Food as the Bridge Between Investment and Philanthropy

My vision for a foundational shift in consumer demand for a new level of quality in the American food system is shared by many, many others whose work is driving important discussion about capital investment that supports local farmers and food producers. 

A prominent voice in this discussion and an activist in the revolution toward “a financial system that serves people and place” is Woody Tasch, founder of Slow Money and chairman of the Slow Money Alliance.  In his keynote address at the Ohio Ecological Food and Farm Conference (OEFFA) this weekend, Woody discussed what he calls “restorative economics”, the bridge between investment and philanthropy being food… basically, “fixing the economy from the ground up.” 

Woody asks, when we attempt to scrutinize where our investment dollars go, can we really know what underlies those securities?  When we make philanthropical decisions about where our dollars go, can we not see supporting and sustaining the very best work being done today in the American food system as an alternative?  Woody says we don’t think about the places we send our money.  Supporting growers, farmers and food producers as investments and as philanthropy is a revolutionary idea that Woody has been promoting for many years. 

In his book, Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money, Woody “presents a path for bringing money back down to Earth – philosophically, strategically, pragmatically – and with an entrepreneurial spirit that is informed by decades of work by the thousands of CEOs, investors, grant makers, food producers and consumers who are seeding the restorative economy.”

“This is the path toward a financial system that serves people and place as much as it serves industry sectors and markets, the path toward the nurture capital industry, serving one million investors investing 1% of their assets in local food systems.”

This investment and philanthropical philosophy is fundamentally distinct from sending our money into securities of unknown origin or quality.  It’s truly allowing food to be the bridge between the two financial worlds, while serving people and places that enrich and enhance our own quality of life.

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