Resources of the UVA Food Collaborative

Food insecurity in Richmond and statewide is the subject of documentary+March 10, 2015
By Michael Paul Williams
When Emmy Award-winning director Jesse Vaughan was approached about producing a film on food insecurity in Virginia, the problem hit home for him.
His mom lives on Richmond’s North Side in the house he grew up in. “And when I was approached for consideration on doing this as a documentary, I was talking to her about it and I realized she lives in a food desert,” Vaughan recalled Sunday.
“So I took it very personally and said, ‘You know what? I need to pour my heart and soul into this issue and make people aware that it’s a very serious problem.’ ”
“Living in a Food Desert,” a documentary produced by Vaughan and Cedric Owens for Virginia State University’s College of Agriculture, had just premiered at the Richmond International Film Festival. After the screening, a panel that included Dorothy McAuliffe, Virginia’s first lady, weighed in.
“There needs to be a forceful call to action,” she told a Byrd Theatre audience that included her husband, Gov. Terry McAuliffe. She had noted on screen that more than 300,000 Virginia children are food insecure. Her advocacy on the issue “comes from being a parent. And to imagine that a parent can’t feed their child nutritious, wholesome food, it’s just heart-wrenching.”
She called it ironic that a state whose $70 billion agriculture industry feeds folks around the world is not reaching its neediest residents.
Jewel E. Hairston, dean of the School of Agriculture at Virginia State University, enlisted Vaughan to bring the issue to life upon completing a report on food deserts as co-chair of a task force with Alan Grant, dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Virginia Tech.
“I was blown away by the fact that 17.8 percent of Virginians live in a food desert,” Vaughan recalled. “And Richmond is one of the highest food deserts in the nation for a city its size.”
There’s a strong relationship between food deserts and poverty and a lack of adequate transportation. But the faces of those affected are as varied as Virginia’s landscape. “We indeed found that food deserts exist in every area of the state of Virginia,” Hairston said.
She expressed hope that people will use the film “to show this issue and how it impacts people all over Virginia, so we can bring solutions to the problem.”
Testimony in the documentary makes it clear that to not address this problem is to compound others.
“We have a location just here in our neighborhood that was a grocery store. It’s now a dialysis center, and it tells the story,” Sally Schwitters, executive director of Tricycle Gardens in Church Hill, says in the film. “This is what happens when food access moves out. Lack of health moves in.”
Del. Delores L. McQuinn, a Richmond Democrat, had submitted bills to study and address the food insecurity issue in Virginia, leading House Speaker William J. Howell, a Republican from Stafford, to commission the food desert study. In the documentary, she says she became aware of food insecurity as a Richmond City Council member moved by hungry individuals, including children, who would knock on her door asking for food.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture defines a food desert as an area with limited access to affordable and nutritious food, particularly if it’s predominantly low-income. More specifically, that population lives more than one mile from a supermarket or large grocery store in an urban area, or more than 10 miles from such an establishment in a rural area.
Betsy Shepard of rural Surry County can relate.
“We don’t have a grocery store in our entire county,” she told the audience. “And we haven’t had a grocery store in our entire county for about a decade.”
A community group is working to rectify this problem, but they don’t know what they’re doing, she said. “We’re committed to picking ourselves up by our bootstraps, but could someone meet us a little bit of the way?”
The Rev. Dr. Michael A. Sanders of Mount Olive Baptist Church brought a large contingent to the Byrd from his Bells Road church.
“As disciples of the Lord, we are commanded to feed the hungry. And we take that commandment seriously,” he said. “We have quickly become one of the largest food pantries in the city of Richmond.”
Each Wednesday, its pantry feeds 150 to 200 families. “We’re just scratching the surface. We want to double that,” he told the audience. But to do so will require prayers, money and volunteers, he said.
The documentary is filled with organizations working heroically to address food insecurity, including Tricycle Gardens, Shalom Farms, Lynchburg Grows and FeedMore, the Central Virginia hunger relief organization that oversees the Central Virgina Food Bank, Meals on Wheels and Community Kitchen. But the Food Deserts report concludes that these efforts are only partially successful and appear to be in need of more effective coordination.
Among its recommendations is that the Virginia Food System Council take the lead on the food insecurity issue, coordinating public and private grants to distribute funds to local organizations. It also calls for a study on the feasibility of mobile farmers markets and for the establishment an urban farm as an educational and training center for other communities.
Vaughan, special assistant for media and marketing to VSU interim President Pamela V. Hammond, hopes the film will spark a dialogue among those in a position to solve the problem.
The problem, at least initially, was poorly understood by legislators, but the ideas on how to address it should resonate with them. A recurring theme Sunday was that this issue represents an opportunity for folks to take charge of their lives by developing socially conscious economies around food.
“It’s important for any solution around food deserts to not be paternalistic, in the sense that you just come in and drop food off and you’re gone,” Duron Chavis, project director of VSU’s Indoor Farm, says in the documentary.
“The key word there is empowerment,” said panelist John Lewis, director of Renew Richmond. “We have the opportunity to empower communities that live in food deserts, especially low-income individuals, to take their food system back.”
It’s an opportunity the state has an obligation to nurture.
(804) 649-6815
Twitter: @RTDMPW
Group advocates against city’s use of pesticides+February 3, 2015
Some of My Best Friends Are Germs+January 30, 2015
Michael Pollan explores the symbiotic relationship between himself and the trillions of microbes that call his body home.
Katie Couric discusses Fed Up+November 13, 2014
A post-film conversation with Katie Couric, and Dr. Mark Hyman, moderated by Dr. Christine M. Burt Solorzano.
Purdue cuts antibiotic use in chickens+September 13, 2014
'Slate' Criticizes the 'Home-Cooked Family Dinner': Joel Salatin Responds+September 10, 2014
Victimhood escalates to stratospheric whining with Amanda Marcotte's recent Slate post titled Let's Stop Idealizing the Home-Cooked Family Dinner.

The piece concluded more often than not family members (especially the male ones) were ingrates and, generally, home-cooked meals were too stressful, expensive, time-consuming, and utensil-dependent to be worthy of the trouble.

Read more:
Let’s Stop Idealizing the Home-Cooked Family Dinner+September 10, 2014
The home-cooked meal has long been romanticized, from ’50s-era sitcoms to the work of star food writer Michael Pollan, who once wrote, “far from oppressing them, the work of cooking approached in the proper spirit offered a kind of fulfillment and deserved an intelligent woman’s attention.” In recent years, the home-cooked meal has increasingly been offered up as the solution to our country's burgeoning nutrition-related health problems of heart disease and diabetes. But while home-cooked meals are typically healthier than restaurant food, sociologists Sarah Bowen, Sinikka Elliott, and Joslyn Brenton from North Carolina State University argue that the stress that cooking puts on people, particularly women, may not be worth the trade-off.
2014 Locavore Index+April 17, 2014
See how states rank.
Mastering The Art of Mindful Eating+February 19, 2014
UVa researcher: Climate change great for ragweed, bad for allergy sufferers+September 23, 2013
People are releasing long-buried carbon dioxide by burning fuels such as coal and oil. ∙ That’s bad for much of the planet, scientists say, helping cause global warming. But it’s great for ragweed.
Plants like carbon dioxide, or CO2. It’s their food. But ragweed, the bane of many fall allergy sufferers, really likes it.
Exposed to elevated levels of CO2, ragweed grows faster than most other plants in the eastern U.S., said Manuel Lerdau, a University of Virginia biologist.
Sow the wind, reap a storm+September 16, 2013
Those opposing GM crops ignore scientific evidence of their harmlessness and are depriving the nation of the wider benefits of agri-biotechnology.
Keep the pause button on GM pressed+September 16, 2013
Jairam Ramesh, former Environment Minister for India, made the brave decision in 2010 to tell his then apex regulator of genetically modified organisms (GEAC) that it had failed to properly use available science to determine the safety — to human health and the environment — of Bt brinjal, created using genetic modification (GM). His decision followed careful evaluation of the science.

I was involved in Ramesh’s review. I read first hand the scientific evidence in my area of expertise provided to the GEAC and its responses. I was heartened to see that his decision was validated by the esteemed scientists that made up the Supreme Court Technical Expert Committee who have advised the Court on the need for better research and better process before continuing to release GM crops into the environment or using them as food.
The True Story About Who Destroyed a Genetically Modified Rice Crop+September 16, 2013
Did you hear that a group of 400 angry farmers attacked and destroyed a field trial of genetically modified rice in the Philippines this month? That, it turns out, was a lie. The crop was actually destroyed by a small number of activists while farmers who had been bussed in to attend the event looked on in dismay.
Local families getting help finding fresh produce+August 20, 2013
The goal is the same: to supply low-income families with fresh, healthy, locally grown food.

But the routes two Charlottesville nonprofit groups are taking to reach that goal differ.
Monsanto Drops GM in Europe+August 13, 2013
European researchers have expressed regret but little surprise at last week’s announcement by the agriculture giant Monsanto that it will no longer be seeking approvals for genetically modified (GM) crops now under review for cultivation in the European Union (EU).
Union of Concerned Scientists' Report: "The $11 Trillion Reward"+August 13, 2013
"The $11 Trillion Reward" shows how eating more fruits and vegetables can reduce heart disease and its costs
New York's urban farms face a climate reality check+November 19, 2012
Founding Foodie?+August 24, 2012
MSU plans urban ag research campus in Detroit+July 10, 2012
The City of Detroit and Michigan State University have agreed in principle to pursue a major urban agriculture research campus within the city that might include a large working farm and innovative research and techniques, such as transforming empty buildings into multi-tiered farms.

The campus is envisioned as the central hub of a future collection of world-wide facilities focused on urban agriculture research.
The American Diet in One Chart+June 18, 2012
An infographic on spending in different food groups as a percentage of a household's total food spending, comparing 1982 and 2012. My, how things have changed!
Calling All US Food Systems Consultants+June 7, 2012
Winrock is expanding its pool of qualified, professional consultants for both short- and long-term assignments that can provide technical assistance and capacity building related to food systems within the U.S. We invite consultants with expertise in food systems, value chain development, supply chain logistics, food hub development, supply chain infrastructure management and development, sustainable agriculture, food access and equity, working with vulnerable or minority populations and communities, feasibility studies and business planning, financial planning, strategic planning, marketing, food safety, producer training, processing, post-harvest handling, health, nutrition, natural resource management, urban and rural development, community engagement and development, and related fields to submit your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume for consideration.

Farmers scrambling to find harvest labor+May 31, 2012

Farmers across California are experiencing the same problem: Seasonal workers who have been coming for decades to help with the harvest, planting and pruning have dropped off in recent years.
New York Plans to Ban Sale of Big Sizes of Sugary Drinks+May 31, 2012
New York City plans to enact a far-reaching ban on the sale of large sodas and other sugary drinks at restaurants, movie theaters and street carts, in the most ambitious effort yet by the Bloomberg administration to combat rising obesity.

What Colleges Can Bring to the Table+May 30, 2012
When it comes to encouraging the development of a healthy and sustainable food-production system in the United States, colleges are in a unique position to nourish young minds, both nutritionally and intellectually, in ways that can change things for the better.
Eat What You Learn: Duke Food Studies Course+May 30, 2012
The inaugural university course on food studies helps students connect with what's on their plate.
As blue crabs rebound, Maryland takes chefs on field trips to promote them+May 30, 2012
Maryland sponsors field trips to encourage chefs to feature blue crab on their menus.
Chefs’ disregard for environment leaves a bad taste+May 22, 2012
Thanks, Thomas Keller. Now we know where you stand. When you joined forces with Andoni Luis Aduriz and came out publicly in The New York Times this week as a chef who does not feel any obligation to the environment, we heard you.“With the relatively small number of people I feed, is it really my responsibility to worry about carbon footprint?” you asked.
The Journey from Farm to Cafeteria Tray+May 22, 2012
An article about the Washington, DC farm to school program.
A Bridge-Building, Cross-Cultural Art Project That’s Also Delicious+May 22, 2012
...Such bursts of camaraderie were what Craig Shillitto, an architect and a restaurant designer, had in mind when he devised Project Paladar, a 10-day collaboration that pairs 10 chefs, most based in New York, with 10 Cuban chefs in a restaurant built for the event from shipping containers.
Firms to Invest in Food Production for World’s Poor+May 22, 2012
The Obama administration has drafted some of the world’s largest food and finance companies to invest more than $3 billion in projects aimed at helping the world’s poorest farmers grow enough food to not only feed themselves and their families but to earn a livelihood as well.
Cuomo Pushing City to End Food-Stamp Fingerprinting+May 22, 2012
New York City would have to stop requiring the electronic fingerprinting of food stamp applicants under regulations proposed on Thursday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, who has sided with advocates for the hungry who say it discourages people from seeking benefits.
The War Between Organic and Conventional Farming Misses the Point+May 19, 2012
To assume that the best farming practice is the one that produces the highest yield is like observing that a Lamborghini outraces a bicycle, and thus should be the world's only vehicle.
Mario Batali Food Stamp Challenge: Chef Spending $31 On Food For One Week +May 19, 2012
To much of the world, it was Monday. To Mario Batali, it was Day Four.

The chef, his wife and their two teenage sons are eating for a week on the equivalent of a food stamp budget in protest of potential cuts pending in Congress to the benefit program used by more than 46 million Americans.
Coalition of Immokalee Workers gets award for work in realm of 'food justice'+May 19, 2012
Natural Resources Defense Council honored the Coalition of Immokalee Workers at its annual Growing Green awards in San Francisco on Wednesday.
Montana using local beef in school lunches+May 17, 2012
Ranchers in Montana will be providing the beef for student lunches in a new program.
"Chopping Disco" (video)+May 16, 2012
The first "Schnippeldisko" (chopping disco) of the Youth Food Movement Germany in the Markthalle 9 in Berlin-Kreuzberg.
Duke Farmer's Market (video)+May 16, 2012
Shoppers at the Duke Farmers Market not only have access to farm-fresh produce, but fruits and vegetables that are healthier and offer more nutrients than what they may be able to find at some grocery stores. The market offers a convenient way to pick up strawberries, potatoes, squash and more each week.

For more information, visit
For Some Chefs, a Great Meal Tops Good Intentions+May 16, 2012
THEY are two of the world’s most acclaimed chefs, each with a raft of awards, a constellation of stars and schools of kitchen alumni spreading their gospel. So when the American chef Thomas Keller and Andoni Luis Aduriz of Spain sat down last week for a joint interview, they were in a position to back each other up while slicing through some of the profession’s favorite platitudes.

Supporting local agriculture and food traditions? Far too narrow a goal, they said.

Chefs’ obligation to help save the planet? A lofty idea, they agreed, but the priority is creating great, brilliant food.
Soda Makers Scramble to Fill Void as Sales Drop+May 16, 2012
Cold, bubbly, sweet soda, long the American Champagne, is becoming product non grata in more places these days. Schools are removing sugary soft drinks from vending machines at a faster pace, and local governments from San Antonio to Boston are stepping up efforts to take them out of public facilities as the nation’s concerns about obesity and its costs grow.
Denny's switches to pigs that aren't housed in cramped crates+May 16, 2012
Denny’s Corp., the chain of diners known for its pancake stacks and discount menus, is joining major companies such as McDonald’s and Wendy’s to stop its suppliers from cramming pregnant pigs into tiny cages.
UC police arrest 9 as they clear Occupy the Farm+May 15, 2012
A three-week-long protest on UC Berkeley agricultural research land in Albany came to a quiet close early Monday when police cleared out a small group of protesters who had set up an urban farming camp.
Kenyon buys 10-acre college farm +May 15, 2012
Kenyon College buys 10-acre farm where students will live and farm, providing produce directly to the dining facilities.
Thomas Jefferson's Vegetable Garden+May 14, 2012
NPR's "All Things Considered" features Peter Hatch's new book on Thomas Jefferson's vegetable garden.
Use of Common Pesticide, Imidacloprid, Linked to Bee Colony Collapse+May 11, 2012
The likely culprit in sharp worldwide declines in honeybee colonies since 2006 is imidacloprid, one of the most widely used pesticides, according to a new study from Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH).
"Our Food System is Broken" interview+May 11, 2012
Sanjay Gupta talks with Oran Hesterman, author of "Fair Food" about how to make food "healthy, green, fair, and affordable."
'Eat Local' Food App Shows What's in Season Near You+May 11, 2012
To assist you in finding out what's in season where you are, locate nearby farmers markets anywhere in the United States, and find seasonal recipes, Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) created the app, Eat Local.
Hospital Food So Fresh, Even The Healthy Come To Dine (in Warrenton, VA)+May 10, 2012
Twice a week, local seniors in Warrenton, Virginia, flock to a hip new dinner spot called the Bistro on the Hill for good food, a great view, and musical accompaniment by a retired piano player from a nearby Nordstrom's.

