Coalition Report

Anna Weber Missouri Coalition for the Environment

By Anna Weber, Missouri Coalition for the Environment’s Marketing & Communications intern

Known and Grown STL: Supporting Local Farmers

If you’re interested in helping the socio-economic and environmental well-being of your community, shopping for food locally is a great place to start. Known and Grown STL, a program of the Missouri Coalition for the Environment (MCE), on behalf of the St. Louis Food Policy Coalition, has dedicated itself to building a resilient, equitable food community by supporting and promoting farmers within 150 miles of St. Louis that use humane, chemical-free practices and spreading awareness about why environmentally-responsible farming is important.

With the spread of COVID-19, it’s more important than ever to shop locally. Many independent businesses have struggled to keep their doors open — including local farms. Even during the pandemic, you can still purchase locally grown food through farmers markets (be sure to ask each farmer about their practices!), locally focused stores, or by supporting restaurants that get their ingredients from Known & Grown farmers. Buying locally grown food supports local farmers and helps our economy — as a bonus, local food often tastes much better, as it hasn’t lost nutrition and flavor traveling halfway across the country or world to your plate! Importantly, buying food from local farmers avoids spending money on factory-farmed food, which is grown under the control of very few giant corporations that harm the planet with chemical use, pollutes air and water with waste from concentrated animal feeding operations, and exploits people through their labor practices.

Known and Grown identifies the farms that are environmentally responsible based on a set of requirements: no synthetic chemicals are used on crops or pasture, animals are not confined and are allowed to forage for their food, animals are not given added hormones or synthetic growth promotants, and antibiotics are only used when medically necessary. Industrial farms dismiss issues like environmental responsibility; they focus solely on making a profit and are one of the leading causes of climate change. Lack of regulation and transparency on their food processes often leads to exploitation through the inhumane treatment of animals, poor working conditions, and harmful effects on the surrounding environment and communities. With Known and Grown, customers can be certain that the food they’re consuming came from a farm with safe, humane, and responsible practices.

By looking for Known & Grown farmers, you’re participating in building a more resilient local food system, preventing environmental degradation, and contributing to the socio-economic wellbeing of the community. 

For more information on Known and Grown STL and the farmers in your community, visit knownandgrownstl.org.