Food Fighters

A look at the groups working to make Madison's food sustainable, local, slow, thriving and much more

Sep 15, 2009

Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin (CHEW)

Everyone is welcome to celebrate the world’s food and how it is eaten at CHEW’s informal programs. CHEW’s culinary adventures include speakers, discussions and demonstrations.

Community Food Security Coalition

The Community Food Security Coalition addresses social and environmental injustice through food. The goal is to enhance the food systems and diets of communities by bringing different disciplines together.

Community GroundWorks at Troy Gardens

Some people (and species) call these thirty-one acres home, others call it their garden and natural playground. Troy Gardens has it all, from an organic farm and garden, green-built housing and restored prairie and woodlands, and the people involved use the space to educate, grow nourishing food and create an urban oasis.

Dane Buy Local

It’s pretty simple: you live, work and play here, so why not buy here? The Dane Buy Local seal means that you are purchasing from a Dane County business that is at least fifty-one percent locally owned and dictates its own purchasing decisions. You are, in essence, supporting your neighbors and strengthening the local economy.

Dane County Food Council

Wisconsin’s first food council addresses food and sustainability issues and promotes local agriculture in Dane County through education, research and development of local food programs.

Family Farm Defenders

Fair prices and high quality food should be the standard, and FFD is working toward setting that standard through farmer alliances. Past initiatives have included defending the consumer’s “right to know” regarding use of growth hormones and curbing the effects of the corporate dairy industry’s lobby and proganda efforts.

Home Grown Wisconsin

The family farmers of Home Grown Wisconsin are getting good food on tables from gourmet urban restaurants to rural family homes. Members of the cooperative pass their organic and sustainable philosophies and products onto consumers by delivering great tasting and nutrient-rich foods.

Institutional Food Market Coalition

Since 2006, IFM has been thinking locally but large, connecting local and organic farmers and producers with institutional buyers like hospitals, schools and businesses.

Madison Area Community Supported Agriculture Coalition (MACSAC)

MACSAC gets the word out about Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) farms through innovative events and promotions like the CSA Open House, Bike the Barns and sales of their cookbook, From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm Fresh Seasonal Produce.

Research, Education, Action and Policy on Food Group (REAP)

REAP’s programs are varied and robust, including the Food for Thought Festival, Homegrown Lunch, Buy Fresh Buy Local and Farm Fresh Atlas Wisconsin. While the methods and focus of these programs differ, their ultimate goal is to unite people that are involved in getting food from the farm to the kitchen.

Slow Food Madison

In a nation of faster, cheaper and always microwaveable, Slow Food Madison aims to savor, appreciate and support sustainable food systems and suppliers and their bounty. Slow Food programs include outings and educational events as well as informal “foodie” gatherings.

Sustain Dane

Sustain Dane takes global problems like climate change and energy shortages down to a community level for solutions. Programs like the Green Pages directory, the Rain Barrel project for cleaner waterways and sustainability education efforts get the whole community thinking and sharing ideas about sustainability.


We know that Madison is a great place for businesses and people to grow, and Thrive wants to get the word out. From “branding” the region to encouraging entrepreneurship and collaboration between industries, Thrive’s efforts are all directed toward preserving and improving the Madison area’s way of life.

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