Only "The Bistro" is no stand-alone restaurant. It's the cafeteria of Fauquier Hospital, one of a new group of "patient-centered" health facilities focused on meeting more than just people's medical needs.
Food System Infographics+May 9, 2012
Food system infographics.
Creating a Culture of Sustainability in Health Care (Report)+May 9, 2012
From the Executive Summary: Sustainability seeks to
balance and simultaneously optimize environmental,
social and financial concerns. Sustainability in healthcare represents a particularly challenging undertaking as it necessarily encompasses the wide variety of facilities, operations and activities in a typical healthcare organization. This exploratory study examines the organizational approaches of eight healthcare systems with relatively successful sustainability initiatives. The hope is that by providing a better understanding of the successes and limitations of current efforts, managers in other healthcare organizations will be better able to guide their efforts.
Farmers Markets Getting Money to Take Food Stamps+May 9, 2012
The federal government has provided $4 million in grant funds to help expand SNAP benefits by equipping farmers markets with the technology needed to accept EBT payment. Funds are being distributed throughout the country.
Just Deserts - 6 Ways to Bring Good Food to Poor Neighborhoods+May 9, 2012
6 strategies for increasing access to healthy food in "food desert" communities.
Local Food Index Ranks VT at Top+May 8, 2012
Heifers Locavore Index, which looks at the number of CSAs and farmers' markets in each state ranked Vermont the top state for locavores and Florida at the bottom.
The Ethicist: The Winner of Our Contest on the Ethics of Eating Meat+May 7, 2012
Is it ethical to eat meat? That short question, posed in these pages a few weeks ago, inspired a debate heated enough to roast a fatted calf (or a really enormous zucchini, depending on your dietary orientation).

Winning and Finalists' Entries available to read.
'The Taste of War' Book Review+May 7, 2012
Calories were made to be counted, but they have generally been counted for two very different reasons. We associate calories with excess, but for most of its history this little unit of energy was linked to shortage. The years since World War II have been a time of cheap and plentiful food, and of obese and sick citizens. Since our own daily struggle is fought against fat, we fail to see that many of the conflicts of the past were wars against hunger. Just as obesity leads to diabetes and human blindness, so plentiful food leads to decadent forms of history and social blindness. We are fortunate to have a bracing book like “The Taste of War,” which does much to correct understanding of the causes of armed conflict and mass murder.

Doris Duke conservation farm+May 4, 2012
Duke Farms is opening, really opening, without chaperons and scheduled tours, but with a specific mission: Teach visitors to be good stewards of the environment.

C-ville: From our farms to our tables+May 4, 2012
Farm to table eating isn’t new. In fact, it’s as old as the farm day is long. But when it became cheaper and easier to produce and distribute processed foods, we went from a farm-to-table nation to a factory-to-drive-through one. In the past decade or so, as we’ve become more concerned with the safety, seasonality, and freshness of our food, we’ve seen a renaissance in eating closer to the source. We’re putting our food back into the hands of our farmers. Here are some of their stories as well as some tales of the shepherds bringing it to our tables.
What's At Stake with the 2012 Farm Bill?+May 3, 2012
A series of papers and articles on the importance of the 2012 Farm Bill.
What will make food deserts bloom?+May 3, 2012
The Food Trust in Philadelphia is focused on access to fresh food, but is expanding their work to include changing habits as well.
Food Revolution Day May 19+May 2, 2012
Food Revolution Day on 19 May is a chance for people who love food to come together to share information, talents and resources; to pass on their knowledge and highlight the world’s food issues. All around the globe, people will work together to make a difference. Food Revolution Day is about connecting with your community through events at schools, restaurants, local businesses, dinner parties and farmers\' markets. We want to inspire change in people’s food habits and to promote the mission for better food and education for everyone.
Turning Unused Acres Green in Brooklyn+May 2, 2012
THE city of New York owns thousands of slivers of unused land, and about a year ago, a group of Brooklyn gardeners had an idea: identify all the vacant lots in the borough, then help neighborhood residents take them over. They built an online map, then a mobile app, with information about the plots, including the names and phone numbers of the agencies that owned them. They called themselves 596 Acres, after the total area of unused public land in Brooklyn, according to city data.

Changing Climate Impacts Local Farmers Markets+May 2, 2012
The mild winter has impacted the produce available at farmers markets.
Farmers Market Spring Shopping Guide+May 2, 2012
Tips and tricks for making the most of your farmers market experience!
Regional Food Hub Resource Guide+May 2, 2012
Food hub impacts on regional food systems,
and the resources available to support their
growth and development.
DePaul to offer urban agriculture minor+May 2, 2012
Starting in the fall, DePaul will offer an urban agriculture minor, making its expanded garden and addition to the Lincoln Park campus even more purposeful as students will be able to watch the garden progress in an urban and degraded environment.

WSU gets $5M donation for organic ag +May 2, 2012
Washington State University\'s pioneering programs in organic and sustainable agriculture received a $5 million donation on Friday.
The gift is from alumni and natural foods pioneers Chuck and Louanna Eggert and their family to expand the WSU Organic Farm from four acres to nearly 30 acres. That will give WSU the largest organic teaching farm on a university campus in the United States.

Read more here:
The fear of not having enough food contributes to obesity?+May 1, 2012
A study looks into how food insecurity can contribute to obesity.
Healthy Food Project (video)+April 30, 2012
The story behind the healthy food project of Brown and RISD's Design for America studio.
The World Food Prize - Nomination Form+April 30, 2012
THE WORLD FOOD PRIZE IS AWARDED for a specific, exceptionally significant, individual achievement at any point along the full range of the food production and distribution chain. Due May 1.
Growing the Good: An Interview With Oran B. Hesterman+April 30, 2012
What exactly makes food "sustainable"? Is it local? Humane? Biodynamic? Or, something else altogether? Our brand innovation firm’s recently launched Sustainable Food Challenge asks members of BBMG’s online research community this very question.
Food-Desert Researcher Slams Times Article+April 30, 2012
A noted food-desert researcher here took issue with an article in The New York Times this week that quoted two new studies undercutting the connection between food deserts — neighborhoods lacking access to fresh foods — and obesity.
Wholesome Wave+April 28, 2012
NPR's The Salt covers Wholesome Wave, an organization working to connect low-income households with affordable local food.
"Agent Orange Corn"+April 26, 2012
A new pesticide that shares an active ingredient with Agent Orange is drawing fire from scientists and environmentalists.
Encouraging local food production+April 26, 2012
A panel in St Louis to create a local food system to revitalize the local economy.
USDA launches regional food hub guide+April 26, 2012
Sustainability innovations shared on local food, buildings, and autos+April 26, 2012
A review of a Tom Tom Festival event, a panel on local sustainability initiatives.
Dow Corn, Resistant to a Weed Killer, Runs Into Opposition+April 26, 2012
The Dow Chemical company is on the verge of winning regulatory approval for corn that is genetically engineered to be immune to 2,4-D, allowing farmers to spray the chemical to kill weeds without harming the corn stalks.
Mad Cow Disease: What You Need to Know+April 26, 2012
A rundown of the latest case of mad cow disease in the US, the 4th since 2003.
Local Food Hub Featured in USDA Guide+April 26, 2012
MetroAg Open Online course+April 25, 2012
MetroAg is a 6-week open online course – designed so you can participate online as a watcher, a talker, a doer, or all three. MetroAg facilitates the discussion on how we integrate agriculture back into metropolitan areas. The content will build awareness of how agriculture can play a vital role in cities, focusing on areas such as food production, recreation, waste, energy, water management, & health care.
Register for BALLE's Annual Business Conference+April 25, 2012
Join more than 700 of the world’s most innovative community leaders, entrepreneurs, independent business owners, policymakers, economic development professionals, funders and investors for our 10 year anniversary in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Come for the cutting-edge solutions, stay for the party.
DC Farms could rise above I-395+April 25, 2012
DC unveiled a new 20-year plan to become the most sustainable city.
From our farms to our tables+April 24, 2012
The C-Ville Weekly features local farms and local tables this week.
Worst Farm Bill Ever?+April 24, 2012
Discusses the issues of the 2012 Farm Bill.
Would you like a bad Farm Bill or a terrible one?+April 24, 2012
Discusses the issues of the 2012 Farm Bill.
When a Sugar High Isn’t Enough+April 24, 2012
Kellogg takes aim at snack foods.
.A Ban on Some Seafood Has Fishermen Fuming+April 24, 2012
Standing on the deck of his rusted steel trawler, Naz Sanfilippo fumed about the latest bad news for New England fishermen: a decision by Whole Foods to stop selling any seafood it does not consider sustainable.

Vertical Farming with Net Zero Waste+April 23, 2012
A former Chicago meatpacking plant has been converted into a self-sustaining vertical farm.
Are Food Deserts an Urban Legend?+April 23, 2012
A response to the article in the NY Times last week regarding the existence of food deserts in American cities.
Duplicating Afghanistan From the Ground Up+April 22, 2012
A program in California, financed by the Agriculture Department, aims to introduce American service members to the kinds of agriculture they are likely to encounter when deployed to Afghanistan.
Peter Hatch's parting salvo+April 21, 2012
The C-ville covers Peter Hatch's accomplishments at Monticello's kitchen garden.
Joel Salatin responds to Jason McWilliam\'s piece in the NY Times+April 21, 2012
Joel Salatin provides a response to Jason McWilliam\'s piece in the NY Times.
900 Chickens!?+April 19, 2012
Smith Meadows Farms relates a funny anecdote about its 900 (erm, 1000) chickens.
Food Deserts and Obesity Role Challenged+April 18, 2012
Two studies recently released challenge the concept of a food desert and their role in rising obesity rates.
Reclaiming our Food blog+April 17, 2012
Big picture and practical information and stories on the local food system.
Do We Need More Advice About Eating Well?+April 16, 2012
A series of opinion pieces on America's eating habits.
Walmart will increase its commitment to local food+April 16, 2012
The 2012 Walmart CSR report identifies increasing purchases of local food as a sustainability goal.
What's really in your food?+April 13, 2012
An interesting take on food additives.
How Sodexo got its customers to eat less meat+April 12, 2012
In the year since food-service giant Sodexo launched its Meatless Monday program, many of its cafeteria sites have served more vegetable offerings and seen meat purchases decline.

Food Frenzy: An Economist Analyzes Eating.+April 12, 2012
Tyler Cowen probably isn’t going to be the most popular person at the farmer’s market this weekend.

The frenzy over locally sourced ingredients is one of many food trends that aren’t always grounded in economic reality, the George Mason University economics professor argues in a book to be released Thursday, “An Economist Gets Lunch: New Rules for Everyday Foodies.”

Beekeepers Buzzing About New Grant Program+April 12, 2012
Grants for beekeepers!
Is an egg for breakfast worth this?+April 12, 2012
An undercover report exposes harsh conditions in industrial-scale hen houses.
Container Gardening with Vegetables and Herbs+April 12, 2012
Some tips on container gardening, for those of us apartment-dwellers.
An Illegal Curbside Garden Flourishes in LA+April 11, 2012
An illegal curbside garden in LA is fighting back.
Food Stamps Helped Reduce Poverty Rate, Study Finds+April 10, 2012
A new study by the Agriculture Department has found that food stamps, one of the country’s largest social safety net programs, reduced the poverty rate substantially during the recent recession.
Tired of Hearing about Beef Processing? Try Chicken.+April 10, 2012
An overview of recent legislative actions with chicken processing inspections and studies on chicken meat and feed.
Food Connections: Reconnecting Hands, Mouth & Mind through Food Systems Education, April 20–22+April 10, 2012
From April 20 through 22, College of the Atlantic will be hosting a sustainable food systems conference, featuring what people need to know to transform food systems and how these subjects can best be learned.
Fast Food Chains In Cafeterias Put Hospitals In A Bind+April 10, 2012
On one side of a wall inside the Truman Medical Center cafeteria in Kansas City, Missouri, the menu features low-calorie, low-fat and low-sodium meals. On the other side of the wall is a McDonald's, featuring hamburgers and french fries.

The pairing is a sore point for hospital CEO John Bluford who, as chair last year of the American Hospital Association, issued a call to action urging hospitals to eliminate unhealthy food in cafeterias as one way to create a culture of wellness.
Live From the Cutting Room Floor+April 10, 2012
Thoughts on pink slime, food labeling, and more from Mark Bittman.
Taking Local to the Next Level+April 10, 2012
If customers at Rex 1516 in Philadelphia are curious about where their produce comes from, they need only step into the restaurant’s backyard.

Food Stamp Program Helping Reduce Poverty+April 10, 2012
SNAP benefits helped elevate the income of the nation's poorest during the recession.
Canning Apps+April 10, 2012
Apps for canning for novices and experts!
Sustainably Feeding a Changing World+April 9, 2012
One of the biggest challenges facing this planet isn’t simply feeding a growing population — perhaps as many as 10 billion by the year 2100. The challenge is feeding all those people as the climate changes in ways we can barely project. A new report called “Achieving Food Security in the Face of Climate Change” illustrates the complexity of the problem and makes clear that action must be taken soon to address it.

Farming\'s Future Part Two+April 9, 2012
The conclusion of a feature on the state of farming in Montgomery County, PA.
Food Waste Visualized+April 9, 2012
An infographic on global food waste
For Two Food Giants, Defining Fresh Fruit Is Not Cut and Dried+April 8, 2012
Pineapples and papayas are the weapons of choice in a global fruit fight under way in federal court in Manhattan. The point of the struggle? Deciding whether the fruit in plastic containers on refrigerated shelves in grocery store produce sections is fresh — or processed.

10 Things the Food Industry Doesn't Want You to Know+April 6, 2012
Nutrition experts argue that you can’t take marketing campaigns at face value.
What's Inside The 26-Ingredient School Lunch Burger?+April 6, 2012
Thiamine mononitrate, disodium inosinate, pyridoxine hydrochloride.

Why are these hard-to-pronounce ingredients added to everything from a burger served in schools to veggie burgers in the frozen food aisle of the grocery store?
Is Eating Fat Chickens Making Us Fat?+April 6, 2012
Can eating today's overweight and often deformed industrial chickens be contributing to our obesity epidemic? Is it possible that the white lean meat we've been told is better for us than heart attack-inducing red meat is actually full of fat? According to a 2009 British study -- yes.
The Future of Antibiotics on Farms+April 6, 2012
Studies have tied the misuse of antibiotics on factory farms to the rise of resistance, but the FDA keeps delaying action. Is it too late now?

Farmers Market Promotion Program Grants Available +April 6, 2012
USDA has announced a $10 million grant program to promote farmers' markets, CSAs, and other local food operations. Apply now!
How America Spends Money+April 6, 2012
An article looking at Bureau of Labor Statistics data on household spending from 1900 to today. The percentage of money households spend on food is a fraction of what it was in 1900.
Plan to Let Poultry Plants Inspect Birds Is Criticized+April 5, 2012
Federal food safety inspectors said a proposal by the Agriculture Department to expand a pilot program that allows private companies to take over the inspections at poultry plants could pose a health risk by allowing contaminated meat to reach customers.

Arsenic in Our Chicken?+April 5, 2012
Kristoff reports on a pair of new scientific studies suggesting that poultry on factory farms are routinely fed caffeine, active ingredients of Tylenol and Benadryl, banned antibiotics and even arsenic.

Judge tosses Happy Meal lawsuit against McDonald's+April 5, 2012
A San Francisco judge on Wednesday dismissed a lawsuit against McDonald's over the restaurant chain's marketing of its signature Happy Meals, according to court documents.

NY's Waldorf-Astoria gets into the beekeeping business+April 5, 2012
NY's Waldorf-Astoria is starting beekeeping on the roof of the hotel. The on-site restaurant will incorporate the honey into its dishes.
(r)Evolution for Sustainable Food Systems Training+April 4, 2012
In the summer of 2012, thirty emerging leaders from various countries will gather together to build their skills as innovative change makers. Through a 2 week-long program, of which one week is on campus in Burlington, Vermont and the rest online, we will expand your capacity to recognize and disrupt, and create solutions for our broken food system. Online will start June 18, 2012, followed by a one week residential learning experience June 24-29, 2012.

Straight From the Home Coop+April 4, 2012
FOR newly hatched chicken enthusiasts, the first egg from your own hens is a small miracle. “You want to dip it in gold,” said the writer Susan Orlean, who keeps nine hens at her home in Columbia County, N.Y.

Then comes the second egg: enough for a triumphant breakfast.

But when the whole coop starts laying, she said, the supply of eggs quickly turns into an “I Love Lucy”-style conveyor belt scene, bringing absurd, unmanageable excess.
Farm to Table+April 4, 2012
An article in VIrginia Business featuring a number of area farms and businesses, discussing the growing local food movement.
Little Fish, Big Impact: Report+April 3, 2012
Fisheries managers need to pay more careful attention
to the special vulnerabilities of forage fish and the cascading effects of forage fishing on predators, according to the April 2012 report Little Fish, Big Impact.
MSU's University Food Services now buys nearly one-fourth of its food from Montana +April 3, 2012
Those who wander into one of Montana State University's dining halls may notice a change is in the air, and it's not just the scent of the freshly baked bread on the menu.

Nearly a quarter of the food MSU's University Food Services buys each year now comes from farmers and producers in the state. The increased percentage purchased reflects a relatively new emphasis on local food at the university, brought about in part by student wishes, according to Todd Jutila, director of Food Services.

UVM Becomes Fifth School in Nation to Sign "Real Food Campus Commitment"+April 3, 2012
At a ceremony held on campus today, the University of Vermont announced it was only the fifth school in the nation, and the first large university east of California, to sign on to a program launched last fall called the Real Food Campus Commitment. UVM students were instrumental in advocating for UVM’s participation.

By signing the commitment, UVM pledges to serve 20 percent “real food” at all its campus food outlets by 2020. Real food is defined as that which is locally grown, fair trade, of low environmental impact and/or humanely produced.

Event discusses past, present and future of locally grown food +April 2, 2012
Increasing awareness of how closely Central Virginia’s history is tied to farms and produce was the topic of discussion at the first Central Virginia Food Heritage Gathering.

Mindful Eating as Food for Thought+April 2, 2012
Mindful eating as a way to fight bingeing.
Activists Say Americans Support Labeling Genetically Modified Food+April 2, 2012
Activists who want genetically modified food to be labeled in the U.S. say there's more support than ever for their cause. As evidence, a coalition calling itself Just Label It released the results today of a survey it commissioned from The Mellman Group, a national pollster. The survey found that 91 percent of voters favor the labeling of food with genetically modified ingredients.

