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2-kilometer food in Perugia

Rita held up her hands to the Umbra Institute students and said, “This is my trademark, my guarantee.” To say they were calloused is an understatement—no pesticides means more pulling weeds—but it makes any sort of organic label redundant. As she showed students in Umbra’s “Sustainable Food Production in Italy” course her famous mixed salad greens and award-winning squash, she talked about how zero-kilometer veggies helps not only the environment, but also the local economy.

Perugian fruit and vegetable dealer Rita with the Sustainability class. (Photo courtesy Tori Bonazoli)

The visit was a teaser designed to get students thinking about local, organic, and fair and what these labels mean: all are themes of the course, which is part of the Umbra Institute’s innovative Food Studies Program.

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