46 COSA Key Note & Roundtable “Urban Food Issues: Access to Organic and Local Food for People of Lower Income”

Oral Session
Special Sessions As was pointed out in our previous roundtable discussion, organic and sustainable agriculture must ensure long-term agricultural resilience and enhance the continued performance of these systems under future economic, social, climatic, and resource limitations (CSANews, Sept., 2011). In furtherance of these goals, COSA would like to address the distribution of organic and local foods to people with lower incomes. There is a perception that nutritious food, including organic, sustainable, and locally-produced foods, are more expensive than less nutritious foods. Agricultural products labeled organic, natural, local or sustainable should be accessible to persons of all income levels. Specifically, we would like to discuss: the role of society in providing access to sustainable and organic agricultural products and how research and policy can be used to bridge these gaps? Are the above assumptions accurate and are there examples that can be drawn from to contradict these paradigms? Other perceptions of nutritious foods are that they are inconvenient, take too much time to purchase and prepare, or don’t taste good. While there are some nutritious foods offered through restaurants and prepared food industries, do these industries generally emphasize conveniences and taste over nutrition? School lunch and food stamp programs have long emphasized nutrition, but to what degree have they been successful in delivering organic, sustainable, and locally-produced foods. Much work remains to make nutritious food, including organic, sustainable, and locally-produced foods available to and accepted by the general public. In support of our roundtable theme, COSA would like to work together with the Tri-Societies to obtain a local catering service that serves local food. After the keynote address, COSA members would conduct their traditional roundtable discussions and report outcome to the main audience.


Agronomic Production Systems
Organic Management Systems Community
Monday, October 22, 2012: 6:00 PM-8:00 PM
Millennium Hotel, Grand Ballroom B, Second Floor

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Ann-Marie Fortuna