Do Children Harvest Your Food?+April 2, 2012
The Harvest, U Roberto Romano's poignant film, forces us to think about where our food is coming from. Today, nearly 500,000 children as young as six harvest 25 percent of our crops.

Calif. food exec pleads guilty in tomato price-fixing scheme that involved national processors+April 2, 2012
A former California food company owner pleaded guilty to racketeering Thursday in a tomato price-fixing plot that authorities said drove up costs to consumers across the nation.

US pork industry moves to group pens at great cost+April 2, 2012
As U.S. pork producers build new barns and retrofit old ones to give hogs more space, they say consumers opposed to keeping pregnant sows in tight cages can expect to pay for their clearer consciences with higher food prices.

Food security focus fuels new worries over crop chemicals+April 2, 2012
Scientists, environmentalists and farm advocates are pressing the question about whether rewards of the trend toward using more and more crop chemicals are worth the risks, as the agricultural industry strives to ramp up production to feed the world's growing population.

The debate has heated up in the last several weeks, with a series of warnings and calls for government action including a lawsuit against the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Policy Plate: Farm Subsidies and Local Food+April 1, 2012
Environmental Working Group reports on how efforts are being made in the legislature to change subsidies in the Farm Bill to be more beneficial for local food and less beneficial for large, industrial-scale farms.
Supplier Connection+March 29, 2012
Corporations join forces to launch small business supplier initiative
Webinar: Effective Advocacy for the Healthy Food System You Want+March 29, 2012
Join three of the most knowledgeable advocates in the US for a 90-minute free webinar that will help you become an effective advocate for the healthy food system you want to see! 2012 is an election year, and a farm bill reauthorization year--two crucial opportunities to make your voice heard to policy-makers, especially in the current budget climate.

Sustainable Food Challenge+March 29, 2012
If you're here for the Sustainable Food Challenge, c'mon in. We're exploring what's next and what's good with more than $1,000 in prizes.

Whether you’re a concerned citizen, an entrepreneur or someone who believes in the power of social media to do good, The Collective offers a convenient way to help create the change you want to see in the world. By connecting you with influential brands and organizations that share your values, only The Collective gives you a platform for working behind the scenes to create a more responsible marketplace.
Food Start-Ups Flock to Old Pfizer Factory in Brooklyn+March 28, 2012
An old Pfizer factory in Brooklyn is being leased as incubator space for small food start-ups, including pickles, soda, and ice pops.
USDA Website Aims to Promote Local Food, But Does It?+March 28, 2012
A criticism of the new Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass from USDA.
USDA Website Aims to Promote Local Food, But Does It?+March 28, 2012
A criticism of the new Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass from USDA.
The Right to Sell Kids Junk+March 28, 2012
The First Amendment to the Constitution, which tops our Bill of Rights, guarantees — theoretically, at least — things we all care about. So much is here: freedom of religion, of the press, of speech, the right to assemble and more. Yet it’s stealthily and incredibly being invoked to safeguard the nearly unimpeded “right” of a handful of powerful corporations to market junk food to children.

Legislation to Ban Arsenic in Maryland's Poultry Industry Derailed Again by Insider Politics+March 28, 2012
For the third year, a bill to ban arsenic compounds in chicken feed failed to pass in the MD legislature. Arsenic is a toxic chemical that passes from the chickens to consumers and through poultry litter to waterways.
USDA & Senate Agriculture Committee Staff Visit Local Food Hub+March 27, 2012
The Local Food Hub describes a very important group of visitors to their site.
Farming\'s Future (Part One): The Decline of Local Growing+March 26, 2012
A poignant portrayal of farming and local food in Montgomery County, PA.
FarmHack: DIY Farmer Collaboration+March 26, 2012
A new series of web-based tools to help farmers help each other - without expensive tools or harmful chemicals.
The Ethicist: Tell Us Why It’s Ethical to Eat Meat: A Contest+March 25, 2012
Today we announce a nationwide contest for the omnivorous readers of The New York Times. We invite you to make the strongest possible case for this most basic of daily practices.

Companies Pick Up Used Packaging, and Recycling’s Cost+March 24, 2012
A growing number of large food and beverage companies in the United States are assuming the costs of recycling their packaging after consumers are finished with it, a responsibility long imposed on packaged goods companies in Europe and more recently in parts of Asia, Latin America and Canada.

Several factors are converging to make what is known as “extended producer responsibility” more attractive and, perhaps, more commonplace in the United States.
An Order to Ban Antibiotics for Livestock+March 24, 2012
President Obama is undertaking the steps necessary to ban antibiotics administered to livestock - however, the ban would only apply to use to promote animal growth and not to promote health.
Safeway, SUPERVALU and Food Lion to Stop Selling 'Pink Slime' Beef+March 23, 2012
Safeway, SUPERVALU and Food Lion announced today that they will no longer carry what the meat industry calls "lean finely textured beef," something the public has come to know as "pink slime."

All three companies site customer concerns as one of the primary reasons for the change.

New PBS Series \"Food Forward\" to Highlight Unsung Food Heroes+March 23, 2012
Educators often focus on the most popular leaders of movements. One can imagine a student answering Michael Pollan or Alice Waters to every question about the food movement in the future. Fortunately, “Food Forward,” a new documentary series premiering next month on PBS, will highlight the lesser-known food rebels across the country.
McDonald’s Says Its Chief Will Retire This Summer+March 22, 2012
Jim Skinner, the chief executive who steered a floundering McDonald’s to the best financial performance in its history, will retire this summer, the company announced late Wednesday.

McDonald's launches pilot program to drop polystyrene coffee cups+March 21, 2012
McDonald's has just announced a major environmental initiative: The company is launching a pilot program to phase out polystyrene beverage cups (McD's long ago gave up Styrofoam for its food packaging, but hot beverages have still been served in polystyrene).

Is a Calorie a Calorie?+March 21, 2012
I was looking forward to “Why Calories Count,” the new book by Marion Nestle and Malden Nesheim. I figured gaining an advanced education in calories might allow me to better understand diet and weight gain. These two are not faddists but clear thinkers: actual scientists. But of course there is more to weight gain than the calorie.

Make yourself useful: Five food actions in five minutes+March 20, 2012
Ready to start fixing the food system, but don’t know where to start? Why not kick things off with this list of easy, meaningful actions you can take right now — some without even leaving your computer screen.
Legalize Used Pickle Jars+March 20, 2012
Is a dishwasher in Missoula the solution to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch?
Overhauling the Farm Bill: Political Wedge Issues Slowing Reform+March 20, 2012
This article discusses the history of Farm Bill reform and identifies issues areas that could impact the next Farm Bill.
On the Future of Food: Discussing Reform and the Resistance to Change+March 16, 2012
In the second of two conversations centered on food (check out our talk from earlier the same day on the role of low-wage food service workers in our economy), former Agriculture Secretary and current Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Congressional Program Dan Glickman moderates a discussion on "The Future of Food."

Still a Fast-Food Nation: Eric Schlosser Reflects on 10 Years Later+March 16, 2012
Ten years after his seminal book Fast Food Nation, Eric Schlosser reflects on how little has changed in the production, safety, and consumption in America—but why he’s still hopeful.
McDonald’s Exempt From Sustainable Food Sourcing at London Olympics+March 16, 2012
If you are fortunate enough to visit London this summer for the 2012 Olympics, you will have plenty of eating options. Those who do not want to venture to East London’s fabulous Indian and Pakistani restaurants but cannot afford the City’s pricey eating establishments can always eat at the Olympic Park McDonald’s. The massive golden arches will seat 1500 people at full capacity and is tenfold the size of the average McDonald’s eatery.

But when it comes to chicken, Brazil, not the United Kingdom, will win the gold medal this summer. That is because McDonald’s was granted an exemption to London’s local food sourcing goals and therefore will only source 10 percent of the chicken it processes from British farmers. The admission by Sebastian Coe, chairman of the London Olympic and Paralympic Organising Committee (LOCOG), arched eyebrows, and even drew anger, in the London Assembly.
Looming political fight puts farmers on battlefield+March 16, 2012
U.S. lawmakers are short on time and money to make the biggest cuts in agriculture in a generation and failure risks unintentionally driving up food prices and adding to an already onerous deficit.
Groundwater nitrate contamination grows in California farm areas+March 16, 2012
UC Davis researchers say the drinking water supplies of 250,000 people will continue to be threatened. Providing clean water would cost less than reducing the amount of nitrates reaching aquifers, they say.
The Shopping Cart Index+March 16, 2012
A neat infographic on food access and affordability.
How Young Scientists are Determining the Future of Organic Farming+March 12, 2012
Good reports how sustainable farming techniques are becoming more popular in academic research.
From Kansas to Kenya, Biochar Can Capture Carbon and Improve Soil+March 12, 2012
A brief overview of biochar's role in improving soil and runoff quality.
Mobile food firm face hurdles in Hampton Roads+March 11, 2012
Zoning rules can pose a hurdle for food truck businesses.
Finally, Fake Chicken Worth Eating+March 9, 2012
This article has some really interesting facts about the chicken industry - animal AND soy/veggie protein
Pink Slime Found in 70% of Supermarket Ground Beef+March 8, 2012
A report finds that "pink slime", ammonia-treated salvaged meat scraps, is found in the majority of supermarket ground beef.
Towards an Index of Sustainability for Agriculture+March 8, 2012
Language matters. The words we choose can greatly impact what we communicate. If I say “I see a car” most everyone who speaks English will get the exact same message. If I say “I support local foods” the interpretation will likely be highly variable. Let’s explore some of the language that accompanies society’s current heightened interest in agriculture and the food system and whether we are sharing the same message.
It takes a village to build a sustainable following+March 7, 2012
At Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q in Birmingham, Ala., it’s policy that every day, everything is made from scratch: the pimento cheese, the hickory-smoked brisket and the lemon, chocolate and coconut pies. As if to prove a point, Jim ’N Nick’s owner Nick Pihakis refuses even to put a freezer in the kitchen.

Growing awareness: a new relationship with food+March 7, 2012
The Charlottesville Daily Progress interviews UVa Food Collaborative member Tanya Denckla Cobb on her new book, "Reclaiming Our Food: How the Grassroots Movement is Changing the Way We Eat".
Va wholesale farmers markets sales more than double in 5 years+March 7, 2012
Wholesale sales of food sold by farmers to state, county, and private buyers have rapidly increased.
What We Thinks Vs. What We Do - America's Nutrition Evolution (Infographic)+March 7, 2012
This infographic shows how the dietary guidelines by the federal government have changed over time and discusses the relative strengths and weaknesses of each.
Even Dairy Farming has a 1 Percent+March 7, 2012
An overview of the dairy industry's evolution over the past three generations of farmers.
In New Orleans, an Actor Turns Grocer+March 7, 2012
Wendell Pierce is opening a number of grocery stores in low-income neighborhoods in New Orleans that are currently under-served by grocery stores. Pierce hopes to increase access to healthy food for all residents of the city.
For One Student, Love of Gardens Sprouts into Several Projects+March 2, 2012
UVa Food Collaborative member Erin Block's research projects on local school and community gardens is featured on UVa Today.
Local Farms, Food and Jobs bill +March 2, 2012
The Local Farms, Food, and Jobs bill, also known as the Pingree-Brown bill, "includes a comprehensive package of cost-effective policy reforms that aim to make fresh, healthy and affordable food – especially fruits and vegetables – more accessible. It would help farmers and ranchers meet the growing demand for local and regional food -- and boost their incomes. Given our nation's costly epidemic of diet-related diseases, small investments now that increase access to and affordability of healthier food will save us billions of health care dollars down the road."

Read more about what the bill would do and how you can help support it by following the link above.
Richmond Courtesy Service to Combat Food Deserts+February 29, 2012
Mayor Dwight C. Jones today announced a new monthly grocery shuttle offering transportation for Richmond residents to local grocery stores. The courtesy service is being piloted for residents in areas of the city considered to be in food deserts – areas without access to healthy, nutritional, fresh food.

Into the woods: Seattle plants a public food forest+February 29, 2012
Seattle is turning un-programed public space into a permaculture garden for growing berries and fruits in an urban food forest.
Getting homemade foods off the black market+February 29, 2012
Grist writes a good overview of the challenges that the legal framework pose for small producers and recent movements to change that in California.
Food Service company BAMCO's role in making new farm & food data available+February 27, 2012
"Bon Appétit Management Company, which operates more than 400 cafés for companies including Twitter, Yahoo! and eBay, announced Tuesday the rollout of a comprehensive farm animal welfare policy that could make significantly more information about growing practices available. Bon Appétit plans to source 25 percent of its meat, poultry and egg purchases companywide from producers certified by Animal Welfare Approved, Food Alliance, Humane Farm Animal Care and/or Global Animal Partnership by 2015."
Making 'The Apple Pushers,' a Film About New York's Street Vendors+February 24, 2012
Reward Good Food: Prince Charles on Healthy, Sustainable Farming+February 24, 2012
Excerpts of a seminal speech given by the Prince of Wales in Georgetown in May 2011.
New Rules Planned on School Vending Machines+February 23, 2012
The Obama Administration plans to announce in coming weeks new rules on food permitted in vending machines in schools. The rules are expected reduce sugar and sodium content in snacks and beverages.
NYT Room for Debate: 2012 Farm Bill+February 23, 2012
The farm bill, being debated in the Senate this month, is felt far beyond the cornfields of Iowa. It’s about what we grow, but it’s also about what we eat and how we live.

On the potato chip aisle, Americans are seeing the farm bill’s market pressures. On the scale at the doctor’s office, we are seeing its health effects. It fuels the growth of agribusiness, and also sustains small farms. It dictates foreign food aid, school lunches and nutrition programs like food stamps. It can encourage stewardship of the land, or not.

In this sprawling legislation, what is missing that should be added? What is in the bill but should be eliminated?
St. Michael's College becomes first fair trade college in VT+February 21, 2012
Saint Michael’s College has been named a Fair Trade College, the first in Vermont, and will be granted that official status at a Fair Trade Café ceremony as sanctioned by Fair Trade Universities on Thursday, Feb. 23, from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m. in St. Edmund’s Hall Farrell Room (#315). The community is invited to the Café which includes a forum of speakers, a sampling of Fair Trade products and the signing of the Fair Trade College certificate by President Jack Neuhauser.
Manhattan College To Receive Fair Trade College Status+February 21, 2012
For the last five years, Manhattan College has worked to expand fair trade to campus as part of the College’s commitment to social responsibility, and as a result, will be the first college in New York City to receive Fair Trade College status. On Thursday, Feb. 16, a steering committee from Fair Trade Colleges and Universities in partnership with Fair Trade USA will honor Manhattan College with a certificate of achievement at a gathering on campus at 3:30 p.m. in Café 1853.

Local Food and The Farm Bill: Small Investments, Big Returns+February 20, 2012
This article provides an overview of the current state of the local food system trends and introduces the Pingree-Brown bill, a proposal for the 2012 Farm Bill. The bill includes "a comprehensive package of cost-effective policy reforms that would boost farmers’ and ranchers’ incomes by helping them meet the growing demand for local and regional food."
Local food ordinance proposed on west coast+February 20, 2012
A proposed local ordinance would make it easier for small producers to reach consumers in a California town.
Upstate NY school to serve at least one local food item a day+February 14, 2012
As part of its local food distribution program, Paul Smiths College will provide at least one local food item per day to students, faculty and staff.
McDonald's Will Phase Out Gestation Crates+February 14, 2012
Mark Bittman explains the significance of McDonald's new requirement that pigs not be placed in gestation crates on the industry.
USDA releases historic census of agriculture reports+February 13, 2012
Historic reports written by the USDA on the state of agriculture have been released. This is being done to celebrate 150 years of agricultural data in the US.
Food for the Parks: Local Food in America's National Parks+February 13, 2012
An initiative to have national parks commit to having local food.
Monsanto quits Britain amid backlash+February 12, 2012
The giant bio-tech firm Monsanto yesterday announced a major withdrawal from the UK amid intense opposition to genetically modified foods.
Exploding hog barns beckon U researchers+February 12, 2012
A team is investigating foam that has caused Midwest swine barns to unexpectedly explode.
Oakland aims to rebuild local food system one farm at a time+February 12, 2012
Oakland is making plans to increase urban agriculture within the city limits.
Walmart to Label Healthy Foods+February 9, 2012
As part of its promise last year to improve the nutritional quality of the food it sells, Walmart said on Tuesday that it had devised standards to determine what is healthy and would label the foods that meet those standards.

Mindful Eating+February 7, 2012
Mindful eating can reduce food intake while increasing our connection and appreciation of food.
Local Food and The Farm Bill+February 7, 2012
With the 2012 Farm Bill fast upon us, Congress has an opportunity to make smart, timely changes to help fix our broken food and farm system by embracing a package of policy reforms outlined in the Local Farms, Food and Jobs bill.
Georgia CSA Map+February 7, 2012
Book Review: The Table Comes First+February 6, 2012
If there is a leitmotif that follows the sinuosities of Adam Gopnik’s “The Table Comes First” — his investigation into the pleasures of the table, peeling back its veneer to examine the mechanisms that make it tick — it is “the simple path between eating well and feeling happy,” whether the table is at Noma or the humble home of a friend.

