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Book Data

ISBN: 9781603582544
Year Added to Catalog: 2009
Book Format: Paperback
Dimensions: 5 1/2 x 7 1/2
Number of Pages: 240
Book Publisher: Chelsea Green Publishing
Release Date: May 15, 2010
Web Product ID: 496

Also in Socially Responsible Business

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Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money

Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered

by Woody Tasch

Foreword by Carlo Petrini



Book Review
Written by John Ivanko, co-author of ECOpreneuring and Rural Renaissance
Published on July 22nd, 2009

Most of us have heard about the slow food movement where we savor the taste of a place, know our farmers and sip the wine slowly, not gulp down a beer.

But what about Slow Money?

In Woody Tasch’s visionary book, Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered (Chelsea Green, 2008), he breaks from the grow-big-and-go-global-fast mode of industrial capitalism and industrial agriculture by providing a remarkable synthesis of the writings, ideas and practices from such authorities on the subject of soil, agriculture, community and commerce as Wendell Berry, Eliot Coleman, Gene Logsdon, Gary Snyder, E.F. Schumacher, Paul Hawken and David Suzuki – calling for and sharing examples of a new economy whereby capitalism creates and sustains life, not destroys it.

Tasch’s observation: “As it circulates the globe with ever accelerating speed, money is sucking the oxygen out of the air, the fertility out of the soil and the culture out of local communities.”

Read the whole article here.


Business & Economics
Slow Money to the Rescue
By: Arnie Cooper | June 24, 2009 | 12:55 PM (PDT)

Psst! Want to know the "dirty" little secret of the current economic crisis? Just grab a fistful of earth and, while you're holding the lifeblood of the planet, try to think of its connection to financial markets.

If you're baffled, don't worry.

Woody Tasch, the guru of socially responsible investing, says the problems associated with the economic meltdown are as basic as soil fertility. The 58-year-old chairman emeritus of Investor's Circle, a network of angel investors, venture capitalists and foundations working toward a sustainable economy, looks to our multi-layered food system as a metaphor for the rest of the economy.

"Industrial agriculture views the soil as a medium in which to prop up plants in order to force feed them synthetic chemicals and maximize yield. Industrial finance views companies as a medium in which to force feed capital and maximize yield," Tasch says.

But even more perilous than the "greed is good" philosophy is what Tasch considers the root cause of our economic problems: the speed at which money flows — or more appropriately, "zooms" — around the planet. Tasch is referring to a host of statistics, such as the record 100 million shares traded on the New York Stock Exchange in 1982 exploded to 5 billion by 2007.

Read the whole article here.


Slow Money: Cultivating a Culture of Peace and Prosperity

Kerry Trueman
Co-founder of
Posted: June 24, 2009 09:06 AM

This 4th of July, let's declare our freedom from the "pharmo-petro-chemico-military-industrial-agribusiness" food chain, exemplified by Stephen Colbert's funny but creepy Carlyle-like Prescott Group. Give your patriotic picnics and potlucks a truly independent flavor; serve foods grown "locally, deliciously, and sustainably," as the Food Independence Day campaign is calling on all of us to do -- including our elected leaders.

And please, before you dismiss this as just another frivolous feel-good PR stunt, be aware that Food Independence Day is the brainchild of Roger Doiron, the Kitchen Gardeners International founder who led the call for the White House kitchen garden, which has yielded more produce -- and more publicity -- than even Roger could have hoped. Yes, he did! And he will, with your help.

But don't stop there. Join me in declaring a war on our tired policy of declaring wars, whether it's the war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on poverty, the war on whatever. This habit of framing everything in violent terms impoverishes us all.

In fact, our fixation on making a killing, as opposed to making a living, is what's brought our economy to the brink of collapse, as venture capitalist/eco-preneur Woody Tasch argues brilliantly in his new book. The title, Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as If Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered may be a mouthful, but it's one I'd love to see on everyone's lips, because this book gets right to the heart of everything that's ailing our economy and corroding our culture.

