This last weekend our fermentionist and co-founder Sash Sunday was at the Tilth Conference. The tagline of the conference this year was ‘The Future is Abundant, ’ and this got us thinking, not only about the future of our business but the future of our regional system. It is likely no surprise that OlyKraut was born from a desire to have a positive impact on our regional food system.
If you are scratching your head and wondering what the heck a food system is, then you are not alone. In the simplest terms, it is the environment, animals, and people that are necessary to produce food and get it to your plate. While this sounds simple enough, it turns out our global food system is anything but simple. Just take a look at this global food system map!
The above map is complex, but it isn’t necessarily healthy. It turns out as we add more and more complexity to a system the more opportunity we create for unaccounted hidden costs in the form of environmental degradation, food inequity, loss of nutritional value, etc. Here at OlyKraut we genuinely believe a more regional food system is the best way to ensure the most healthy, good food for people in the future. When we simplify the system, it becomes easier to support farmers and producers that take care of their land and their people. In turn, we are taking care of ourselves.
Everyday, here at OlyKraut, Sash Sunday and the team ask this straightforward question when making the endless deluge of business decisions required to keep a business going. That question is, does this action or decision allow us to buy more organic, responsibility grown, regional cabbage and produce from the farmers who are taking care of our soil and other resources? We know that when we support these farmers, we are supporting a regional food system we want to be part of; one that is environmentally responsible, fair and accessible, regionally focused, and healthy.
We are not perfect. Running a business is hard, and the decisions are rarely black or white. Sometimes the right decision feels like the wrong decision but we know if we continue to be a successful business we can support more farmers. We believe our farmers are the key to our abundant future.