Bethesda Green focused on food in its May e-newsletter.  Here’s a slightly expanded version of Executive Director Dave Feldman’s short essay on the topic:

Do you think of food when you think of “green”?  You should.

A few months ago, Bethesda Green launched its Sustainable Food Working Group to provide, among other things, information about Why Eat Local and Organic Food and connections to Sustainable Food in Bethesda and Montgomery County.

There are many debates around food and its importance for the way we live. Let me focus on two issues: local and organic.  The food we eat travels an average of 1500 miles. That’s a long distance and a large carbon footprint for something so vital to our daily lives. Alternatively, buying food grown and raised closer to home is fresher and tastes better (less preservatives), helps maintain farmland and green space in your area, (1/3 of Montgomery County is set aside as agriculture reserve), supports the local economy (farmers, distributors artisans and locally-owned purveyors and restaurants) and promotes food safety (less people handling reduces likelihood of contamination). Local food is available in a broader variety through farmers markets or community-supported agriculture programs (CSAs) and creates community, connecting you to the people who raise and grow it.

Organic food is made according to certain production standards.  Though definitions vary, most “organic” certifications eliminate or greatly reduce the use of conventional non-organic pesticides, insecticides and herbicides.  In short, it helps keep chemicals out of the air, water, soil and importantly, our bodies. For more information, visit organicfoodinfo.net or organic.org.

This month we highlight three leaders in local, healthy “green” food:  MOM’s Organic Market, Whole Foods and Sweetgreen. Each partners with Bethesda Green to promote a healthier, better lifestyle.

Lastly, thanks to everyone for their generosity in supporting our recent fundraising campaign. We raised about $2,000 through individual donations, a nice start toward our $50,000 annual target. We have a ways to go so please consider supporting us.  Your contributions are vital to future programs.  We accept donations through PayPal or by check mailed to us at 4825 Cordell Aveneu, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814.  Thank you.

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