Read the whole article here.


Noozhawk: Santa Barbara & Goleta

Serendipity: Organic Bytes
By Karen Telleen-Lawton, Noozhawk Columnist | Published on 04.26.2009

Every once in a while I read a book that sets off so many synapses in my brain that I’m repeatedly forced to slow down and ponder instead of racing through the pages. This was how I experienced Woody Tasch’s new book, Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money — investing as if food, farms and fertility mattered.

Tasch spoke recently to a comfortably crowded Victoria Hall Theater. The auditorium was filled with a marvelous mix of investors and fund managers; organic farmers and permaculture experts; and small businesses and nonprofit organizations. I passed up the book vendor on the way in, but by the time Tasch had beautifully stitched together the seemingly disparate concepts of finance and soil health, quoting just about all my favorite authors, I was hooked. He drew on E.F. Schumacher’s Small is Beautiful, Paul Hawken’s The Ecology of Commerce and Herman Daly’s Beyond Growth while calling into question the efficacy of Adam Smith’s eloquent legacy, “the invisible hand of the market.”

I happen to have slogged through both volumes of Smith’s The Wealth of Nations (first published in 1776). Why I did this may be something like why Tasch, a venture capitalist and foundation director, travels the world to talk to organic farmers, investors and philanthropists. He wants to find a way for economics to support the earth rather than vice versa.

When I read Smith’s famous tome in the 1990s, I discovered that he understood this concept more than two centuries ago. Commenting on the waste he observed in the American colonies, Smith wrote, “A piece of ground which ... could not (now) maintain one cow would in former times ... have maintained four, each of which would have given four times the quantity of milk.” He continued by describing how American farmers worked one parcel of land until it was unfertile, instead of cultivating the land with manure. This, in a master work that resulted in his being named “the father of economics.”

The building block of business is not the dollar bill but the soil. As Tasch puts it, “The problems we face with respect to soil fertility, biodiversity, food quality and local economies are not primarily problems of technology. They are problems of finance. In a financial system organized to optimize the efficient use of capital, we should not be surprised to end up with cheapened food, millions of acres of GMO (genetically modified) corn, billions of food miles, dying Main Streets, kids who think food comes from supermarkets, and obesity epidemics side by side with persistent hunger.”

There’s wealth in the soil. It’s time we learned more about the philosophy of stewardship than the mechanics of harvesting. I’ll explore Tasch’s concepts further in future columns.

— Karen Telleen-Lawton’s column is a mélange of observations supporting sustainability. Graze her writing and excerpts from Canyon Voices:  the Nature of Rattlesnake Canyon at


Shoestring Slow

Slowing Down our Money
2:42 PM - Posted by Taragl

Remember the fast-money '80s? We steeped our culture in excess and conspicuous consumption, and never quite backed off from that push for more, more, more. After watching the stock market (and your retirement fund) rise and fall over the last few decades, you won't be surprised to hear that money moves fast. But have we ever stopped to ask if it should?

Woody Tasch's book, Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money, from Chelsea Green Publishing, examines how the speed and disconnectedness of our financial systems has led to the distancing of people from their communities and their land, and the demise of rich culture.

Your first thought might be towards that investment fund you've heard about which takes social mission into consideration. Yet even socially-conscious funds are often fraught with compromises intended to wring profits instead of grow communities.

Like shallow-organic farming practices, which turn back to huge conglomerates to provide "natural" solutions instead of going straight to nature -- this kind of investing eventually looks just like the traditional missionless money management. The changes needed are more sweeping than simply adding a few token "responsible" companies to a hedge fund, much like spreading "greener" chemicals on a garden will simply not be a viable long-term solution to soil health.

The book is streaked with fascinating (and alarming) facts, like:

"To make the list of the top twenty-five hedge-fund managers in 2002 required personal compensation of at least $30 million; in 2006, $240 million."

"Despite a tenfold increase in pesticide use since 1945, crop losses due to pests have almost doubled."