Saving Food From the Fridge+February 6, 2012
A designer highlights timeless food storage techniques that keep food fresher, longer and don\'t require any refrigeration.
Kathleen Merrigan: The Business of Local Food+February 4, 2012
Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan discusses the growing local food movement.
Organic farms first in Northwest to earn Food Justice Certified label+February 1, 2012
Social justice label allows family-scale farms to distinguish products from 'industrialized organic products'
Getting Ready for Turin and a Call for Artisan Food Producers for Salone del Gusto+January 31, 2012
In 2012, it is more important than ever before that we have producers coming to Turin who are as close as possible to our philosophy and can best represent us. Lend us a hand by recommending your favorite local producers who you think might be interested in taking part. You can send suggestions and questions to Carlo Belladonna Producers can register their attendance until March 31st, depending on availability.

The Evidence for a Vegan Diet+January 30, 2012
James McWilliams writes about the impacts that a vegan diet can have on personal health and the wider food system.
Charlottesville-based RelayFoods gets $3.1M investment+January 30, 2012
RelayFoods is hoping to expand their operations and customer base.
Extending the Growing Season+January 30, 2012
An article featuring the Local Food Hub's role in helping local farmers extend the growing season.
The Role of Local Food Systems in US Farm Policy+January 27, 2012
Sales of locally produced foods comprise a small but growing part of U.S. agricultural sales.
USDA estimates that farm-level value of local food sales totaled about $4.8 billion in 2008, or
about 1.6% of the U.S. market for agricultural products. An estimated total of 107,000 farms are
engaged in local food systems, or about 5% of all U.S. farms.
Will New Lunch Regulations Help Food Entrepreneurs?+January 27, 2012
Although pizza and french fries will still be on the menu, the food served in school cafeterias could start to get healthier under new regulations from the USDA. The regulations will also likely give a boost to a set of emerging, but fast-growing, companies like Oakland, California’s Revolution Foods that have set out to modernize an industrial segment—prepared food–that they claim hasn’t kept pace with consumer tastes.
America's 50 Most Powerful People in Food for 2012+January 27, 2012
Central Lakes College offers "Local Foods College" +January 24, 2012
Central Lakes College, through its Agriculture and Energy Center, is a co-host for seven sessions for farmers to increase the production of local foods in the region by building production and business management skills.
Upcycling's Upshot: How Urban Mushroom Farmers Turned Scavenging into a Business+January 24, 2012
Chefs, farmers join forces+January 23, 2012
David Sundeen Jr. and wife Susan Dumeyer spent a year on the farm of Bill and Barbara Spencer, and the result was higher revenue and tastier ingredients for restaurant clients.
Counting on Every Acre+January 23, 2012
A description of Common Ground, an instructional farm teaching youth about the connection between the land and the food we eat.
The Soul of Slow Food: Fighting for Both Farmers and Eaters +January 23, 2012
An overview of the Slow Food movement in the US
USDA official: Food system unsustainable+January 22, 2012
Building a regional food system in Durango, CO
Food Apps+January 19, 2012
An overview of 5 phone apps that help consumers make informed choices on-the-go.
$1.2 Million toward farmland preservation goes to 13 Virginia localities+January 18, 2012
Albemarle County is set to receive nearly $111,000 under the program.
What If We Had to Pay For the Food We Waste?+January 17, 2012
About 40 percent of food is wasted in the U.S. But what would happen to that number if we were forced to pay for every pound we threw away? Leon Kaye travels to South Korea where tossing food hits means emptying your wallet.

15,000 SF Portable Farm in NYC+January 17, 2012
A stalled construction site in Manhattan is the temporary home of a 15,000 SF portable farm, growing 100 crops in the middle of the city.
Bittman on why "We're Eating Less Meat..."+January 16, 2012
Mark Bittman presents his opinion on why Americans are eating less meat.
(NY) Getting local food to more local people key agriculture issue in 2012+January 14, 2012
A brief overview of ways NY is working to connect producers with local consumers.
Ill. Officials work to boost local food market+January 13, 2012
Chicago Tribune article
Assoc. for Envi Studies and Sciences: Call for Proposals+January 12, 2012
The 2012 annual meeting of the Association for Environmental Studies and Sciences (AESS) will be held on 21-24 June 2012 in the sunny campus of the Santa Clara University in California. We invite your participation.

With Work Scarce in Athens, Greeks Go Back to the Land+January 11, 2012
As Greece’s blighted economy plunges further into the abyss, an exodus of Greeks are fleeing to the countryside and looking to the nation’s rich rural past as a guide to the future.
Duke Campus Farm Annual Report+January 11, 2012
Kids’ Cereals Pack More Sugar Than Twinkies and Cookies+January 11, 2012
More than three-quarters of the cereals assessed fail proposed federal nutrition standards.
CU-Boulder signs fair food statement+January 10, 2012
University also trying to bring more organic, natural food to campus
The Dairyman's 10 Commandments+January 8, 2012
Published in October, 1885.
1,500 Employees Skip Holiday Party to Transform Local Farm +January 3, 2012
In place of a holiday party, computer technology company NVIDIA conducted one of Silicon Valley's largest-ever employee volunteer events, with 1,500 employees and community members gathering to bolster a local farm's ability to continue providing students and families with access to fresh local produce.
Webinar: Visualizing Health and the Farm Bill+December 29, 2011
Join Healthy Food Action for the launch of our 2012 Healthy Food, Healthy Farms webinar series. With an eye toward envisioning a Farm Bill that promotes health, the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy’s Jennifer Billig will provide an overview of the Farm Bill and its intersections with public health, including the kinds of farming and eating the bill currently supports.
Unity College Root Cellar+December 29, 2011
The Unity College root cellar combines old-fashioned earth tempering with state-of-the-art control systems that automatically draw in cool nighttime air.
How the Food Industry Eats Your Kid’s Lunch+December 25, 2011
An increasingly cozy alliance between companies that manufacture processed foods and companies that serve the meals is making students — a captive market — fat and sick while pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars in profits.
Beef Graphic+December 25, 2011
Mostly (But Not Entirely) Depressing Food Links+December 13, 2011
Food Financing 101: An Introduction+December 13, 2011
Creating a Multi-Faceted Policy Solution for a
Multi-Faceted Food System Problem
UN Food & Ag Org Warns 25 Percent Of Land Highly Degraded+December 3, 2011
The United Nations has completed the first-ever global assessment of the state of the planet's land resources, finding in a report Monday that a quarter of all land is highly degraded and warning the trend must be reversed if the world's growing population is to be fed.
Line Grows Long for Free Meals at U.S. Schools+November 30, 2011
Millions of American schoolchildren are receiving free or low-cost meals for the first time as their parents, many once solidly middle class, have lost jobs or homes during the economic crisis, qualifying their families for the decades-old safety-net program.

Girl Scouts can now win ‘locavore’ merit badges+November 30, 2011
Dust off your old sash, because you could be eligible for the Girl Scout "locavore" merit badge. (It means you only eat the cookies that your neighbor's kid sells, right?)

Is Local Food Affordable for Ordinary Folks?+November 30, 2011
A Comparison of Farmers Markets and Supermarkets in Nineteen Communities in the Southeast
Building a Future With Young Farmers: Report+November 30, 2011
New Survey of 1,000 Young and Beginning Farmers Reveals What the Next Generation Needs

U of Arizona Mesquite Bean Pods Project+November 29, 2011
The mesquite bean project, in the harvest stage
of August 2011, is a sustainable University of Arizona
initiative that involves the collection
seed pods for flour. Undergraduate intern Jess
Thompson coordinates volunteers to harvest
mesquite beans twice a week throughout the
mesquite harvest seasons, which lasts from
Aquarium's Dumpster diver analyzes waste+November 29, 2011
Michael Seaman can tell who has been visiting Monterey Bay Aquarium just by looking at the garbage.

"If it's a few coffee cups and some baby carrots, it's adults leading children," said Seaman, 28, the aquarium's new environmental and purchasing manager.

By "auditing" the aquarium's trash, Seaman can focus on the bigger picture — trying to reduce and recycle the waste coming from the 1.8 million people who visit the aquarium every year.

Campus Champions of Change Challenge+November 29, 2011
Tell us about your campus project and how it’s improving the lives of people in or around your campus community. Submit your project in this web form for a chance to come to the White House to be honored for your excellent work. Judges will choose 15 of the best projects submitted and YOU vote for the 5 campus projects that are honored at the White House.

U.Va. Math Professor Takes Students to Bee School+November 28, 2011
"Individual bees are not very bright; they just follow a set of basic rules," said Christian Gromoll, who teaches in the mathematics department in the College of Arts & Sciences. "But when you have thousands of bees following these rules in aggregate, they always make the right choice."

This collective decision-making process is part of what drew Gromoll to amateur beekeeping, a hobby he is sharing with undergraduate students through a new extracurricular program called "Bee School," which explores the underlying math of bee behavior.

Fair Trade Dispute+November 26, 2011
A tempest in a coffee pot is bubbling in the world of “fair trade,” the socially responsible food movement that seeks to lift farmers in the developing world out of poverty by offering them a premium for crops like coffee, cocoa and bananas.
CA Association for Food Studies Call for Papers+November 23, 2011
The 2012 CAFS conference theme, which reflects the Congress theme, is Crossroads for Food Studies: A Fork in the Road? Our subject matter necessarily requires the
crossing of disciplines and both the coming together and moving apart of ideas, individuals, and methods. The crossroads, then, represents the place where our studies both intersect and diverge, the moments when we make decisions about directions to take and colleagues with whom to collaborate, and the realities we face around change as individuals and communities, within the institutions of academia, government, social organizations, and elsewhere. These realities also engage with the crossings of food that take place at a larger scale—the migrations of food, products, and people around the planet, the entanglements of commerce and culture, and the challenges of rationalizing globalism with food issues both
regional and local. We invite submissions that deal with these questions, within (but not limited to) food production and consumption, regional and local foodscapes, relationships between urban practices and rural environments, other investigations from community
development to interdisciplinary education to crossings of art, technology, and food. We also encourage proposals dealing with the following ongoing CAFS interests as they relate to aspects of food or food studies:
• program or project evaluation
• research or funding directions
• research methodology and practice
• politics and policy
• the political economy of food and agriculture
• ecological food and agriculture environments
• the sociology and culture of consumption
• activismart and media
• gender, ethnicity/race, class and justice
• food insecurity and hunger
• sustainability
• food culture or history
• food ethics or philosophy
Local Food Is No Small Potatoes: Farmers Rake In Almost $5 Billion+November 21, 2011
It's easy to think of local food as a diversion for people with plenty of time and money — something that could never be a major source of food in a globalized world. But the number $4.8 billion might change that perception.

American farmers say they're selling $4.8 billion a year in fruits and vegetables in their local markets, according to a new analysis by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Though the number of farmer's markets doubled between 1998 and 2009, the bulk of the new sales came from supermarkets and restaurants.
2nd Virginia Food Security Summit To Be Held Dec. 5-6+November 21, 2011
What the Farm Bill is Going On? A Simple Timeline of Events+November 17, 2011
With all this talk of behind-closed-door negotiations and “Super Committees,” no wonder many us are completely baffled as to what is going on with the Farm Bill.

Food+Tech Connect has created a simple time line (with lots of links) below to illustrate the State of the Farm Bill, and to explain that, in the end, the outcome of all this Congressional wrangling is far from the final word on the bill.
Congress pushes back on healthier school lunches+November 17, 2011
In an effort many 9-year-olds will cheer, Congress wants pizza and french fries to stay on school lunch lines and is fighting the Obama administration's efforts to take unhealthy foods out of schools.

Food Collab members' City Market research+November 16, 2011
WSU Launches Publication Focused on Organic and Sustainable Agriculture+November 15, 2011
Washington State University’s College of Agricultural, Human, and Natural Resource Sciences today launched an electronic newsletter focused on organic and sustainable agriculture. The new, monthly e-newsletter is called Green Times. Subscriptions are free, and new subscribers should start or manage their subscription at

Bon Appetit Eat Local Challenge 2011+November 15, 2011
How local can you go — food wise? That was the challenge taken up by dozens of Bon Appétit Management Company chefs in 31 states for the seventh annual Eat Local Challenge on Tuesday, September 27, 2011. Some cooked a meal from 99.9% local ingredients, with salt as the only allowable non-local ingredient. A few went 100% local — meaning they even foraged for salt from within 150 miles of the café. Others focused on serving one excellent local meal.

Harvard Dining Hall food waste down 56% since 2005+November 15, 2011
For the first time in recent memory, the average annual weight of food waste in each dining hall has dipped below 200,000 pounds, marking a 56.5 percent decrease in wasted food since spring 2005.

Penn State receives $2.3 million organic-agriculture research grant+November 15, 2011
Researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences have been awarded a $2.3 million grant by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to investigate how certain cover crops and rotations can improve production of organic commodities.

Young Farmers Find Huge Obstacles to Getting Started+November 14, 2011
The National Young Farmers’ Coalition, a new group that has grown out of the Hudson Valley in New York, has surveyed more than 1,000 young farmers nationwide in an effort to identify the pitfalls that are keeping a new generation of Americans from going into agriculture.

Farm Bill Budget Visualizer+November 12, 2011
The Farm Bill Budget Visualizer, a project of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future, uses interactive “treemap” technology to share information about the budget of the Food, Conservation and Energy Act of 2008, aka the 2008 Farm Bill. Treemapping uses nested rectangles to display data, allowing users to “see” the federal funding received by programs within the Bill, and to examine how funding has been allocated across a range of issues from public health to commodity grain production to conservation.

Food co-op halts its Roanoke urban farm proposal+November 11, 2011
Roanoke Natural Foods' plan to include as many as 400 chickens on land near the former Countryside Golf Course property fueled outcry from neighbors.
Pig waste proves powerful+November 10, 2011

The old saw about using every part of a pig but the squeal now includes its droppings, which are producing electricity on a Yadkin County farm.

Duke University is a partner with Duke Energy and Google in testing a system that captures methane, a potent greenhouse gas, from manure. The gas fuels a small power plant that makes enough energy to run the waste-processing system and part of the farm itself.

Read more:
The Secret Farm Bill+November 9, 2011
The farm bill is written every five years. Although the current one doesn’t expire until September, the next one may be all but wrapped up by your first bite of turkey, because the leaders of the House and Senate agriculture committees — a group of four, representing Oklahoma, Michigan, Minnesota and Kansas (do you see a pattern here?) — are working feverishly to draw up a proposal in time to submit it to the supercommittee before the Nov. 23 deadline.

Uni. of N. Texas opens all vegan dining hall+November 8, 2011
Dining services at University of North Texas is one of the more largely impactful entities on our campus serving thousands of students, faculty and visitors each year. Realizing the responsibility at hand, dining services has added a focus on sustainability to their repertoire.
Understanding the Farm Bill+November 8, 2011
How do we get people to care about what the Bill says and how it impacts our communities? How can the food+tech community come together to encourage people to be involved? Over the course of the next month, Food+Tech Connect will compile an inexhaustible list of interactive, intriguing and useful media that groups are creating to entice the American public to care about the Farm Bill.
ASU Farm Student Caretaker Program+November 8, 2011
Feeding cattle and cleaning turkey coops are typically not on the agenda of an average Appalachian State University student.

However, for four students residing as caretakers on the new Sustainable Development Teaching and Research Farm in Ashe County, it is a way of life.

Two Revolutionary Tools for Beginning Farmers - an NGFN webinar+November 7, 2011
Time and time again we hear that amongst the biggest hurdles for beginning farmers are designing a business model which creditors will fund, and creating a comprehensive food safety plan for their farm. Each of the tools presented on this webinar addresses one of those hurdles.

Direct and Intermediated Marketing of Local Foods in the United States: USDA Report+November 7, 2011
This study uses nationally representative data on marketing of local foods to assess the relative scale of local food marketing channels. This research documents that sales through intermediated marketing channels, such as farmers’ sales to local grocers and restaurants, account for a large portion of all local food sales. Small and medium-sized farms dominate local foods sales marketed exclusively through direct-to-consumer channels (foods sold at roadside stands or farmers’ markets, for example) while large farms dominate local food sales marketed exclusively through intermediated channels. Farmers marketing food locally are most prominent in the Northeast and the West Coast regions and areas close to densely populated urban markets. Climate and topography favoring the production of fruits and vegetables, proximity to and neighboring farm participation in farmers’ markets, and good transportation and information access are found to be associated with higher levels of direct-to-consumer sales.

Drake University introduces professional program on community food system development+November 5, 2011
The Drake University Center for Professional Studies will present a new program designed to provide local leaders with the knowledge and skills to develop and maintain effective community based food systems. The program begins December 9, 2011.
Confessions of a former Big Food executive+November 4, 2011
A few weeks ago, I learned of a relatively new blog about food industry deception, but with an interesting twist. The blog's author is Bruce Bradley, who spent over 15 years as a food marketer at companies like General Mills, Pillsbury, and Nabisco. He has since, in his words, "become more educated about the risks and environmental impact of eating processed foods," and is now a CSA enthusiast.
A Bialy Shop’s Unlikely (Pakistani) Saviors+November 4, 2011
When the owner of Brooklyn’s oldest bialy store, Coney Island Bialys and Bagels, announced last summer that he was closing up shop, fans began mourning the impending loss of a 91-year-old piece of Jewish culinary history.

But the shop has been saved, and from an unlikely corner — at least as far as geopolitics are concerned. The new owners? Peerzada Shah, 43, and Zafaryab Ali, 52, a pair of Muslim immigrants from Pakistan.

Planning for Food and Agriculture: Taking a Systems Approach on the County or Community Level [Webinar]+November 4, 2011
This webinar will focus on county and community-based food and agriculture plans. Invited speakers include representatives from Sacramento Area Council of Governments, the Iowa Corridor Food and Agriculture Coalition, and Sacramento Area Council of Governments.

