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Laurie David

Laurie David

Posted: December 4, 2009 01:24 PM

The Growing Green Awards...Need You!

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Nothing is more personal or plays a bigger role in our health than the food we eat three times a day, every day. Yet the food we bring into our homes is often compromised by pesticides, dangerous factory-farm practices, and a host of other problems that threaten our bodies, our families and our planet.

It doesn't have to be this way. We know how to produce food in a more sustainable way. Its time for a little recognition to those who recognize this and have said "no way" to our current unhealthy and completely unsustainable food system.

Here is where you come in. We want you to nominate your local farmers, favorite slow food chefs, or most inspiring food industry leaders for the 2010 Growing Green Awards. Lets give these leaders a giant shout out and at the same time help spread the word that there are healthier ways to feed the planet. Just act quickly, because the deadline is December 11, 2009.

The awards are brought to us by the Natural Resources Defense Council; and our very own Huffington Post. The Growing Green Awards were established last year to honor those who are blazing the trail in ecologically sustainable farming, climate stewardship, and social responsibility from farm to fork.

NRDC recognizes that food production takes an enormous toll on the environment--from spilling pesticides into our drinking water to releasing fossil fuels into the atmosphere--and that growing sustainable food is potent way to solve multiple ecological problems at once.

Last year's Growing Green Awards are putting those ideas into practice. The winners included the following:

Will Allen won the 2009 Growing Green Award for food producers. As the founder and CEO of the Growing Power National Training and Community Food Center, Allen has brought sustainable farming and aquaculture into the heart of urban Milwaukee. The center provides fresh fish and produce and green jobs in a community where all of those things are hard to find.

Fedele Bauccio won the 2009 Growing Green Award for business leaders. Bauccio is the founder and CEO of Bon Appetit Management Company, a restaurant company that provides onsite catering service to corporations and universities. Bon Appetit has been ahead of the curve in local food sourcing and animal welfare, and the company's Low Carbon Diet has done a great job of drawing mainstream attention to the link between food and climate change.

And James Harvie won the 2009 Growing Green Award for thought leaders. Harvie is a founding member of the Health Care Without Harm, and has led a national campaign to encourage hospitals to look more closely at the social and environmental impacts of the food they prepare. Already, 165 hospitals have signed on to the Healthy Food in Healthcare Pledge, which supports food production practices that are better for public health and the environment.

These pioneers illustrate the role farmers and food purveyors can play in curbing global warming, protecting watersheds, and recapturing how our food is produced.

Who do you think should be the next Growing Green Award winners? Click here to cast your vote.