Author Promotes Investing in Sustainable Local Food Sources

by Free Speech on July 30, 2009

Lodi, WI~

Lodi Valley News serving Lodi, WI & the Lake Wisconsin area with local information since Earth Day 2008.

Lodi, WI
by Susan Troller

A big new idea is a little like a seed; it needs fertile soil and a nurturing environment to flourish.

That’s why author, entrepreneur and venture capitalist Woody Tasch is in Madison, explaining and promoting his thoughts on Slow Money. It’s a bold perspective on financial investing focusing on getting local sources of money to support local businesses, especially those that have to do with the production of food.

Tasch, who has been part of a financial network that raised over $133 million since 1992 for about 200 ventures promoting sustainability, intends for Slow Money to become a national financial movement.

Judging by the enthusiastic response of a crowd of about 100 at Mills Hall on the University of Wisconsin campus Sunday evening, he may be onto something big.

Today Tasch is the featured speaker at a series of private workshops with food entrepreneurs, restaurateurs, financial experts, investors, policy directors and researchers.

“The current economic system is broken,” Tasch said flatly Sunday night. As evidence, he held up this week’s cover of The Economist, showing a textbook titled “Modern Economic Theory.” The book is melting.

“Money and investing must come back down to earth,” he added, as he argued for sustainability and responsibility in investing. Tasch believes this is an historic economic moment as we bump up against limits to growth.

What Tasch calls a restorative economy is at the heart of his new book,  “Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms and Fertility Mattered.”

Slow Money takes its inspiration from the Slow Food movement which has encouraged consumers to think about the origins of their food, and which has grown from a handful of chefs, farmers and food policy advocates to an international organization in over 40 countries over the last two decades.

Tasch’s book, published earlier this year, provokes thought as it poses questions like:

Could there ever be an alternative stock exchange dedicated to small and local enterprises?

Could a million Americans families get their food through CSAs (community supported agriculture)?

What if investors had to invest 50 percent of their assets within 50 miles of where they lived?

In addition to his appearances in Madison, Tasch has been talking about Slow Money and his book in several other cities where there is a strong interest in regional food markets and sustainable farming, including Santa Barbara, Calif., Burlington, Vt., and Boulder, Colo.

But Tasch is not simply on a book tour, although copies of his book were for sale at Mills Hall Sunday night. Instead, he is going across the country, drumming up interest in creating a national movement dedicated to building local investment clubs that would help get financial support to local food-related businesses.

In September, there will be an inaugural national gathering of the Slow Money movement in Santa Fe, New Mexico. For more information, go to

Monday’s workshops are taking place at the Pyle Center. Tasch was also featured over the weekend at the Kickapoo Country Fair sponsored by Organic Valley in Vernon County.

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