As a food and agricultural information and consulting service, GoodFood World provides independent reporting on a broad range of food topics from field to plate. We investigate current issues and analyze food businesses to understand their successful practices and programs to determine their merit on the basis of their contribution to the health and social and economic vitality of the communities in which they operate.
From the beginning of time, food has been the foundation of cultures around the world (Steel, 2013, et. el.). Because food is a necessity, it is justly everybody’s business. How is it then that fresh, healthful, minimally-processed food eludes us in this industrial age?
Before the Second World War, our food had a traditional and primarily local character. With the incorporation of food processing technology in the 1950s, growing capitalization, mass advertising, and the federal government’s modernization assistance, we lost control of our food, health, and much of our natural food support system to industrial agriculture, corporate manufacturing, and huge food retailing operations.
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By subsidizing large-scale operations, our government helped make food cheap and plentiful, disguising its true cost. Traditional family farmers and other small food businesses suffered while those capitalizing on the industrial food opportunities flourished. The last great prairies were plowed up and planted with corn, wheat, and soybeans, and we flooded the environment with toxic chemicals.
Food choices have apparently increased; however, the illusion of variety is purely artificial. Dozens of kinds of sugarcoated cereals are all made out of corn; hundreds of soft-drink “brands” belong to just a handful of companies, and a huge range of prepared and processed foods are unique only because of slight changes in additives, coloring, and flavoring. And now supposed “added value” by biogenetic engineering threatens to alter the character of our food altogether.
As a result of this industrialization of our food and the associated consequences, one of three people is overweight or clinically obese and juvenile Type 2 diabetes strikes children in early grade school. Most of our rural landscape has been despoiled and pollution has grown beyond our ability to manage it. As a result, we have lost our resiliency and ability to deal with the challenges of climate change.
Services and Support
At GoodFood World, we are part of a growing number of concerned food advocates determined to restore a nutritious, equitable, and culturally satisfying good food economy. Large urban populations are now living separated from natural food sources and have become ignorant of both the effort it takes to produce good food and the important role food plays in their lives. All food is not equal and, in fact, bad food is making us sick (Nestle, 2013).
Our concern about food is global while our work is hands-on in our own community of Helena, in our state of Montana, and the whole of our Northwest Region.
GoodFood World provides affordable consulting services to local and regional food-based businesses to enable them to compete with the national and global corporations that monopolize our food system.
We research small businesses and document good business, agricultural, and manufacturing practices. In addition, we provide educational opportunities and access to documents that promote organic, transitional, and “low-chemical-input” crops, with a strong emphasis on minimally-processed food distributed through local and regional networks.
Our clients represent a substantial (and growing) segment of independent food businesses involved with the production, processing, distribution, retailing, and serving of high quality natural, organic, and minimally-processed food products.
Principles for Good Food Businesses
We carefully examine and promote both food products and food businesses that we believe are strong examples of good food. A “good” food business needs to protect the integrity of its product first and foremost; these products and must:
- Deliver true and measurable value.
- Demonstrate the highest level of quality by incorporating only unadulterated natural ingredients.
- Be produced and distributed with minimal processing and packaging.
- Be made and sold with transparency and integrity.
We believe business must be socially just and responsible:
- Be honest in all business activities and contribute to the strength and growth of supporting communities.
- Defend the rights of all workers to equal access to job opportunities and a fair and livable wage.
- Show respect for the dignity, welfare, and safety of workers throughout the food supply chain by providing clean and safe working environments and adequate support services, including affordable healthcare and childcare.
- Support humane conditions for food animals.
- Promote good health through education and the delivery of safe, unadulterated, nutritious food.
And strive to maintain conscientious stewardship of the environment:
- Benefit the natural order: “do no harm.”
- Respect eco-system limits on food growth, harvest, production, processing, and distribution.
- Avoid ecologically destructive practices, such as mono-cropping, over-pasturing and over-fishing, water and air pollution, soil destruction and erosion, and depreciation of habitat.
- Improve biodiversity and ecosystem stability.
- Actively work within local communities and the region to build back climate resiliency and adapt new developments and systems to new climate specifications.
And contribute to the social and economic well-being of the community:
- Account for the cost and value of natural capital, as measured through ecological economics.
- Generate a reasonable profit to support the long-term viability of the business.
- Create real economic benefit to society.
- Support local and rural economies, family farms and food-based businesses, and the diversity of rural culture.