Growing Green Awards +November 3, 2011
NRDC Announces Fourth Annual Growing Green Awards to Honor Extraordinary Contributions in Sustainable Food.
A Start-Up Tries to Eliminate ‘Food Deserts’+November 1, 2011
Last year, M.B.A. students at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute in Seattle began hunting for a business-based solution to the problem of “food deserts” — low-income neighborhoods lacking access to healthful, affordable food. (More than 23 million Americans live in such places, according to the Department of Agriculture, which maps them here.) The result? Stockbox Grocers, a start-up that converts reclaimed shipping containers into miniature grocery stores and operates them out of parking lots in under-served communities. Its slogan: “Good food, where you live.”
Financing Food Hubs Webinar+November 1, 2011
The National Food Hub Collaboration assembled a panel of funding experts to illustrate the many conventional and unconventional ways food hubs can secure needed capital. Three hubs from across the country, each quite different from each other, described their operation and their capital needs. Then our expert panel advised each hub in turn on how to best access grants, loans, and other creative financing sources appropriate to that hub (and those similar to that hub).
Campus groups petition for local dining hall food+October 28, 2011
Slow Food Ithaca College, a group that promotes sustainable food, is circulating a petition calling on Sodexo, which runs the college’s dining halls, to adopt more local food to its selections.

America Celebrates Food Day with More than 2,000 Events in 50 States +October 28, 2011
Today a diverse range of organizations, public officials, and Americans from all walks of life are celebrating Food Day--a nationwide grassroots mobilization that encourages Americans to eat healthy, delicious food grown in a sustainable and humane way and to advocate for smarter food policies. Spearheaded by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, Food Day is being observed in all 50 states with more than 2,000 events nationwide.
Empty Fields Fill Urban Basins and Farmers’ Pockets+October 28, 2011
With water increasingly scarce in the West, some other communities are allowing farmers to sell their allotment of it for whatever price they can find, in some cases thousands of dollars for the amount it takes to grow an acre of a crop. But this comes with a hitch. Working farms provide jobs and income to their many suppliers. There are 450 farmers in the Imperial Valley, but half the jobs held by the 174,000 residents are tied to agriculture.

When land is idled, the communities around the farms can wither.
Farmers Sense the End of Big Boom+October 28, 2011
Record Crop Prices Have Driven Up Incomes, but Rising Costs and Cooling Demand Are Starting to Take a Bigger Bite.
Beginning Farmer Training Program+October 27, 2011
Starting in 2012, Future Harvest CASA is initiating its Beginner Farmer Training Program (BFTP), in partnership with Maryland Agricultural Resource Council (MARC). The Beginner Farmer Training Program (BFTP) is focused on training Chesapeake Region farmers on managing a sustainable family farm operation.

VT Student-run Dining Services garden expects 40,000-pound yield in 2011+October 26, 2011
Virginia Tech’s Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm, which provides a wide range of organically grown produce for several of the university’s dining venues, is anticipating a yield of 40,000 pounds for the 2011 harvest year.

The actual yield from 2010 was 23,000 pounds.

National Food Day Celebrated at The Haven+October 24, 2011
People in Charlottesville broke bread to celebrate National Food Day Sunday night. Dozens came out to The Haven to enjoy a variety dishes made from Virginia farms like beef, sweet potatoes, roasted chicken and more.

It's Time for Food Reformers to Step Down From Their Pedestals+October 21, 2011
Being right all the time feels good. But by itself, it isn't an effective way to fix our broken food system, which is in need of immediate reform.

Monsanto sprouting a produce-seed line+October 21, 2011
Monsanto Co., whose genetically modified corn and soybeans have reshaped America's heartland and rallied a nation of fast-food foes, wants to revolutionize the produce aisle.

The agribusiness giant already has quietly stepped into the marketplace with produce grown from its seeds.

TEDxFruitvale Puts the Focus on Farmworkers+October 21, 2011
In the last decade, food in America has gone from a lifestyle pursuit to serious issues, encompassing concerns about food safety, health and even industrial concentration. But the question of labor—just who’s out there picking all those vegetables anyway—has remained on the periphery, a silent and uncomfortable contradiction alongside calls to pay farmers premium prices for their food.

Enter last Friday’s TEDxFruitvale: Harvesting Change, a daylong conference at Mills College that was webcast to viewing parties across the country—and the first TEDx event focused on food and labor.
U.Va. Food Collaborative Co-Sponsors 'Food Day' Potluck and Book Talk (UVA Today)+October 20, 2011
Students challenge campuses to ditch junk food+October 20, 2011
Students at 216 campuses in 46 states and five countries are asking their campuses for healthier and sustainable foods.

The student groups are a part of a national movement called The Real Food Challenge, which hopes to convince universities to start serving more organic, locally grown foods and stop serving from industrial farms.

Farmers Facing Loss of Subsidy May Get New One+October 19, 2011
It seems a rare act of civic sacrifice: in the name of deficit reduction, lawmakers from both parties are calling for the end of a longstanding agricultural subsidy that puts about $5 billion a year in the pockets of their farmer constituents. Even major farm groups are accepting the move, saying that with farmers poised to reap bumper profits, they must do their part.

But in the same breath, the lawmakers and their farm lobby allies are seeking to send most of that money — under a new name — straight back to the same farmers, with most of the benefits going to large farms that grow commodity crops like corn, soybeans, wheat and cotton. In essence, lawmakers would replace one subsidy with a new one.
In California, Going All Out to Bid Adieu to Foie Gras+October 18, 2011
In eight months, the sale of foie gras will be banned in California. But for seven hours on Friday night, at a restaurant appropriately known as Animal, three chefs presented an eight-course meal that was nothing short of a glorification of this soon-to-be-outlawed delicacy.
Eating Healthy: Whose Choice Should It Be?+October 17, 2011
Can people make the right decisions when it comes to what they eat, or should restaurants and institutions do their part to help people make better food choices?

Solutions for a cultivated planet+October 16, 2011
Increasing population and consumption are placing unprecedented demands on agriculture and natural resources. Today, approximately a billion people are chronically malnourished while our agricultural systems are concurrently degrading land, water, biodiversity and climate on a global scale. To meet the world’s future food security and sustainability needs, food production must grow substantially while, at the same time, agriculture’s environmental footprint must shrink dramatically. Here we analyse solutions to this dilemma, showing that tremendous progress could be made by halting agricultural expansion, closing ‘yield gaps’ on underperforming lands, increasing cropping efficiency, shifting diets and reducing waste. Together, these strategies could double food production while greatly reducing the environmental impacts of agriculture.

North Carolina's Statewide Initiative for Building a Local Food Economy Webinar+October 14, 2011
The Webinar describes the Center for Environmental Farming Systems statewide Local Foods Initiative in North Carolina, and highlight some of the accomplishments, partnerships, and priorities for action. A key initiative, The 10% Campaign, will be described in detail.

What does the occupation of Wall Street have to do with agriculture?+October 14, 2011
Now two weeks in, the occupation of Wall Street originated from a July call to action by Adbusters to draw a line in the sand on the growing corporate control of our democracy and government—and in particular, Wall Street’s influence. Agriculture markets have been especially hard hit by Wall Street’s political prowess.
The Food of Politics+October 11, 2011
Marian Burros on "what Michelle Obama ate -- and where she ate it" (Politico).
When the Uprooted Put Down Roots [NYT]+October 10, 2011
"SAN DIEGO — At the Saturday farmer’s market in City Heights, a major portal for refugees, Khadija Musame, a Somali, arranges her freshly picked pumpkin leaves and lablab beans amid a United Nations of produce, including water spinach grown by a Cambodian refugee and amaranth, a grain harvested by Sarah Salie, who fled rebels in Liberia. Eaten with a touch of lemon by Africans, and coveted by Southeast Asians for soups, this crop is always a sell-out.

Among the regular customers at the New Roots farm stand are Congolese women in flowing dresses, Somali Muslims in headscarves, Latino men wearing broad-brimmed hats and Burundian mothers in brightly patterned textiles who walk home balancing boxes of produce on their heads.

New Roots, with 85 growers from 12 countries, is one of more than 50 community farms dedicated to refugee agriculture, an entrepreneurial movement spreading across the country. American agriculture has historically been forged by newcomers, like the Scandinavians who helped settle the Great Plains; today’s growers are more likely to be rural subsistence farmers from Africa and Asia, resettled in and around cities from New York, Burlington, Vt., and Lowell, Mass., to Minneapolis, Phoenix and San Diego. "
[NYT 'On This Day'] Oct 5 1947: Truman Calls On Nation To Forego Meat Tuesdays, Poultry, Eggs Thursdays+October 6, 2011
On October 5, 1947, in the first televised White House address, President Truman asked Americans to refrain from eating meat on Tuesdays and poultry on Thursdays to help stockpile grain for starving people in Europe.

Hiring Locally for Farm Work Is No Cure-All+October 6, 2011
How can there be a labor shortage when nearly one out of every 11 people in the nation are unemployed?

That’s the question John Harold asked himself last winter when he was trying to figure out how much help he would need to harvest the corn and onions on his 1,000-acre farm here in western Colorado.

Farmland ConneCTions+October 6, 2011
A Guide for Connecticut Towns, Institutions and Land Trusts Using or Leasing Farmland

The Harder They Spin: What USFRA Wants Us to Believe and Why It’s Still Not the Truth+October 6, 2011
I recently wrote about attending the Food Dialogues, a national “conversation about food” hosted by the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), a new trade association funded by some of the biggest players in the food industry—including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dupont, and Monsanto. There have been a number of comments on my post. I wanted to respond to one in particular from Hugh Whaley, USFRA’s General Manager.

Group seeks labels on genetically altered food +October 5, 2011
Today, a coalition of 300 companies, organizations and doctors will announce that it has filed a petition with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to require that all genetically engineered foods include a label that advises consumers they're eating food that has been altered.
At Davidson, students now can get local foods on the go+October 4, 2011
From New York City to San Francisco to Charlotte, high-class food trucks are leaving old-fashioned lunch trucks in the dust. Instead of packaged ice cream, hotdogs, or burritos, these trucks are serving up inexpensive gourmet meals from local ingredients.

Now Davidson College students are getting in on the act. The Davidson College Food Club recently launched its Food Cart, an on-campus spin on the food truck phenomenon.
Why the Food Market Will Be the Next Bubble to Burst+October 4, 2011
Residential real estate may be slumping, but ag land is booming. In Iowa, farmland prices have never been higher, having increased a whopping 34 percent in the past year, according to The Des Moines Register. The boom is driven in part by agribusiness expansion, but also by a new player in the agriculture game: private investment firms. Both are bidding up land values for the same reason: the price of food.

They're betting on hunger, and their reasoning, unfortunately, is sound.
USDA Fall Webinars+October 4, 2011
Fall has finally arrived. For many this is a busy time at home, at work and especially in the garden where there are crops to harvest, prepare and preserve; seeds to save; weeds to pull; debris to collect and compost; cover crops to plant and the list goes on. To help you save time, money and space, USDA’s People’s Garden Initiative has invited experts to share advice in its 2011 Fall Webinar Series.

Infographic: School Cafeteria Food vs. Prison Food+October 4, 2011
Healthy Food Access and Affordability Report+October 4, 2011
“We Can Pay the
Farmer or We Can
Pay the Hospital”
Daytime’s Talking Heads Are Now Eating, Too+October 3, 2011
It’s hard to pinpoint the moment when chefs turned into all-purpose celebrities, but there is no question that the line between food and show business has indelibly blurred.

Food Studies+October 3, 2011
College students studying food at the University of Texas at Austin.
Denmark introduces world's first food fat tax+October 3, 2011
Denmark has introduced what is believed to be the world's first fat tax - a surcharge on foods that are high in saturated fat.

Apples to Twinkies+October 3, 2011
Agricultural subsidy report.
Why Should Families Eat Together?+October 2, 2011
NYTimes photo essay.
Traditional Meal Ending Holy Days Becomes an Event (with quote from Food Collab. member Vanessa Ochs)+October 1, 2011
Yom Kippur, which begins next Friday night and ends Saturday night, is the Jewish Day of Atonement, the culmination of 10 days of contemplation, self-renewal and rededication to the path of righteousness. After such extended religious labor, capped off by a day without food or drink, the parched and hungry Jew is happy with whatever nourishment comes.

But in recent years, the break-fast party has become part of the Jewish social calendar. From Los Angeles to Chicago to New York, many are attending large, crowded break-fasts, where the spirit of the High Holy Days can get lost in the mixing, and where the day’s solemnity quickly abates, smothered by large quantities of cream cheese and hummus.

Vanessa Ochs, who teaches religion at the University of Virginia, says the new, bigger break-fast raises theological questions.
Water, Water, Everywhere, But Not Enough To Waste+September 30, 2011
Here's a fact worth pondering: Farming accounts for 70 percent of all the water that's used for any purpose, worldwide. And demand for it is growing, along with the planet's population and our increasing appetite for meat.
Food products described as artisan go mainstream+September 30, 2011
In the food world, "artisan" used to mean a meticulously handcrafted product, made in small batches.

No more.

This week, Domino's Pizza introduced its Artisan Pizza line at its nearly 5,000 outlets across the country. It joined the trend of major companies in describing products as artisan.

Organic Strawberries? Not So Much+September 30, 2011
Farmers seek to tighten federal standards that allow virtually all strawberry plants to be treated with pesticides
Deaths From Cantaloupe Listeria Rise+September 29, 2011
At least 13 people in eight states have died after eating cantaloupe contaminated with listeria, in the deadliest outbreak of food-borne illness in the United States in more than a decade, public health officials said on Tuesday.

Expand the Use of Food Stamps?+September 29, 2011
Nearly 50 million Americans rely on food stamps -- now called the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program -- and the federal costs are spiking accordingly. While the rising rolls can be linked to increasing joblessness, many low-wage workers also rely on the benefits. Some anti-hunger advocates would like to make it easier for them to use food stamps, by relaxing rules forbidding their use to buy fast food.
UVa Green Dining Photos+September 29, 2011
Pictures from UVa Green Dining events over the past two years.
Study debunks myths on organic farms+September 29, 2011

The results are in from a 30-year side-by-side trial of conventional and organic farming methods at Pennsylvania's Rodale Institute. Contrary to conventional wisdom, organic farming outperformed conventional farming in every measure.
Campus eateries showcase locally grown food options+September 28, 2011
The Duke Eat Local Challenge featured products from 40 local farms in Bon Appetit eateries Tuesday.
Center for Food Safety Report: Food, Climate, Human Rights, and the Economy+September 28, 2011
The Wheel of Life: Food, Climate, Human Rights, and the Economy
Ten Things to Reduce Hunger and Provide Good Food For All +September 28, 2011
Hunger exists in the United States. The reason is poverty. The root cause of poverty is powerlessness. Whyhunger uses the titled question as an approach to the solution by connecting communities to resources, while providing immediate access to nutritious emergency food. Bill Ayres, the executive director, co-founded WhyHunger thirty-five years ago to address the urgent need for food by establishing a food hotline and later included a multi-issued platform to build power and self-reliance in impoverished communities in the United States and worldwide. Why is there hunger in a world that can feed itself and how can we solve it? Here are ten things you can do to tackle the root causes of hunger and support long-term solutions at home and abroad.

In Debate About Food, a Monied New Player+September 28, 2011
LAST week, a new public-relations campaign about agriculture got off to a splashy start. With full-page ads in newspapers and panel discussions live-streamed on the Internet, the newly formed U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance began what it called a bid to “reshape the dialogue” about the American food supply.

Reforming the Carnivores +September 27, 2011
Students have plenty to say about food on campus, whether griping about quality or protesting over employee conditions.

But on some campuses, students and food service providers are forging unlikely partnerships. The cause? An increasingly widespread interest among students in where their food – and, in these cases, their meat – comes from, and how it’s produced. As part of this growing cultural movement, more students are trying to get sustainable meat – or less meat, period – on campuses.
Buying Local, Feeding Needy, Till Fordham Calls a Halt+September 27, 2011
The project seemed tailor-made for a university brochure: Students promoting locally grown food. A soup kitchen taking in the leftovers. An aspiring lawyer, from bucolic Essex, Vt., making Manhattan feel closer to some green space.

For more than 18 months, the farm-share program at Fordham University School of Law appeared to be fulfilling its mission: Students, as well as faculty and staff members, paid about $150 per semester to buy a share of a harvest from a farm in central New York.

Yet despite its success, the group, Farm to Fordham, was officially shuttered last week — the culmination of a convoluted process that began in April, when security personnel refused to open the gate for a vegetable delivery.

Temple Food Services hopes students will waste not+September 27, 2011
Balanced Way plates have sections for each food group in order to encourage healthy eating with minimal waste.
An Urban Garden Prepares Inmates for Green-Collar Jobs+September 27, 2011
The Cook County boot camp's three-quarter-acre farm is run by the Chicago Botanic Garden's Windy City Harvest program.
Urban gardening taking off at O'Hare+September 26, 2011
The world's first aeroponic garden in an airport will open to the public Friday.

UVA Students Learn in the Garden at Morven Farm+September 26, 2011
A group of students at the University of Virginia braved the rain to spend the morning on a farm in Albemarle County. The Kitchen Garden at Morven Farm doubles up as a classroom, where students can learn more about sustainable food.

After 27 Years, an Answer to the Question, ‘Where’s the Beef?’+September 26, 2011
AS the hamburger wars heat up, Wendy’s is rolling out the biggest weapons in its marketing arsenal, asking a familiar question again and bringing back some famous names.

