BOONEVILLE, Miss. (WTVA) -- When it comes to food, most of us can easily identify with the issues of pricing and in some instances health as well.
Just go to your refrigerator and look inside. Nearly everything inside came from a grower, either corporate or local.
At the Prentiss County Agricenter Saturday afternoon in Booneville, ag experts held a workshop sponsored by an organization known as Gaining Groud Sustainability Institute of Mississippi.
Jim Ewing is the president of the Mississippi Fruit and Growers Association.
"This is an outreach program for people in every area of the state. Areas that we try to reach either are distressed or don't have availability of information that they might use to grow their own food and market it," Ewing said.
Places,he says, like farmers' markets, restaurants, even stores.
That's part of what he and organizers call food sustainability, growing food in a natural way without using up natural resources.
In other words, not taking out more than you put in.
Topics covered at the workshop included alternative models to agriculture, being stewards of the land, and giving the customers what they need and want.
Organizers here said that food sustainability is becoming more of an issue as consumers become more and more concerned not only about food safety, but the price of food as well.
"That's probably how most people first get plugged in sustainable agriculture, why most people first get interested," said guest speaker Becky Shewe of Mississippi State University. "From a grower's perspective -- and this is really where Kim's expertise is -- access to reliable market and some value-added products are a good way to make a living for their family."
"That's the one thing that we're seeing in the data that the local food movement and consumers want to buy directly from a producer or know where their food is coming from," said Kim Morgan, another MSU speaker. "That's one way that the growers are able to meet that need; they have a relationship with the end user. The consumer can trust that the food's been produced at a farm that they know."
Organizers see food sustainability and farming in general as becoming more popular as people seek to gain more control of their everyday lives.