Agriculture is a necessary industry because, after all, we all need (and love) to eat. But as the human population continues to increase, sustainable agricultural practices become more difficult to uphold — but also more necessary.
The University of Oregon’s Urban Farm offers a model of productive land use that integrates sustainable growing practices with community learning. Every quarter a small group of students participates in cultivating their own produce as part of the curriculum — many of our own garden-savvy members have plowed the earth, grown the vegetables, and enjoyed the tasty delicacies of this garden.
With this kinship to sustainable agriculture, our team made the decision to center an issue of Envision around not only the Urban Farm, but different aspects of the agricultural industry on a broader scale. As we worked, new information on how the food industry personally affects us emerged — and that is what takes root within these pages.
“We are like children around our meat,” said Jonathan Tepperman, founder of the Eugene Meat Collective. This collective is a place where locals can buy animals directly from farmers and learn how to break them down into meat themselves.
Oregon has a little bit of everything when it comes to agriculture: from berries, peaches, kale, and green beans to meat, eggs, and honey. With so many options to choose from that are planted in local soil, it is only natural that Oregonians crave local food.
As you roam through your local grocery store, many decisions are subconsciously being made. Do you choose your groceries based on price? Based on what seems healthiest? Based on brands you know and trust? Based on what says “organic”? Or based on what you see first?
No GMOs! Organic! Umm…great? More and more companies have been jumping on these trends, reassuring consumers that products from orange juice to cat litter are non-GMO and organic. But what do these terms entail? And should we actively seek out these products?
"Genius, curiosity, and lots of money." These, according to plans for the $1 billion Phil and Penny Knight Campus for Accelerating Scientific Impact, are what it takes to craft a "cutting-edge research center."