Who’s Behind the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance and Why It Matters+September 25, 2011
On Thursday, September 22, the U.S. Farmers & Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), a new trade association made up of some of the biggest players in the food industry—including the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, Dupont, and Monsanto—hosted what they called “Food Dialogues” in Washington D.C., New York City, U.C. Davis, and Fair Oaks, Indiana.

Is Junk Food Really Cheaper?+September 25, 2011
THE “fact” that junk food is cheaper than real food has become a reflexive part of how we explain why so many Americans are overweight, particularly those with lower incomes.
Midwest Farmers Are on Alert Against Pig Thieves+September 25, 2011
A rash of pig thefts in Iowa and Minnesota has puzzled farmers and law enforcement officials.
Senate Agriculture Spending Bill Unveiled+September 23, 2011
On Wednesday, September 7, the Senate Appropriations Committee passed its fiscal year (FY) 2012 Agriculture Appropriations bill by voice vote.

The Agriculture Appropriations Subcommittee received an overall allocation of $19.78 billion for discretionary spending in FY 2012, translating to a $192 million reduction below the already low FY 2011 levels. The House bill passed earlier this year was based on a much lower, pre-budget deal allocation.

Can a National Food Day Convince Americans to Start Eating Right?+September 23, 2011
Modeled after Earth Day, Food Day is a nationwide series of events designed to change how Americans eat and think about food.
United Nations to consider the effects of food marketing on chronic disease+September 23, 2011
In what Bloomberg News terms an “epidemic battle,” food companies are doing everything they can to prevent the United Nations from issuing a statement that says anything about how food marketing promotes obesity and related chronic diseases.

Talk Will Probe Backstory and Influence of 'Organic' Food Labeling+September 22, 2011
What does it mean when a package of salad mixed greens is labeled "organic"? Or butter is labeled "natural"? Who develops and applies such key words that influence how we choose our food and understand its qualities?

Such questions will be addressed during a panel discussion on "Adulterated or Organic? The Meanings in What We Eat" at the University of Virginia Miller Center's Forum Room, to be held Sept. 23 from 2 to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

Del Monte Fresh Produce Resists Safety Regulations+September 22, 2011
When health investigators identified imported cantaloupes as the source of a salmonella outbreak early this year, the importer agreed to a recall. But now that company, Del Monte Fresh Produce, is trying to block additional restrictions on melon imports, setting off an unusually public battle between the produce industry and food safety regulators.

Calgary schools to ban junk food in 2012+September 22, 2011
As of 2012, all Calgary public schools will be junk food free.

No sweet, salty, or deep fried snacks will be sold on the grounds.

More on Local Food, Locally [NBC29]+September 21, 2011
Tanya Denckla Cobb on Local Food in VA [Virginia News Letter]+September 21, 2011
Local Food Hub Pop-Up Stand Set Up at UVA [NBC29]+September 21, 2011
The University of Virginia wants students to know about its relationship with the Local Food Hub. Tuesday, a pop-up food stand was set up on grounds by the amphitheater.

Why children's hospitals tolerate McDonald's+September 20, 2011
There's a childhood obesity epidemic, yet top medical centers welcome fast-food restaurants. Why? Follow the money .
Buying with plastic not good for impulse control, or obesity+September 20, 2011
This column has issued past warnings: How you pay can affect how much you buy.

Now, new research suggests that how we pay even impacts our waistline -- at least for some of us.

Did Walmart buy urban agriculture group’s silence?+September 20, 2011
Last week, retail behemoth Walmart announced a $1.01 million donation to Milwaukee-based Growing Power, a well-known urban farming nonprofit, whose founder Will Allen has gained many accolades for his hard work to bring local, healthy food to low-income areas.

So far the online debate over Growing Power taking this funding is predictable: Some defend it for pragmatic reasons, while others deplore the move, either because they don't like this particular company or they think all corporate money is evil. However, this donation cannot be viewed in such a narrow context. There is a pattern here that spans decades. By partnering with a group that could otherwise be one of its staunchest critics, Walmart is taking a page right out of the Big Tobacco playbook: buying silence.

Vegetable Gardens Are Booming in a Fallow Economy+September 17, 2011
Vegetable gardening has been on the rise across the country, according to Bruce Butterfield, research director at the National Gardening Association, driven by rising food prices and a growing contingent of health-conscious consumers. Garden-store retailers have reported increased sales over the past two years, he said, and many community gardens have waiting lists.

Growing Power Takes Massive Contribution from Wal-Mart: A Perspective on Money and the Movement+September 17, 2011
All organizations have to make decisions about from whom they are willing to take money and under what terms. Some groups will take money from any corporation that gives it to them, believing that they can do better things with the money than the company can. Other organizations are more selective, only taking money from those aligned with their mission. Yet Growing Power’s acceptance of this contribution and CEO Will Allen’s statement on his blog present some crucial dilemmas for the movement.
The Nation: Food Issue+September 16, 2011
The Food Movement: Its Power and Possibilities
A War Against Food Waste+September 16, 2011
A food industry alliance is planning a three-year initiative to reduce the tremendous amount of food that Americans still throw in the garbage even as they grow somewhat more conscientious about recycling paper and yard trimmings.

Regional Foodsheds: Are Our Local Zoning and Land Use Regulations Healthy?+September 16, 2011
Governments at all levels have become increasingly interested in fostering healthy eating habits and sustainable agricultural production. Promoting access to locally grown produce is an important part of many policy goals seeking to address these concerns, and the concept of regional foodsheds has risen in popularity as one method to achieve these goals.
A French Feast From a Political Pot [NYT]+September 16, 2011
'“It is our national responsibility to cook and to eat well,” Ms. Branget, a deputy from the center-right party of President Nicolas Sarkozy, said as she washed sand from fat, spongy morels at her kitchen sink. “There are no political parties around the dinner table. By creating this book, male and female deputies are defending their regions and carrying out their political mandate.”

One could hardly imagine an American member of Congress making such a proclamation. But food is so much a part of France’s identity that the government led a successful campaign last year to win United Nations recognition of the French meal as a national treasure. Elected deputies can rise and fall on the extent to which they protect the terrains of their grape growers, the subsidies of their milk producers, the clean water of their oyster cultivators and the rights of their recreational hunters.'
Let the Big Ag Reframing Begin +September 15, 2011
I've been issuing periodic warnings via Twitter that food and agriculture reformers better pay extremely close attention to the new, deep pocketed industry coalition, the U.S. Farmers and Ranchers Alliance (USFRA), which asserts on its home page: "For too long the voice of farmers and ranchers has often been missing in the conversation about where food in America comes from." Personally, I haven't noticed their voices missing but perhaps some have been unable to speak out because they've been so busy hiding deplorable conditions, unnecessary subsidies and unsafe/unhealthy practices that have, sadly, become mainstream in our food and agricultural system. However, any alliance that starts out with a $30 million budget means business and will be a force to be reckoned with.
Grub With Us gathers strangers for social meals+September 15, 2011
Armed with a reservation and a cocktail, I was ready for an adventure.

My mission: to share a meal with a table of strangers.

Grub With Us, a social network that organizes family-style meals for the un-acquainted, launched in Boston in June. It started a year ago when college buddies Daishin Sugano and Eddy Lu, both 30, relocated to Chicago.

Attack of the Superweed+September 14, 2011
New strains resist Roundup, the world’s top-selling herbicide.
Reclaiming Our Food (by Tanya Denckla Cobb) Review+September 13, 2011
In the wake of destructive factory farming practices and a gradual disconnect between people and the origins of their food, many are turning to sustainable local farming methods to reconnect with land and food sources, encourage food stability and independence (particularly in poor urban communities), support community growth, and utilize cities. As a result, a number of small non-profits and family farms are revitalizing farming for the next generation. In this meticulously researched, fascinating book, Cobb, an expert on food system planning, interviews these innovators to explore where we are as a nation in terms of food systems, where we're going, and what kinds of changes can be enacted to get us there, all in an accessible, reader-friendly tone.
5 Questions with a Foodie: Sarah Yates+September 13, 2011
Sarah is the social media marketing associate for Relay Foods of Charlottesville and Richmond. As she decribes it, she is “the face behind the tweets, the Facebook posts, the blog, and...” Well, you get the point. Working with a company like Relay, Sarah has an intimate connection with people’s food in a rather unique way. If you break it down, she gets to be a customer’s personal shopper, the product marketer and the shop itself—she is the entire food chain.

Ban on E. Coli in Ground Beef Is to Extend to 6 More Strains+September 13, 2011
The federal government will ban the sale of ground beef tainted with six toxic strains of E. coli bacteria that are increasingly showing up as the cause of severe illness from food.
Scaling-up Connections between Regional Ohio Specialty Crop Producers and Local Markets: Distribution as the Missing Link +September 13, 2011
Many local food systems advocates focus on increasing the number of farmers selling their products directly to consumers, but this type of direct marketing is only one strategy for increasing the consumption of local foods. Over 90 percent of all food for home consumption is acquired from retail venues (such as grocery stores) (USDA, ERS, 2010), suggesting an important strategy to increase the consumption of Ohio grown foods by Ohioans, is to focus on increasing the flow of these foods through the state’s distribution and retail market systems. This research is the first attempt at inventorying the existing produce retail-distribution structure to identify opportunities, barriers and the development needs associated with increasing the flow of Ohio grown fruits and vegetables to existing retailers and ultimately Ohio consumers. The research we report draws on our review of previous food system studies, as well as interviews we conducted with Ohio retailers, and a survey of produce distributors in the state. The goal of this work is to generate useful information that can identify next steps in scaling-up the connections between Ohio specialty crop producers and Ohio retail markets.

Restaurants want a piece of food stamp pie+September 12, 2011
The number of businesses approved to accept food stamps grew by a third from 2005 to 2010, U.S. Department of Agriculture records show, as vendors from convenience and dollar discount stores to gas stations and pharmacies increasingly joined the growing entitlement program.

FDA cooking up helpful new nutrition facts label+September 12, 2011
Nutrition and design experts want to overhaul the "nutrition facts" panel found on packaged foods to make it easier to understand what a food's value is _ and hopefully, make healthier choices.
Jamie Oliver calls for global action to tackle obesity+September 12, 2011
TV chef joins coalition of health experts and nutritionists urging UN to debate the issue at summit on disease
JPC Market Research team featured in UVA Magazine+September 9, 2011
Down on the Farm, Will Robots Replace Immigrant Labor? [Technology Review]+September 9, 2011
"You'd think that the most challenging, lowest-paid labor in the U.S. was safe from automation, but as robots become increasingly sophisticated, that could change."
Time to Revive Home Ec+September 8, 2011
NOBODY likes home economics. For most people, the phrase evokes bland food, bad sewing and self-righteous fussiness.

But home economics is more than a 1950s teacher in cat’s-eye glasses showing her female students how to make a white sauce. Reviving the program, and its original premises — that producing good, nutritious food is profoundly important, that it takes study and practice, and that it can and should be taught through the public school system — could help us in the fight against obesity and chronic disease today.

Harvest Time for Virginia Wine+September 8, 2011
HCWH Policy Statement on Antibiotics in Food+September 7, 2011
HCWH supports policies and practices that initially reduce and in the longer term eliminate the procurement
of meat, fish, and dairy products produced with routine, non-therapeutici uses of antibiotics.
ConAgra Dupes Bloggers+September 7, 2011
The hidden camera is a staple in commercials, from Folger’s ads in the 1970s and 1980s where diners in upscale restaurants unknowingly enjoyed instant coffee instead of the house brew, to more recent Pizza Hut ads, where diners, again in upscale restaurants, unknowingly enjoyed pasta from Pizza Hut.

But while consumers tend to laugh along with the ruse, ConAgra was about to learn that bloggers, who often see themselves as truth-seeking journalists, find the switcheroo less amusing, especially when it entails them misleading their readers beforehand.

ASU's Always Local Icon+September 6, 2011
Appalachian Food Services has developed (and will continue to add to) an Always Local list of products served in our dining facilities. Look for the Always Local icon to identify these items in the Food Services concepts.
MSU receives federal grant to help farmers deal with climate change+September 6, 2011
Climate and growing seasons are changing, and a Michigan State University professor is helping farmers adapt to those changes.

Sea Lice From Farmed Salmon Infect Wild Salmon+September 6, 2011
Farmed salmon present a serious threat to the survival of wild salmon stocks in the form of tiny sea lice, according a new study by Martin Krkosek of the University of Otago in New Zealand.
Los Angeles Unified students grade district's new menu choices+September 6, 2011
School officials hope to set the table with healthful food that students will actually eat.
Asian Honey, Banned in Europe, Is Flooding U.S. Grocery Shelves+September 6, 2011
FDA has the laws needed to keep adulterated honey off store shelves but does little, honey industry says.
Working to save endangered Northwest organic farmland+September 2, 2011
With an annual budget of around $1 million, the PCC Farmland Trust is small compared with other conservation efforts nationwide. But its charge is unique — and its reach is spreading fast. It's believed to be the only trust in the country dedicated to preserving organic farmland, a resource that's steadily shrinking even as demand for local and organic foods is on the rise.

Eating for the Health of the World+September 1, 2011
It is easy to get overwhelmed by the scope of today’s environmental problems. The more we learn about global warming, deforestation, species extinctions, soil erosion and degradation, water pollution and depletion—and their diverse, accompanying effects—the more tempting it is to give up in despair. But despair is not an option if we love children, neighbors and neighborhoods. What can we do? We can decide to eat for the health of the world.
Sugary drinks add 300 calories a day to youths' diets+September 1, 2011
Teens who drink soda, energy drinks and other sugary beverages are guzzling about 327 calories a day from them, which is equal to about 2½ cans of cola, new government data show.

Food For Health Business Plan Competition+August 31, 2011
Business competition to design entrepreneurship opportunities related to healthy and sustainable food in a health system.
Putting Ideas Into Action+August 31, 2011
For the last few months, Roper and fellow students Erica Stratton (Col ‘14), Anne De Chastonay (Arch ‘12) and their graduate-student mentor, Carla Jones (Arch ‘10, ‘14), have worked with Market Central, a nonprofit foundation formed by vendors and patrons, to define the role the City Market plays in the Charlottesville community.

Their work is funded by the Jefferson Public Citizens program at U.Va., an initiative that supports students who want to actively apply their classroom knowledge to real-world situations in communities around the world.

Upstate Farmers Find That a Fertile Flood Plain Is a Two-Edged Sword+August 31, 2011
Like many other growers in the Hudson Valley, John Gill’s grandfather established his farm along the banks of a creek — in his case, the lower Esopus in Hurley, N.Y. — because the land was so fertile, with topsoil penetrating 10 to 30 feet into the earth. The fertility is due to a flood plain. But the geological blessing of such a plain can change, in a matter of hours, into calamity, as Mr. Gill saw this week on the family farm, established in 1937, which sits at the base of the Catskill Mountains.
Take the $5 Challenge +August 30, 2011
When people ask me: “Doesn’t the food you eat (some mix of local, sustainable, organic, etc.) cost so much more than “regular” food?” I protest and agree at the same time. When they say “Doesn’t cooking from scratch take a lot of time?” I remember the awesome pasta I cooked the other night that took 7.5 minutes. But also the weekend of foraging I did going from one store to the next.

Safe, Organic Animal Foods Too Expensive? Eat Less+August 30, 2011
In an email exchange with Dr. Richard Raymond over my recent article on the massive Cargill recall of Salmonella-tainted ground turkey, the former head of food safety at USDA warned me that a likely result of tightened food safety laws would be "higher food prices making meat and poultry unaffordable sources of protein to some."

To which I replied: "I have no problem with that."
9 Farm Subsidy Myths+August 30, 2011
Lobbyists are swarming the offices of the Congressional super committee in an attempt to protect their pieces of the federal budget pie. The farm subsidy lobby is part of the pack. A list of common misconceptions deployed by subsidy defenders scrambling to keep the spigot open
Obama's unhelpful advice+August 30, 2011
Obama's advice to the farmer was simple: 'Contact USDA.'
Food Waste Set to Become Renewable Energy+August 30, 2011
One-third of the waste created at Humboldt State is from food. And soon, that waste will be producing renewable energy for the community.

UNH, China partner to study agricultural impacts on climate change+August 30, 2011
It's more than 6,700 miles between the University of New Hampshire and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences in Beijing, China. But the two institutions have become much closer through a recently announced joint project that could yield research valuable to understanding the environmental impact of large-scale agricultural production against the backdrop of global climate change.

Peeling Back the Label+August 30, 2011
It can be confusing trying to make sense of all the environmental claims plastered on food products lining grocery store aisles. Here’s the truth behind the print.
Food’s New Foot Soldiers+August 30, 2011
FoodCorps, which started last week, is symbolic of just what we need: a national service program that aims to improve nutrition education for children, develop school gardening projects and change what’s being served on school lunch trays.

Presidential Candidate Perry Championed Pesticides, Torpedoed Regs as Texas Ag Chief+August 30, 2011
As the harvest season approached in 1995, Texas cotton farmers had a boll weevil problem. The agriculture industry, then one of the biggest in the nation and vital to the Lone Star State's economy, projected that the beetle -- which feeds on cotton -- could wipe out its crop.

Then-Agriculture Commissioner Rick Perry had a solution. The Republican urged the cotton farmers to buy into a program to eradicate the pests using 250,000 gallons of the pesticide malathion.

Unsavory Culinary Elitism+August 26, 2011
Anthony Bourdain, the part-time chef and full-time celebrity, has a tongue on him. It’s the sharpest knife in his set. He has used it to carve up vegans, whom he called the “Hezbollah-like splinter faction” of vegetarians, and the culinary moralist Alice Waters, whose rigidity is “very Khmer Rouge.”

