Thanksgiving is Prime Time to Help Transform Nation's Food System

Don Shaffer SoundbiteThere aren't many weeks when Americans are more focused on food than this one. That means it's prime time to put your money where your mouth is and help transform the nation's food system by buying local, organic and sustainably-sourced food. And, it's getting easier to do.

RSF Social Finance CEO Don Shaffer said the sustainable food movement is gaining significant ground.

"There's a lot of momentum right now among consumers, whether it's for health reasons, or for supporting local farmers, or for reasons of helping the economy," Shaffer said. "They want to figure out how they can buy more local and buy more organic."

More Americans are connecting the dots when it comes to the impact of food on their health, the environment and their local economy, he said, and this is a good week to think about making a difference.

"Where is that turkey coming from? Where is that lettuce coming from? Where is that cranberry sauce coming from? If it's possible to support local farmers, and if it's possible to buy organic, there are all kinds of positive impacts that come from that," Shaffer said.

For its part, RSF Social Finance keeps a focus on investing in businesses that work to improve the food system and connect farmers with urban consumers who often do not have access to the freshest or healthiest choices. One such company in Philadelphia, Common Market, is distributing food from small family farms to city hospitals and schools.

"Parents can know that instead of their kids eating just orange drink and pizza, they're going to be getting food that's tasty, that they'll actually eat and that is exponentially more nutritious and healthy for them," he said, "and you have the double bonus of supporting small farms."

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