"The industrialization of food production -- large-scale monoculture, genetically modified varieties, and the consolidation of seed production by agribusiness companies -- has resulted in dramatic declines in the biodiversity of cultivated crops.... 95 percent of cabbage, 91 percent of corn, 94 percent of pea, and 81 percent of tomato varieties were lost during the twentieth century."

If that last quote doesn't shame the average home gardener into vowing to cultivate and heirloom plant or two this year, nothing will.

So what can we do, as investors, to stop the gush of health, safety, and community out of the broken faucet of our financial system? Tasch proposes a new Main Street Exchange in which small, local, and slow businesses are the targets for investment and venture capital. Dollars that go into the system are still expected to generate returns; however, the focus is on enriching communities and helping often-overlooked small businesses achieve their goals.

Imagine if you were able to put the same amount that you invest yearly into detached, faraway corporations into a local co-op six miles away. You could become familiar with your investment, their success would directly benefit your community, and you might even find that they have the best rhubarb you've ever tasted. All of that in addition to your yearly return on investment. You might start to find, like Tasch, that "air, water, and soil are the currencies of our future."

It might not be fast, but it feels right.

Posted April 29, 2009
Like Slow Food? Try Slow Money
By Katie McCaskey

Have you heard of the Slow Food movement? This popular, worldwide movement started as the preservation of food traditions. But it’s expanded to include other food issues as well. For example, many Slow Food supporters are very interested in the food’s source and preparation, and how that preparation affects the environment. The latter—appreciation for and protection of the environment—is also the basis for a new movement in the financial world calling itself “Slow Money.”

The Slow Money movement was named by Woody Tasch, chairman of the Investor’s Circle, a business investment group. Slow Money, Tasch writes in Ode Magazine, is “a new vision for investing that looks above the top line and below the bottom line [by] put[ting] soil fertility back into the calculus of investing.”

“It’s remarkable, but people who grow their own food, who reconnect with the soil, can immediately appreciate the implications of an economy that doesn’t respect the power of ecology,” continues Tasch.

Tasch and his group invest in companies that show positive growth and solid returns. However, their mission is to invest so that company growth is not at the expense of harming the earth. Also, unlike other investment firms which demand unsustainable financial models for their investors (such as double digit returns every year), companies are rewarded for acting responsibility and growing investments slowly but surely.

Are you interested in doing your own version of Slow Money? First, consider how you can make your investments more socially responsible. Here’s a brief guide on how to invest using socially responsible criteria. Next, vote with your wallet. Reward businesses and products that share your values.

My prediction is that as it becomes more mainstream to understand your impact on the environment the same will carry over into our finances. Already socially responsible investing is experiencing larger growth every year. Now, the venture capitalists are doing the same thing.


Rebecca Coffey - I Read and Liked

Thursday, April 9, 2009
BOOK REVIEW: Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money

What happens to societies when investors think only of fast money to be made in businesses that try to create and exploit unlimited markets for their products? Well, if it's the outset of the industrial revolution and raw materials are easy to come by and new products genuinely make life more livable, a mad rush to growth is an adequately savvy approach (ignoring, for the sake of argument, the many awful unintended consequences to the earth and its ecosystems that such an approach can bring). But if it's the 21st century and resources are gravely limited, that approach no longer works. In Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing As If Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered, venture capitalist Woody Tasch argues against a "fast money" approach to investing especially in the realm of food production and distribution, and makes a compelling argument that the future of human life on earth may ultimately be at stake.

Tasch is a man who seems to have fallen in love with top-soil and to be reeling in love's intoxication. He can truly wax poetic on the riotous microbial life through which the average earthworm gets to squirm, and he bemoans its loss to agribusiness, which, rather than enriching the humus, starves it of the manure and compost that it needs. (Did you know that nitrogen fertilizers were first used when businesses were looking for non-war uses of nitrogen after World War II? Tasch introduces this tidbit while making the argument that the search for new markets has undermined a necessary respect for natural processes.) According to Tasch, nitrogen fertilizers initially ramped yields to astonishing levels. But with each passing year the soil required more and more fertilizer and got less and less care. Fields no longer were rotated. They no longer periodically lay fallow. Cows were not allowed to graze on fallow fields, thereby naturally fertilizing them for the following year's crops. Compost was not returned to the soil.

