Why is food gardening rising in popularity again? There are many reasons, but one of the biggest is the growing awareness that how food is produced affects its quality and our environment. John Ikerd, professor emeritus at the University of Missouri, estimates that up to one-third of the public wants safer, better-tasting food. “They do not trust the safety and healthfulness of food in the supermarkets or fast-food restaurants ... and do not like the way industrial food systems treat farmers, farm workers, farm animals or natural ecosystems and the environment.”
The Slow Food movement has helped raise awareness regarding food quality. Founded in 1989, Slow Food (www.SlowFood.com) is a member-supported organization that seeks “to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local food traditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastes and how our food choices affect the rest of the world.” The 100-Mile Diet (Vintage Canada, 2007) by Alisa Smith and J.B. MacKinnon advocates eating locally grown, organic food, and is an excellent source of information about the connection between food production and food quality.