BROWN MARKET SHARES PROGRAM
Brown Market Shares Program (BMSP) is a food distribution service, modeled after a CSA, which facilitates equitable food distribution within the Brown community. BMSP is a uniquely structured organization, designed to meet the needs of a college campus. Serving as an alternative to the current industrial agro-food system, BMSP provides access to fresh, seasonal, and sustainably produced food from local farms. The subsidized share program addresses food access issues among low-income Brown employees and graduate students. BMSP has created a larger community between Brown University and local farmers to promote environmental sustainability, community health, and strong local economies.
Within one semester at Brown, I have found my niche within the food community and specifically within Brown Market Shares Program. I have always had a fascination for food systems – my passion for sustainable food grew out of my passion for protecting our environment. I have embraced and chosen an environmentalist lifestyle, independently read and researched types of farming and their benefits and challenges for consumers, the environment, and farmer, and even worked as a farm hand. Doing all this, I have inherently adopted the basics of sustainability. However, my beliefs on sustainability go beyond this surface level understanding – it’s more than just local travel, local economics, and protecting soil health and conservation. I have just begun to engage in sustainable relationships and sustainable practices – gaps that I will fill through my STARR research.
For me, sustainable practices means learning about farm operations, everything from, weed and pest management techniques, sourcing of water and other inputs, the benefits and challenges inherent to each farm’s specific landscape, and even farmer views on agricultural policy as considering such first-hand perspectives is a crucial supplement to my own current and future academic engagement with these ideas. By understanding these concepts better, I can pledge to the lifestyle I have begun to embrace – a social environmentalist and local food activist.