Agribusiness, Tausch says, is like farming on steroids; quickly producing a pumped-up but less nutritious product that is a week old by the time it graces a supper table, it's a bad idea for the farm, for the farmer, and for the customer.

And it's dangerous, long-term, for all of us. It takes a millennium or so to build an inch of soil through the natural process of decay when it's unfettered by technological intervention, Tausch tells us. Yet it takes fewer than forty years of farming in an agribusiness style to strip that inch of soil. With an exponentially escalating world population, we need more healthy soil and fully nutritious food, not less of it. But since 1776, America has lost a third of its top-soil. Chinese crop yields fell by more than 10 percent from 1999 to 2003 due to soil loss, and this is despite an ever-increasing application of synthetic fertilizers.

In making his Peak Soil-type argument, Tasch tells us that changing the direction of this decline will be as difficult as changing the direction of wind, and that far more than our use of technology has to be re-examined. The ultimate problem is an assumption that dates back to the industrial revolution. Investors expect a fast return on their dollar. Replacing that "fast money" expectation with a "slow money" one would allow a restructuring of food production. True, flocks of investors will never invest in individual family farms. They're far too risky, and unless oil is discovered directly beneath them, they offer almost zero possibility of getting rich quick. But if there were a way, for example, to aggregate loans to farms into instruments that mediated risk, those instruments could keep farmers in control of their fields, crops, and animals. And if farming the good old way (by farmers, not megacorporations) were to become a viable business, the farms in any given region could once again supply much of the food to the people in that region. Food would arrive on supper tables quickly, with its nutrients still in tact. Local economies would benefit as much as local bodies. By using the term "slow money," then, Tasch is advocating a restorative approach to investing that anticipates slow but steady returns from family and community farms and ancillary businesses.

Woody Tasch is (quoting from the book jacket) "the chairman of Investors' Circle, a nonprofit network of angel investors, venture capitalists, foundations, and family offices that, since 1992, has facilitated the flow of $130 million to 200 early-stage companies and venture funds dedicated to sustainability. He is the president of the newly formed NGO, Slow Money." Just as impressively, he is a literate, engaging, witty writer. The book does not build a logical argument chapter by chapter. Instead, it is a collection of essays--which, from a literary point of view, is both its strength and its weakness. There is some repetition among the essays, for they derive from speeches and presentations that Tasch has made while stumping for investors and grants. But each essay is a beautifully composed piece and a pleasure to read. They are ordered in the book in a way that gradually moves from the cerebral and political to the nearly poetic.

There is a danger to such an approach for a book that sets out to change the direction of the wind, and it was only in the book's later essays that I became convinced that Tasch and his angel investor colleagues are imbued with adequate common sense to address the challenges and objectives Tasch so high-mindedly espouses. My notepad is littered with questions like, "Is this just a 'Where would Jesus invest' idea?" And: "Sentences like this make me respect his intent but despair about his chances of success. 'Experiments in slow money are experiments in beauty and nonviolence.' What a huge chasm between this guy and an institutional investor, or even a Joe who plays Lotto each week hoping for a little financial bump!"

Needing more details about "how" and fewer about "why," I pushed on through to the later essays in the book. They are more contemplative, and in them Tasch starts asking himself the kind of hard questions I wanted to ask. He doesn't have all the answers, but he does show plenty of the sort of cold logic and realistic yet innovative thinking that will be necessary to create them. In a nation governed by George Bush or John McCain, few ears would have listened. But these days he may find a welcome audience in Washington and enthusiastic investors and philanthropists across the nation. I hope he does, for I was absolutely convinced by Tasch of the need for changing the direction of this particular wind. Kudos to Tasch and best wishes to him.


