Sustainable Foods Project


The Sustainable Food Project is a year-long initiative designed to increase awareness and understanding of issues around sustainable food systems.  WSU faculty and staff members, working with community members involved in local foods and sustainable farming, will offer a variety of opportunities throughout the academic year to engage students and faculty in this study. These include on- and off-campus events incorporating farms, film, food, literature, science, wildlife, and policy as examples of the multi-disciplinary approach that is at the heart of this effort. There is logistical and financial help with planning trips to area farms, bringing in guest lecturers, and other means by which the learning community can be enriched to the benefit of the larger community for years to come.

The intent is for there to be long-term ramifications of this year-long study of the complexities of sustainable food systems – a food system that is both community-based and at the juncture of history, literature, business, recreation, tourism, the arts, nutrition, agriculture, ecology and society.

Working Definitions


  1. Sustainable: a practice that continues indefinitely while improving the economic, environmental, and social landscape of a place.
  2. Local Foods: money circulates in this community; food is farm-identified. Food may cost more but is more nutritious and benefits local community members. Food that is grown, produced, and sold within a region whereby the farmer and processor see more of the price paid by the consumer and everyone participates in a more environmentally sustainable and socially just means of eating.
  3. Sustainable Food Systems: Food systems that do not degrade the environment or the community and that are less fossil fuel dependent, thereby contributing to the economic and physical well-being of the community.  Sustainable food systems integrate production, sales, distribution, and preparation of food to the benefit of the landscape, the community, and the economy.
    [This is the goal that sustainable food producers aspire to; nobody is totally there yet, however.]

Farm Tours for Classes


Faculty are encouraged to arrange farm tours for their classes, where students can get a first hand look at a working farm and have the chance to talk to local farmers. For information on setting up a class farm tour, visit the Farm tours page.