Planet Diversity World Congress on the Future of Food and Agriculture

Local food for every one

harvesting squash

Organisation: Local Foods Connection
Contact: localfoodsconnection(at)

Johnny and I agree that the slices of turnip, steamed thoroughly, are mushy but sweet. They taste like cooked cauliflower and would make a good addition to mashed potatoes. The raw and bitter pieces of turnips remind Johnny of wasabi or horseradish. For me, the acrid smell of baking turnips makes me lose my appetite for the root vegetable altogether. At the end of the afternoon, we are full of turnips and full of suggestions for how to (and not to) prepare them. Although turnips began their journey to America thousands of years ago in faraway lands, they are considered a local vegetable in the Midwest. Turnips grow well in our soil and enjoy our harsh climate. Our small family farmers like turnips because they are attractive and fill baskets of produce on display at farmer's markets. Turnips are virtually absent in the American diet, so Johnny and I are preparing a pamphlet to introduce the vegetable to our clients in hopes they will actually be happy to see them in the weekly deliveries of farm fresh produce they receive during Iowa's growing season.

We are members of Local Foods Connection, a nonprofit organization that purchases food from farmers who use earth-friendly farming methods. We donate this delicious food to low-income people in our community. By paying farmers full price for their goods, we support the local food economy. By giving this food to low-income individuals who cannot afford high-quality, safe food, we improve their diets. We know our clients have busy, stressful lives, and we warn them that often they will need to put more time into preparing fresh food than they do the processed food with which they are more familiar. However, we believe they will become stronger and happier people when they are reconnected to the basics of food and plant life. So we prepare educational materials for them, such as the turnip pamphlet. We respect our farmers and our clients, and we teach them to respect the earth, their bodies, our food and each other.


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Local Organising Committee