The Humane Economy

Thursday, 19 March 2009

Slow Money: where capital and culture collide

Posted by Matthew Redard

Now this is something.  You’ve heard of the Slow Food movement.  Well, now there’s Slow Money.  Woody Tasch, a 30-year veteran of the venture capital industry, is the father of a new movement in socially responsible investing.  But it’s much, much more than that.  His vision is nothing less than the restoration of the market economy by supporting tens of thousands of independent, local-first enterprises.  From the Slow Money home page:

In a world in which there is no such thing as money that is too fast, a company that is too big, or intermediation that is too complex, we find ourselves asking:

Can investing in local food systems offer an authentic alternative?

If organic farming and small food enterprises are key to the health of the economy, society, and the soil, why do they receive so little funding from government, philanthropy, or capital markets?

Could a million American families get their food from CSA’s?

Guess what the epiphany moment was for him?  Reading E. F. Schumacher’s Small Is Beautiful.  Beautiful!

Here’s a video of Tasch explaining the Slow Money movement:

How great is this?!  Slow Money’s focus is small food enterprises, like the Milk Thistle farm, owned and run by Dante Hesse in Ghent, NY.  But this certainly has implications for other industries and enterprises.  Did you catch what he said about the connection between culture and money?  “We are trying to explicitly hold culture and finance together at the same time.”  This is the key.  This is more than simply a new asset class in which you may choose to invest your money.  This is about cultural transformation and a shift in consciousness.  There is something really wrong with the system right now, and Slow Money is exploring ways to fix it - to bring the “investor-person” in line with the rest of the person.  From a NPR Planet Money story about the Milk Thistle farm:

  Tasch argues that money is flying around the globe too fast. He rows hard against mainstream economics, which says growth is good and the marketplace knows best. “I’ve just had it with all of this so-called ‘making-a-killing expertise,’ which is actually killing the planet,” he says. “I think one of the antidotes is daring to move to the other side of our brain, and kind of put down all that economic and fiduciary nonsense and just act like regular people.”

Acting like regular people.  There’s an idea!  Folks, this is huge.  This is Röpke and Schumacher in action.



Put your money where your mouth is. Woody Tasch urges us to take a look at this old adage in new light, or rather, in old light—like daylight or starlight instead of the glow of a television screen. Tasch, the chairman of Investor’s Circle, a non-profit organization which supports sustainable enterprises, isn’t necessarily against making money. But he wants people to think before they spend, whether they are buying a hamburger or investing in a mutual fund.

In a series of provocative essays that makes up Inquiries Into the Nature of Slow Money, Tasch draws on the values of the slow food movement which encourages producing food with the environment in mind by focusing on organic systems and fostering a connection between the people who grow food and the people who consume it.

When investors direct their money toward companies that do more harm than good to the environment, the world suffers for it. “If we cannot grow food in a way that leaves the soil as fertile or more fertile than we found it…what does this say about the health of our society…or about the prospect for future generations?” he writes.

Practicing the art of slow money would mean investing in companies like High Moving Seeds, an organic seed company, or Butterworks Farm, an organic yogurt brand which took “approximately twenty-five years to reach $1 million in sales.” Investors who choose the route of slow money would watch their portfolio grow over years as opposed to months.

In his foreword, Tasch admits that his writing does not follow a clear-cut path of reason and proof. But the rambling, associative nature of his chapters adds to an overall organic, inspired impression. At times his paragraphs are objective and fairly formal in tone; at other times his frame of reference includes his own patch of earth, his independent way of life, and he makes no apologies for acting as his own example. And he shouldn’t; his arguments are strongest when he ponders his unique space in the world.

Slow Money has come at a serendipitous time as the globe teeters on the edge of great economic change; when the dust settles, we may be looking at a very different economic world. With the help of thinkers like Tasch, perhaps our money will lead us toward a new era where everyone has enough to eat and the soil is eager and able to produce more.

