Inquiries into the Nature of Slow Money
Investing as if Food, Farms, and Fertility Mattered
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.