Woody Tasch: Free-Range Capitalist

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Andrew Weeks / www.weeksphotography.com

Woody Tasch believes that local, sustainable food is a good investment: in our communities, our land, our health, and, if all goes well, our pocketbooks. Tasch is the founder of the Slow Money Alliance, which aims to get a million Americans to invest 1 percent of their assets in local food systems in the next decade.

The alliance already has 1,200 members who have chipped in anywhere from $25 to $85,000, and another 12,000 have voiced support for the Slow Money Principles, a six-point manifesto. And money is beginning to change hands in a few regions where Slow Money chapters are organizing business loans for local food producers.

Tasch acknowledges right up front that the alliance won’t maximize investors’ profits regardless of environmental and human costs–which is exactly the point. People who want to do that should pour their dollars into the stock of a blue-chip agro-giant with global operations. But those want to move from venture capital to “nurture capital” might consider Slow Money, which appears to be gaining steam amid economic and environmental uncertainty.

“This is a very direct local action people can take which is extremely positive,” Tasch says. “I think that’s why it’s resonating so much.”


Read an interview with Woody Tasch at Utne.com and learn more at about the Slow Money Alliance from an article in the Wall Street Journal. Tasch is the author of Slow Money: Investing as If Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered (Chelsea Green, 2009).

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