Review by: Andi Diehn


La Vida Locavore

Book Recommendation: Slow Money by Woody Tasch
by: Jill Richardson
Thu Mar 12, 2009 at 06:00:00 AM PDT

Several months ago I received a copy of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered. Then my brother died. I didn't read the book. Recently, I picked it back up and... it's great!

I can't call this a book review because I haven't read most of the book even. But I can say that I have started reading it and I like it a lot.

This book reminds me of a great quote I heard at Slow Food Nation last summer. I forget who said it, but they said that nature doesn't work based on supply and demand. When we need more topsoil, the topsoil doesn't notice the demand and quickly increase its supply. In other words: using the laws of economics to try to govern nature is not a smart idea.

That's basically where this book starts off. It says:

The problems we face with respect to soil fertility, biodiversity, food quality, and local economies are not primarily problems of technology. They are problems of finance.

I've been saying for ages that we already know from a technological standpoint how to produce healthy food in a way that will benefit humans, animals, and the earth. And yet we don't do it. I usually then point the finger at money-grubbing corporations and the idiotic politicians who make the laws in their favor. I guess I'm basically saying the same thing this book says. So I look forward to reading any solutions it might propose to the problem.

Here's a part I particularly liked:

You wouldn't use a 747 to go to the corner store for a quart of milk. You wouldn't use a backhoe to plant a garlic bulb. You wouldn't use a factory to raise a pig. You wouldn't spray poison on your food. You wouldn't trade fresh food from family farms down the road for irradiated or contaminated or chemical-laden or weeks-old food from industrial farms halfway around the world...

The paragraph goes on and you just think to yourself, "Exactly!" But then, why do we do these things? If the premise of the book is correct, it's because of money.

What I find interesting is that I've noticed a correlation between obesity and the financial crisis for a while. We spent and spent and spent on credit for a long time, until the bubble burst. This allowed our companies to pay us less and ship jobs overseas without suffering the inevitable decline in demand because we have no more money with which to buy their stuff. And they also sell us more and more and more food even though it makes us fat to appease their need to have continual growth. And here we are. Broke and fat.

I'll write more on this book as I continue reading, but from a first impression I can easily say: I recommend Slow Money.


Thinking Big Works
The VanAmburg Group Blog


Will we sleep better knowing we have made a few million dollars on a “paper” orsecurity” that is not tied to something tangible and could collapse at any minute? … or will we leave this world pleased we have restored the planet to the beauty and abundance it once held for all?

We had the Slow Food industry, as a backlash to unhealthy eating, now Woody Tasch has initiated his Slow Money movement to offset the lust for speedy profits, at any cost. Tasch is our honored CEO of Enlightened Orgs for the work he is doing to bring sensibility to a world made giddy by financial greed.


Tasch is CEO of Investors Circle, established in 1992, that has put 130 million dollars of investments into 200 socially responsible companies. Most recently, he has founded the Slow Money movement to raise money for investment in local, sustainable agriculture.

Is it possible the solution to our environmental crisis and the financial meltdown could be a as simple as a potted tomato plant on your patio?…

“It’s remarkable but people who grow their own food, who reconnect with the soil, can immediately appreciate the implications of an economy that doesn’t respect the power of ecology”, says Tasch.

Tasch outlines his theory of patient capital in his recently published book, “Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money: Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertilizer Mattered.” (Chelsea Green Publishing).

Tasch's theory is that soil fertility is the most valuable tool we have to fight global warming.

Read the whole article.


Sierra Club
Book Roundup Wednesday: Books About Green Economics

New for 2009 on the Green Life is a weekly roundup of books addressing a particular aspect of environmentalism. This week, given that almost everyone is anxiously following the state of the economy, we’re recommending new and soon-to-be-published books about green economics and environmental money issues.



