These days, knowing where our food comes from and how it’s grown is more important than ever. Along with taste and nutrition, we want to be sure that it’s good for the land and wildlife, that it provides our farmers with a sustainable livelihood, and that good food is accessible to everyone. Such is the work of the Forever Green Initiative (FGI); a University of Minnesota and United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service Program; which engages teams of experts in genomics, breeding, agronomics, soil health, and commercialization.
Since its outset, FGI has placed equal importance on working hand in hand with the farmers, rural communities, food businesses, policy makers, and consumers who insist that healthy food, healthy rural communities, and a healthy environment are not mutually exclusive. Many of them are familiar pantry staples – grains, flour, oils, nuts, fruit, and vegetables. Today, these are all being grown in ways that connect recent advances in agricultural methods with ancient knowledge. Here are delicious ingredients for conscientious cooks. After all, “eating is an agricultural act.” – Wendell Berry.