agricuture and Food Systems Funders
http://www.safsf.org/index.asp

The Trust for Public Land
http://www.tpl.org/

Tree People
http://www.treepeople.org/

UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability
http://www.environment.ucla.edu/

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)- Rural Development
http://www.rurdev.usda.gov/Home.html

Urban Semillas
www.urbansemillas.com

USC/UCLA- Southern California Environmental Health Sciences Center
hydra.usc.edu/scehsc/

Ventura County Farm Bureau
www.farmbureauvc.com

Weiser Family Farms
www.weiserfamilyfarms.com

 

FOOD WASTE & COMPOSTING

Addressing food waste is an important part of creating a truly sustainable good food system. The food chain may start in agricultural fields, but it doesn’t necessarily end at someone’s plate. Food is actually the largest single source of waste in California, comprising 15.5% of the state’s waste stream, according to the California Integrated Waste Management Board.i In fact, about 40% of the food produced in the United States is never consumed—it is wasted.ii By eliminating food waste, we can conserve natural resources, reduce the burden on landfills, and generate valuable compost. Furthermore, redirecting surplus food can help feed thousands of hungry people. In general, the organizations working on food waste issues fall into two categories. Municipal sanitation departments often take the lead on encouraging restaurants, grocery stores, and city residents to compost their food waste instead of putting in the garbage. Meanwhile, food banks and anti-hunger organizations usually head up efforts to collect edible surplus foods from large food service providers, such as local government agencies and schools, and bring them to food pantries and shelters.

 

City of Los Angeles- Community Redevelopment Agency of Los Angeles (CRA/LA)
http://www.crala.org/

Earth Resource Foundation
http://www.earthresource.org/

Farmers’ Market Recovery Program

Farmworks LA

Heath & LeJeune
www.soullyorganic.com

Homegirl Café
http://www.homegirlcafe.org/

Hunger Action L.A.
http://www.hungeractionla.org/

Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE)
http://www.laane.org/

Los Angeles Unified School District- Food Services Division
http://cafe-la.lausd.net/

Malibu Compost
http://malibucompost.com/

Metabolic Studio
metabolicstudio.org

Santa Monica Farmers’ Market
www.smgov.net

Social Justice Learning Institute
http://www.sjli-cp.org/

Teamsters Local 630
http://www.teamsters630.org/

Whittier College
http://www.whittier.edu/