Inquiries Into The Nature Of Slow Money: Investing As If Food, Farms, And Fertility Mattered (by Woody Tasch, $22, Chelsea Green, Jan. 2009): Suggesting a new financial system that brings money “back down to earth,” this book, written by a VC expert, propones that investors place their funds into sustainable, responsible agriculture.

Read the whole article here.


The "Slow Money", Truly Green, Investment Approach
Written by Marc Courtenay
Friday, 24 October 2008

What I'm about to share with you comes partly from this excellent book. We whole-heartedly recommend it. It might just be an antedote to the avarice and "get rich quick" mentality that plagues our society.


Wouldn't it be great if one solution to the global warming and financial crises gripping our world would be the simple act of us growing our own food? It could be as simple as having a few window boxes where we grow tomatoes and peppers in our places of abode.

This is the premise of a "must read" article in the November 2008 edition of Ode Magazine and it introduces us to Woody Tasch, the author of the book highlighted above, and the Investor's Circle, a national group focused on funding socially responsible companies.

Tasch evidently believes that one aspect of social responsibility has been left out that can no longer be neglected: a more personal connection to our food. Ode Magazine reports that for years Tasch has promoted a philosophy of green investing which prioritizes the social good over the urge to make a quick dollar under a philosophy known as "patient capital."

Today, if we have any hope of curing society's greatest ills--much less fixing our reliance on rapid growth and rising debet that created the current crisis in the global financial markets, we will need to be more than patient with our investments.

In his book Tasch writes that Slow Money is "a new vision for investing that looks above the top line and below the bottom line [by] put[ting] soil fertility back into the calculus of investing."

Investor's Circle ( has placed $130 million into 200 "green" businesses and venture funds. Better access to healthy and affordable food is whatTasch hopes Slow Money will provide.

In fact, Tasch evidently named his initiative after Slow Food , the popular movement launched in 1986 by Italian Carlo Petrini to protest toe opening of a McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) fast food restaurant in his home city of Rome, Italy. Slow Food has more than 83,000 members worldwide, one of whom is Tasch.

Tasch wants to see a "step change" in socially responsible investing by focusing on sustainable agriculture. He called sustainable agriculture the "forgotten sustainable niche market". He quotes American poet Gary Snyder: "Food is the field in which we daily explore our 'harming' of the world."

If we're sustainable, Tasch reasons, we must understand where our food comes from, how it's grown and, above all, how it's financed. In addition to his book he has established an NGO also called Slow Money to promote his ideas through outreach seminars and marketing. This writer would love to become involved in that organization's work.

Eric Becker, a 15-year veteran money manager with Trillium Asset Management ( agrees with all this: "Slow Money is an effort to find opportunities for investors to support sustainable agriculture in their investment portfolios in a way that hasn't been possible before."

Since its inception in 1983, Trillium has focused exclusively on socially responsible investing (SRI), managing $1 billion in assets for its client base of institutions and high-net-worth individual clients.

"Each year we ask our clients what priorities they want reflected in their portfolios," Becker says. "For 25 years they've been checking the box that says 'sustainable agriculture and organics.'

"But other than a few public companies like Whole Foods (Nasdaq:WFMI) or Celestial Seasonings (Nasdaq:HAIN) teas, there have been no investment vehicles to target capital toward new or growing companies that have the health of the soil as the key component of what they're doing".

So I'll ask the question that others have asked before me, "Wouldn't it be gratifying, even if we were sacrificing quick profits and riches, if what we invested in was absolutely good for our precious planet, our home that has been poisoned unconscienably for decades?"

Anyway according to Ode, for Woody Tasch, dollars aren't the right metric for measuring success and failure in these unprecedented and challenging times.

"We live in a world of ever-depleting resources. Money is no longer the currency. Air, water and soil are the currencies for the future." We couldn't agree more.

You can read a valuable excerpt from Mr.Tasch's book at The Slow Money movement gives me great hope for the success of the Green Revolution movement and the survival of this blue-green jewel that we all have to share.


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