University opens nation's first Vegan cafeteria+August 24, 2011
Next week, the University of North Texas will open the nation's first strictly vegan cafeteria.

But administrators didn't create the vegan-friendly option to make a statement about animal welfare or sustainability so much as to provide more options for a student body whose tastes are growing increasingly diverse, said Ken Botts, director of special projects for Dining Services.

Organic farmers sue Monsanto+August 24, 2011
Nearly 300,000 organic farmers are filing suit against corporate agriculture giant Monsanto, who have in recent years squashed independent organic farms from coast to coast.

Alice Waters: 40 Years of Sustainable Food [NPR]+August 23, 2011
Four decades ago, restaurateur and food activist Alice Waters was at the forefront of the now flourishing locally grown, organic food movement. Her Berkeley-based restaurant, Chez Panisse, has become one of the most famous dining spots in America, known for changing its menu daily to reflect what's in season and for sourcing ingredients from local farmers.

But as a child, Waters almost never went to restaurants — and was extremely picky about what she'd actually put in her mouth.
At O'Hare Airport, Unused Land Is Going to the Bees+August 23, 2011
That buzzing sound you hear at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport could be a jet taking off. Or maybe it's coming from the 1.5 million bees that call the airport home. In May, the Chicago Department of Aviation partnered with a community group to start a 2,400 square foot apiary on-site. Now 23 beehives are up and running and are scheduled to yield 575 pounds of honey this year.

Could Farms Survive Without Illegal Labor?+August 23, 2011
A farmer in Maine who is raising crops sustainably told Times columnist Mark Bittman, “If the cost of food reflected the cost of production, that would change everything.” Instead, American produce is underpriced, in part because farmers and growers rely on illegal immigrant workers, who are paid little and often have poor working conditions.

This reliance on immigrant workers has farmers lobbying against a bill that would require them to verify migrant workers' status and employ only legal workers, saying such a mandate would cripple the industry.

If American growers are so dependent on illegal labor, would strict verification drive up prices for labor and, ultimately, produce? Are consumers too accustomed to inexpensive vegetables and fruit to accept the cost of legal labor to produce it?
The future of Gravenstein apples hangs on a thin stem+August 23, 2011
A small group rallies around the dwindling acreage producing the apples even as some Sonoma orchard owners opt to plant more profitable wine grapes.
New Farmers Find Their Footing+August 23, 2011
When Brenna Chase was farming in Connecticut a few years back, new farmers weren’t always welcome by oldsters. The pie, she says, just wasn’t big enough. “But now,” she said to me here, where she now farms, “the feeling is that the pie is getting bigger and that the more people that get into this the better it will be for everyone.”

By “this,” she means sustainable farming (here I use the term interchangeably with “organic” because many ethical farmers can’t afford organic certification), and the poised 33-year-old, who began farming in high school, is representative of young people I’ve met all over the country. These are people whose concern for the environment led to a desire to grow — and eat — better food. And although chefs still get more attention, the new farmers deserve recognition for their bold and often creative directions.

Summer's Top 5 Sustainable Food Books+August 23, 2011
As summer draws to an end, Roots of Change (ROC) wanted to know what were this summer’s top five sustainable food books to read.&nbs p; In a recent Facebook poll, ROC asked its followers to vote and tell us which books made their summer list. Below are the results.

Preaching a Healthy Diet in the Deep-Fried Delta+August 23, 2011
Not much seems out of place in the Mississippi Delta, where everything appears to be as it always has been, only more so as the years go by. But here in the fellowship hall of a little Baptist church on a country road is an astonishing sight: a plate of fresh fruit.

On Food Safety, a Long List but Little Money+August 23, 2011
This summer there has been a drumbeat of food-related illnesses. Strawberries containing E. coli killed one person in Oregon and sickened at least nine others. Ground turkey contaminated with salmonella poisoned more than 100 people nationwide, with one dead, and prompted one of the largest meat recalls ever. Imported papayas tainted with salmonella sickened at least 99. Sprouts grown in Idaho were linked to salmonella illnesses in five states.

The landmark food safety law passed by Congress last December is supposed to reduce the frequency and severity of food safety problems, but the roll call of recent cases underlines the magnitude of the task.

College organic, sustainability programs growing+August 23, 2011
Misha Manuchehri slowly picks her way through plots of barley, wheat and peas. Every so often, the graduate student in crop science at Washington State University stoops to pluck an errant weed at a farm just off campus.

With a bachelor's degree in organic agriculture already under her belt, Manuchehri plans to continue her studies and ultimately find work in sustainable agriculture.

Plenty of others are doing the same at dozens of universities that now offer courses, certificates or degree programs focused on organic and sustainable agriculture.
With a College's Help, a Natural-Foods Store Brings a Community to the Table+August 23, 2011
Paul Fonteyn hoped to accomplish many goals in his time as president of Green Mountain College, but becoming a landlord was not one of them.

And yet, late last year, Mr. Fonteyn put down about $50,000 (plus another $15,000 for repairs) to buy a 90-year-old building on Main Street in this tiny Vermont town. That building has become the site of a new food co-op, a business that students, faculty members, and others here had long hoped would provide a hip little hangout, a place to buy local produce (including veggies grown at the college), and a laboratory in which students could gain some real-world experience.

UC-Davis Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems major +August 23, 2011
UC Davis has approved a new interdisciplinary major called Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems.

How Big a Backyard Would You Need to Live Off the Land?+August 22, 2011
U.S. Rejects Mayor’s Plan to Ban Use of Food Stamps to Buy Soda+August 22, 2011
Federal officials on Friday rejected Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s proposal to bar New York City’s food stamp users from buying soda and other sugary drinks with them.

As Farmers’ Markets Go Mainstream, Some Fear a Glut+August 22, 2011
John Spineti started selling plump tomatoes and shiny squash at farmers’ markets in the early 1970s and saw his profits boom as markets became more popular. But just as farmers’ markets have become mainstream, Mr. Spineti said business has gone bust.

U.S. places $40 million chicken order+August 21, 2011
The United States is stepping in to help bail out another American industry -- chicken farmers and meat processors.
The Latest Raw Milk Raid+August 21, 2011
Federal agents organize a sting operation against a tiny raw milk buying club—and ignore more serious food-safety crimes

Bye-bye to use-by dates+August 21, 2011
No time to make a packed lunch before work? Soon you could make it a year in advance.
Scientists have discovered a natural preservative which could spell the end of rotting food.
Don't Get In A Pickle: Learn To Can Food Safely+August 21, 2011
Call it a reaction to high food prices, food recalls, and a bad economy. Or just call it retro chic. But there's no doubt canning is newly trendy among people who a couple of years ago probably didn't give much thought to what goes into a jar.

In College Dorms And Dining, How Nice Is Too Nice?+August 21, 2011
Nearly half of U.S. students factor in their on-campus dining options into their choice of where to go to college, which has turned college food services a $4.6 billion dollar industry.

It’s also made some Indiana University trustees wonder whether it’s economically feasible for the school to take part in an “amenities race” to build the nicest dining facilities and residence halls.
Engineering Food for All+August 20, 2011
FOOD prices are at record highs and the ranks of the hungry are swelling once again. A warming climate is beginning to nibble at crop yields worldwide. The United Nations predicts that there will be one to three billion more people to feed by midcentury.

Schools Restore Fresh Cooking to the Cafeteria+August 18, 2011
The idea of making school lunches better and healthier has gathered steam in many parts of the nation in recent years, but not equally for every child. Schools with money and involved parents concerned about obesity and nutrition charged ahead, while poor and struggling districts, overwhelmed by hard times, mostly did not.

This midsize city in northern Colorado, where 60 percent of the 19,500 students qualify for free or reduced-price meals, is trying to break the mold. When classes start on Thursday, the district will make a great leap forward — and at the same time back to the way it was done a generation ago — in cooking meals from scratch.

Creative cooking, composting go a long way+August 18, 2011
“Clean your plate; there are children starving in China!”

Your parents’ old saying has become a cliche, but they were on the right track, even if we questioned their reasoning.

Farms, Foraging and Freezing: Farm to School Innovations +August 18, 2011
What do you do if your Farm to School program yields more cabbage, squash, peppers and zucchini than you know what to do with? Well, if you are Jeanine Bowman, Foodservice Director of the Benson and Morris Area Public Schools, you freeze them. With the help of some basic equipment and a very enthusiastic staff, Bowman has used freezing to extend Farm to School well into the winter months.
Food and Farming Events at Duke This Fall+August 17, 2011
This calendar highlights food-related events taking place at Duke during fall 2011

'Eating Animals' Providing Food for Thought+August 17, 2011
Immediately after finishing the book "Eating Animals," incoming Duke freshman Andrew Hall drove to an organic food stand near his Charlotte home and ate his first veggie burger.

Then he decided to become a vegetarian for one week, "an experiment," he says, "to test whether being a vegetarian is a valid option in my life. Not only was it not hard to switch over to a vegetarian diet, I found myself exploring exciting dietary options."

FarmsReach Releases Findings from Produce Supply Chain Convening+August 17, 2011
Today we released the results from the Regional Produce Supply Chain Convening we hosted last Summer.

As many businesses, nonprofits and government agencies are seeking replicable models for regional food systems, our convening (more of a design workshop) focused on how to make regional distribution a large-volume logistical reality.

We revealed numerous systemic issues that must be addressed to build regional supply chains, in addition to many opportunities for innovation, investment and policy change.

Fields of Learning+August 16, 2011
Over the course of more than a century, the quantity, philosophy and purpose of student farms have all changed dramatically. But one thing has stayed the same: they’re still changing students’ lives.

At Vacant Homes, Foraging for Fruit+August 15, 2011
Over the last few years, in cities from Oakland, Calif., to Clemson, S.C., well-intentioned foraging enthusiasts have mapped public fruit trees and organized picking parties. Volunteers descend on generous homeowners who are happy to share their bounty, sometimes getting a few jars of preserves in return.

There are government efforts to turn abandoned land into food, too. In Multnomah County, Ore., officials offer property that has been seized for back taxes to community and governmental organizations for gardens.

But with more and more properties in foreclosure and large stretches of vacant lots available in some cities, a new, guerrilla-style harvest is taking shape.

Is U.S. Farm Policy Feeding The Obesity Epidemic?+August 15, 2011
These days, U.S. farm policy is blamed for a lot of things — even the nation's obesity epidemic. The idea is that the roughly $15 billion in annual subsidies that the federal government gives to farmers encourages them to grow too much grain. As a result, the theory goes, prices drop, food gets cheaper and we end up eating too much.

It seems like a simple equation. But the truth is rarely simple.

Three top chefs take a healthful test+August 15, 2011
The challenge: Reduce the calories fat and sodium in a favorite dish and see if diners can tell.
Baby's Palate And Food Memories Shaped Before Birth+August 12, 2011
Mothers might not realize that the tastes and flavors they savor while pregnant can influence their babies' palates later.
Boat-to-Table +August 12, 2011
SEA gulls and cormorants circled overhead in the early morning fog as the Block Island ferry blew its horn in the distance.

On the deck of his trawler, the Elizabeth Helen, Steve Arnold took out his Droid Incredible and photographed the best of that day’s catch of fluke. He e-mailed the photograph to a number of chefs and sent them a note saying what he had hauled in, what he would be fishing for in the coming days, and when he could deliver his catch that afternoon.

Farmers fear illegal-labor crackdown+August 12, 2011
If you buy strawberry Häagen-Dazs ice cream, Steve Sakuma says, there’s an 80 percent chance that you’re going to get his berries, which are grown on some of the richest black soil in America, in northern Washington state, about 50 miles from Canada.

And he says there’s a very good chance that you’d get berries handpicked by illegal immigrants, too.

Turning the Farm Bill into a Healthy Food Bill+August 12, 2011
It is the only important piece of environmental legislation that Congress is almost certain to enact over the next 18 months. And it’s our best chance to fix major flaws in America’s badly broken food system. By tradition, it’s called “the farm bill.” To EWG it ought to be the “food bill.” And instead of spending billions of your dollars in ways that harm water quality and wildlife, it should invest in protecting those resources.

Urban Farm with Milk Crates+August 10, 2011
Using one of the city's many stalled construction sites as a home, the farm of New York's Riverpark restaurant supplies the kitchen with fresh produce, without having a permanent home.
Building Respect for Ketchup+August 10, 2011
Jose Andres (and a few other chefs and entrepreneurs) are challenging the hegemony of the red, corn-syrup-sweetened product. “It is time to embrace and celebrate ketchup, not be ashamed of it,” he said.

McDonald's ousted from San Diego Airport+August 10, 2011
McDonald’s, the fast food chain that lured millions with its “you deserve a break” jingle, can’t seem to catch a break of its own — at least at the San Diego airport.

Like a forlorn teenager who’s dateless for the prom, McDonald’s says it’s been shut out of the latest bidding process to replace the airport’s food and retail concessions with mostly new businesses.
A Tale of Two Droughts+August 9, 2011
The US agriculture system is prepared to help farmers through the current severe drought, avoiding mass rural migration. But a famine in Somalia has caused over 135,000 to flee while many are dying each day from hunger.
UA students to use mesquite pods in food+August 9, 2011
Mesquite pods hanging from trees on the University of Arizona campus will be converted to scones and cookies this fall, courtesy of a student-led drive to create a food source from a maintenance headache.
I’ll Borrow Your Farm, You Keep My Bees+August 8, 2011
THE couple who own Tassot Apiaries here, Jean-Claude and Beatrice Tassot, may not have the biggest or flashiest stall at the Princeton or Morristown farmers’ market. But without them, the pickings at those and the four other markets where they regularly set up shop might be quite a bit slimmer.

Operation Meat Locker+August 8, 2011
Take care the next time you order high-quality meat at a lower-than-possible price. With food prices escalating, meat thieves — organized groups who target steaks and high-end cuts at supermarkets for resale to unscrupulous restaurants and markets — are a growing problem. They're also hitting meat lockers, cattle pens and 18-wheelers.

Pilfered Peppers in City Gardens+August 8, 2011
AT the 700 community gardens sprinkled through the city like little Edens, the first commandment should be obvious: Thou shalt not covet, much less steal, thy neighbor’s tomatoes, cucumbers or peppers. But people do.

The French Are Getting Fatter, Too [NPR]+August 6, 2011
"As the United States struggles to cope with obesity rates, France is often looked to as a counterexample. Yet obesity is on the rise there as well now, and though French culinary traditions are often credited with keeping people trim, some worry those eating habits are under assault.

French obesity rates are still far below those of the United States and other European countries. One might think they would be a lot worse. The shops and outdoor markets are full of pastries, meats and cheeses, and people are always talking about food. It turns out that it's not only what the French eat but how they eat that seems to make a difference."
A Farm with Heart… & Brains+August 5, 2011
How The Chef's Garden went from losing everything to being one of the country's best sustainable farms.
USDA's Advice For Eating Right Is Hard On The Wallet [NPR]+August 5, 2011
"There are myriad reasons why it's tough to follow a healthful diet in this day and age, and the formidable obesity epidemic in this country is a testament to the fact that too many of us simply can't do it.

The government, in theory, wants to lead us down a more healthful path, with tactics like the Dietary Guidelines, updated every five years with the latest nutritional science and suggestions for how to balance meals.

But fruits and veggies can be pricey relative to sugary, fatty foods, and the guidelines don't really help consumers on a tight budget figure out how to boost their intake of these healthful foods, public health experts say."
Salmonella Leads Cargill To Recall 36 Million Pounds Of Ground Turkey [NPR]+August 4, 2011
"When it comes to food recalls, Cargill's decision to pull 36 million pounds of ground turkey from the market is a big one — a really big one.

The food giant's taking the action for turkey produced at a plant in Springdale, Ark., because the meat may be contaminated with a strain of salmonella resistant to multiple antibiotics."
History of the Pickle+August 4, 2011
One of the biggest battles over assimilation occurred a century ago in New York City, and the battleground was food. Politicians, public health experts and social reformers were alarmed by what they saw as immigrants’ penchant for highly seasoned cooking. They used too much garlic, onion and pepper. They ate too many cured meats and were too generous with the condiments. Strongly flavored food, these officials believed, led to nervous, unstable people. Nervous, unstable people made bad Americans.

In other words, to be a good American, you had to eat like one.

Want Fresher Produce? Leave Dirt Behind+August 3, 2011
Often picked only several hours before arriving at Michael Anthony's Manhattan kitchen, four miles from the farm, the lettuce could not be more fresh, or local. It has just about all a demanding chef could ask, except one thing: dirt clinging to its roots.

A Chef Finds Healing in Food [NYT]+August 3, 2011
"FOR a chef, the inspiration to move into new creative territory can arrive with a euphoric flash.

Sometimes, though, inspiration chooses a darker, more distressing route. Consider the story of Seamus Mullen.

"I woke up one day with pain in my hip, and I couldn’t even move," he recalled the other day, as he took a break from overseeing the construction work on his latest restaurant, Tertulia, which is set to open in the West Village later this month."
At Sheppard Mansion, a delicious experiment in farm-to-inn-to-community [Washington Post]+August 2, 2011
"Embroidered on a hat that executive chef Andrew Little likes to wear is a credo he shares with his employers at the Sheppard Mansion: “Know Farms, Know Food.” It’s the name of a Facebook group he created, and it’s the focal point of a vibrant symbiosis connecting inn, market, restaurant, farm and community in Hanover, Pa.

The concept is not new: Tennessee’s Blackberry Farm, New York’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Virginia’s Inn at Little Washington come to mind. But Sheppard Mansion’s lack of airs is what sets it apart. One of its slogans: “Local is luxury.”"
Bowing To Pressure, McDonald's Makes Happy Meals More Healthful [NPR]+August 2, 2011
"The Happy Meal is headed for a nutrition overhaul.

Bowing to pressure that its kids' meals haven't been healthful enough, McDonald's will downsize french fries and put a fresh fruit or veggie in every Happy Meal.

Apple slices have long been an option with the Happy Meal. But the problem has been that parents have to ask for them in lieu of french fries. That's about to change.

McDonald's says today it's changing Happy Meals by cutting the portion size of french fries by more than half — to 1.1 ounces from 2.4 ounces."
That’s Not Trash, That’s Dinner+August 2, 2011
For Ms. Elder, who runs the Community Farm of Ann Arbor, the edible vegetable begins with the sprouts and does not end until the leaves, vines, tubers, shoots and seeds have given their all.

Defying a Stereotype With Gourmet Dishes+August 1, 2011
IT’S lunchtime in New Milford and Mayor Patricia Murphy is dining in the most unlikely place: the hospital cafe.

The mayor is one of a growing number of diners making pilgrimages to the hospital’s bistrolike cafe, drawn by the affordable, gourmet entrees, prepared with ingredients from local farms or from the hospital’s own rooftop garden.

It's Law: New Mexico Green Chilies Are Special [NPR]+August 1, 2011
"The heart of chili pepper country in southern New Mexico is the tiny village of Hatch, which bills itself the "Chile Capital of the World." A new state law aims to protect this food heritage by preventing foreign peppers from being labeled as New Mexico-grown.

At the heart of the "Chile Capital" is the Pepper Pot restaurant, which exclusively serves New Mexico-grown chilies. In the kitchen of the Pepper Pot, owner Melva Aguirre churns out hundreds of plates a day of chili rellenos."
New space helps D.C. Central Kitchen step up its local-food-hub operations+July 29, 2011
Back in March, Spike Mendelsohn, the former “Top Chef” competitor behind Good Stuff Eatery and We, the Pizza, handed over his tomato sauce recipe to D.C. Central Kitchen. His goal? For the nonprofit organization to practice and perfect the sauce and then to produce the 18 gallons a day that the Capitol Hill pizzeria needs to satisfy its customers.

The arrangement might sound unusual, but with any luck it won’t be the only deal that the ever-evolving D.C. Central Kitchen strikes with star chefs.

Plant it Forward+July 29, 2011
The Sustainable Southern-Plant it Forward Initiative (SPIFI) urban agriculture demonstration project is a long name for a project that is bringing gardening and farming to Southern's campus on a whole new level.
What if You Only Ate What Was Advertised on TV?+July 28, 2011
It should come as no surprise that the typical American diet isn't exactly brimming with healthy goodness — rather, it's laden with fat, sugar and salt. And now new research published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association points to a troubling reason: TV ads for food may be skewing our decisions on what we eat in powerful ways.
Local Food Has Been No Easy Sell in Appalachia+July 28, 2011
A Locavore Pioneer Puts His Ideas to the Test in Virginia
A Way to Save America's Bees: Buy Free-Range Beef+July 28, 2011
As the insects that pollinate our crops disappear, a team of scientists has learned that they thrive on land grazed by cattle.
McDonald’s to put apples in every Happy Meal as part of broader health push [Washington Post]+July 27, 2011
"NEW YORK — An apple a day may keep the doctor away. But when you put it in a Happy Meal, it might help keep regulators at bay too.

McDonald’s on Tuesday said that it would add apple slices and reduce the portion of French fries in its children’s meal boxes beginning this fall, effectively taking away consumers’ current choice between either having apples with caramel dip or fries as a Happy Meal side."
Bad Food? Tax It, and Subsidize Vegetables [NYT]+July 25, 2011
"WHAT will it take to get Americans to change our eating habits? The need is indisputable, since heart disease, diabetes and cancer are all in large part caused by the Standard American Diet. (Yes, it’s SAD.)

Though experts increasingly recommend a diet high in plants and low in animal products and processed foods, ours is quite the opposite, and there’s little disagreement that changing it could improve our health and save tens of millions of lives."
Crop Prices Erode Farm Subsidy Program [WSJ]+July 25, 2011
"SHELBYVILLE, Ill.—Business is humming in this typical Midwestern farm town, with its bronze statue of Lincoln overlooking the courthouse square.

Land prices are way up and so are bank deposits, as high corn and soybean prices mean local farmers are making the most money in their lives. At Sloan Implement, which sells John Deere tractors, "This could be our best year ever," says chief executive Tom Sloan."
Farm Dinners Serve Up Local Food, Ambiance [NPR]+July 24, 2011
"The locavore movement, which favors locally produced food, has inspired many people to get in touch with their inner farmer. That's easy during the harvest season, when farms across the country invite their neighbors over for dinner.

"Farm to fork" takes on a whole new meaning during dinner in the middle of a pasture, with cows.

From spring through fall, there are numerous neighborhood farms where a professional chef will serve an elegant multicourse meal of local foods grown by the farmer, who sits at the table alongside the guests."
D.C. farmers markets highlight an array of food safety issues [Washington Post]+July 23, 2011
"Outside the Department of Agriculture headquarters on Independence Avenue SW, government workers and tourists shop for fresh produce, poultry, popcorn, baked goods and hot lunches.

Like farmers markets across the country, this one sponsored by the USDA is thriving, propelled by a national craving for fresh food and the perception that locally grown food is healthier than food mass-produced by big agriculture and sold in grocery stores.

But commercial tests found pathogens on raw chickens sold by a Virginia farmer at the USDA market; the pathogens could be harmful if the poultry is not properly cooked, according to an investigation by News21, a national university reporting project at the University of Maryland. The same was true of poultry sold by a Pennsylvania farmer at a Vermont Avenue NW market."
Massive Heat Wave Could Cause Corn Prices To Pop [NPR]+July 23, 2011
"The massive heat wave that has baked much of the country's eastern half has scorched millions of acres of farmland, threatening crops and likely leading to higher prices at the supermarket, experts say.

Corn, which is at the crucial pollination stage in many areas of the Midwest, is especially vulnerable, but experts warn that if the high temperatures persist into August, the soybean crop could also take a hit.

Excessive heat warnings stretched from Kansas to Maine as the week ended, with triple-digit temperatures forecast through at least the weekend for much of the region.

"The corn crop is going to be reduced in many areas for sure because the soil has dried out," said Ed Kieser, a Columbus, Ohio, based agricultural meteorologist. He said that about 35 to 40 percent of the Corn Belt has been affected by the excessively hot and dry conditions."
Farm Thieves Target Grapes, and Even Bees [NYT]+July 22, 2011
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — Sgt. Walt Reed said he could tell right away that the grapes were stolen. They looked like an ordinary bunch. Except, he said, for the way they were dressed.

“Usually grapes are put into plastic bags,” said Sergeant Reed, a 28-year veteran of the Kern County Sheriff’s Office. “But these grapes were just thrown in a Styrofoam box.”
Are Vegetables and Exercise Causing Childhood Obesity in China? [Atlantic]+July 21, 2011
"Healthcare professionals usually endorse a balanced diet plus regular exercise as the formula for fitness. Surprising new research from the University of Southern California's Keck School of Medicine, however, suggests this may not hold true in China, where such healthy habits coexist with a sharp increase in the country's number of overweight and obese children.

"I hadn't seen any data ever—and I've seen lots of data—to show that eating fruits and vegetables, for example, is related to higher weight," Donna Spruijt-Metz, a coauthor of the study and an expert in pediatric obesity, told The Atlantic."
First Lady: Let's Move Fruits And Veggies To 'Food Deserts' [NPR]+July 20, 2011
"Today, first lady Michelle Obama announced that several major retailers, foundations and small businesses have committed to bringing healthier food to neighborhoods where supermarkets are scarce.

But she knows it's not going to be easy. If you have kids, you know that given the choice of Kit-Kats or kiwis, kids will pick usually pick the candy. But today's target is the parents living in so-called "food deserts."

"If a parent wants to pack a piece of fruit in a child's lunch... they shouldn't have to take three city buses," Mrs. Obama said during a press conference today."
Organic Foods Have Broad Appeal, But Costs Temper Demand [NPR]+July 20, 2011
"Are organic foods all they're cracked up to be?

We've been curious about how Americans view their food options. Concerns about toxins in some produce have led some people we know to go organic. But recent outbreaks of foodborne illness tied to organically grown sprouts in Europe underscore that an organic label isn't exactly a free pass to health.

So in the latest NPR-Thomson Reuters Health Poll, we asked more than 3,000 adults across the country about their attitudes toward organic food.

A solid majority — 58 percent — say they prefer to eat organic over non-organic food. Thirty-one percent favor non-organic food and 11 percent don't care one way or the other."
The power of calorie counting [WTOP]+July 18, 2011
Food Industry: Walk the Talk to Protect Our Kids' Health [Huffington Post]+July 18, 2011
"Federal guidelines that would help support healthy foods for kids are under attack.

Voluntary guidelines proposed by the FTC, USDA, FDA and other agencies last April will, if companies follow them, ensure that foods marketed to kids contain real food ingredients including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. They'll also limit harmful nutrients such as sodium, added sugars and saturated fats. Though voluntary, these guidelines will help move our food system in a direction that ensures foods available and promoted to kids are whole and minimally processed--fruits, vegetables and whole grains. It's what our kids deserve."
Should Cities Drive Food Trucks Off the Streets? [NYT]+July 18, 2011
"URBAN food trends, as delicious as they are, can have a dark side.

Backyard chickens offer fresh eggs and give the citybound a way to touch the country. But with them can come all manner of tricky diseases and noisy roosters.

An edible schoolyard is a terrific idea, until budget cuts and waning volunteer interest turn the plot into a tangle of weeds, forcing someone to explain to second graders why their beloved tomato plants died.

Now comes the modern food truck, where innovative cooks on a budget drive their kitchens around searching for what appears to be an endless supply of diners with Twitter accounts willing to line up for Korean tacos and salted caramel cupcakes.

What could be wrong with that? For some, plenty. From Los Angeles to New York, and Portland, Ore., to Atlanta, cities are wrestling with a trend now writ large on their streets, trying to balance the cultural good that comes with a restaurant on wheels against all the bad."
Secrets of a Garlic Grower [NYT]+July 15, 2011
"IT was a cool morning at El Bosque Garlic Farm when we gathered for the garlic harvest a few weeks ago. Named after the Spanish word for forest, these bottomland fields nestle in a valley between the Embudo River, a rocky tributary of the Rio Grande, and the rounded sandy red foothills of the Sangre de Cristo range.

Stanley Crawford, 73, a farmer-writer who loves garlic as much as words, was loosening the fat bulbs from the soil, guiding his Kubota L2850 tractor, with its sharp horizontal discs, to cut just beneath the bulbs. It’s a delicate operation, dislodging the roots without slicing through any precious bulbs of California Early, a soft-neck garlic variety that brings 75 cents a head at the Santa Fe farmer’s market."
Vermont Town's Food Focus Still A Growing Concept [NPR]+July 15, 2011
"The town of Hardwick, Vt., has been celebrated as the scene of a local food revival. In recent years, lots of small farms have started up nearby.

Tom Stearns, president of a local organic seed company called High Mowing Seeds, says there are more organic farms per capita within 10 miles of Hardwick than anywhere else in the world. There's also a thriving local grocery co-op; a busy farmer's market; even a classy restaurant — Claire's — where almost anything you eat grew or grazed on land nearby."
Food Makers Push Back on Ads for Children+July 15, 2011
Are Goldfish crackers junk food?

Under proposed new nutritional guidelines, the federal government says yes, and it does not want food like the crackers advertised to children because they contain too much saturated fat and salt and are made from white flour.

But food makers say the fish-shaped treats, made by Campbell Soup’s Pepperidge Farm division, belong on a list of healthful foods that are fine to market to children.

Chain Restaurants To Add More Healthful Kids' Meals [NPR]+July 14, 2011
"In a nod to the growing demand for nutritious options for families eating out, restaurants across the country will make it easier for parents to swap fries for apple slices in their kids' meals.

The National Restaurant Association said it's encouraging restaurants to offer choices that emphasize nutrition over empty calories in meals for children through a new program called Kids Live Well.

But a big question remains: Will kids really choose steamed broccoli and grilled chicken instead of fries and burgers?"
How Much _____ Could You Eat on a Dollar?+July 14, 2011
Lapham’s Quarterly put together this graphic showing just how much food a dollar will get you. A buck could net you four eggs, a little more than a half gallon of bottled water, or an entire McDouble sandwich. That's anywhere from zero to 1,080 calories.

It’s a compelling illustration of how unhealthy food can be a lot cheaper than healthy food.
GM Salmon [Time]+July 13, 2011
As I write in this week's TIME cover story, aquaculture — fish farming — is an increasingly essential part of our global food system. Already about half of our seafood starts on an aquatic farm, and as seafood demand continues to rise and the wild ocean catch plateaus, you can be certain that the emphasis on aquaculture will continue to grow.

For much of the world, that's a good thing. Seafood tends to be healthier than land-raised meat, and fish farming on the whole is a more efficient way to produce protein than raising traditional farm animals. (Efficiency in this case means turning inputs — fish feed — into outputs, fillets on your table.) If aquaculture can deliver inexpensive protein to the masses, it could go a long way toward meeting the increasing demand for food globally, expected to double by midcentury. "We need to shift from collecting and harvesting fish in the wild to a culture bred around seafood production," says Yonathan Zohar, the director of the Center of Marine Biotechnology at the University of Maryland. "[Fish farming] needs to be sustainable and it needs to be economically feasible."

But there's a major problem with the expansion of aquaculture as it's practiced today: fish feed. The most popular commercial species — think salmon — tend to be carnivores high on the food chain, so they need to be fed a lot of smaller fish in order to grow. If we end up taking more fish mass out of the ocean for feed than we produce via farming, well, that's not very sustainable. One way around that obstacle is to pick more farmable species, like barramundi and tilapia, which produce more protein than they need as feed. But that doesn't satisfy the consumer demand for salmon or tuna or cod. "With aquaculture it's a bit like we're trying to fit a square peg into a round hole," says Paul Greenberg, the author of Four Fish, one of the best books on global seafood. "We can try to change the hole with different species, or we can try to make the peg fit that hole."
Dean Foods Reaches Agreement to Settle Tennessee Farmer Litigation+July 13, 2011
Dean Foods Company (NYSE: DF) today announced it has reached an agreement with the plaintiffs to settle litigation brought on behalf of a class of dairy farmers in various Southeastern states. The case had been scheduled for trial beginning in August 2011.

Under the proposed settlement agreement, which is pending approval by the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee, Dean Foods will pay a total of $140 million over a period of four to five years into a fund that will be available for distribution to dairy farmer class members in a number of Southeastern states. Dean Foods will make an initial payment of $60 million upon preliminary approval of the agreement by the Court, and will make subsequent payments of $20 million in each of the following four years on the anniversary of the final approval date.

New School Food Studies Program +July 13, 2011
Edible Manhattan article about the New School's Food Studies Program.
Drought Spreads Pain From Florida to Arizona+July 13, 2011
The heat and the drought are so bad in this southwest corner of Georgia that hogs can barely eat. Corn, a lucrative crop with a notorious thirst, is burning up in fields. Cotton plants are too weak to punch through soil so dry it might as well be pavement.

Farmers with the money and equipment to irrigate are running wells dry in the unseasonably early and particularly brutal national drought that some say could rival the Dust Bowl days.

Pop-up Paris Picnic+July 12, 2011
THERE are picnics, and then there are picnics.

Three weeks ago, in the golden light of an early-summer evening, thousands of Parisians dressed entirely in white converged on two of the city’s most picturesque locations — 4,400 of them in the plaza at the cathedral of Notre Dame; 6,200 in a courtyard of the Louvre — for a feast that was neither advertised nor publicly heralded. They had brought along not only their own epicurean repasts but also their own tables, chairs, glasses, silver and napery.

At midnight, after dining and dancing, they packed up their dishes, stowed their empty Champagne bottles in trash bags brought for that purpose, stooped to pick up their cigarette butts from the cobbles and departed. The landmarks were left immaculate, with no traces of the revelry of the previous three hours.

This annual event, called the Dîner en Blanc — the “dinner in white” — is like a gustatory Brigadoon, equal parts mystery, anachronism and caprice.
Not a Typical Pizza Place Anymore+July 12, 2011
Four years ago, Arturo’s, a corner pizzeria here, resembled countless others that sold slices and takeout pies to customers who were not asking who grew those tomatoes, where, or how.

But a pair of new, young owners have turned Arturo’s into a favorite among advocates of local agriculture and artisanal fare. It mills grain for its bread and pizza crust, and takes pains to tell customers which nearby farms produced ingredients from kale to sausage.

The chef, Dan Richer, was named a semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation award this year — akin to a film made by unknowns contending for an Oscar.
Vermiculture at Harvard+July 12, 2011
Earlier this year, thanks to a Student Sustainability Grant, Green’ 14 was able to start a vermiculture pilot project in Thayer Hall, one of the freshman dorms in the Yard.

Vermiculture bins use the natural composting abilities of earthworms to create a pH neutral environment that is great for composting. These worms are able to munch their way through their weight in food every two weeks! And the best part about vermiculture? Because the worms do the nitty gritty work, these bins are easily maintained, odorless, and suitable to be kept indoors. We were very excited to get the vermiculture bin approved and set-up in Thayer.

Pickman's Chicken Farm Is Now Cruelty Free [McSweeney's]+July 11, 2011
A Taste Test for Hunger+July 11, 2011
CONSIDER this paradox: according to conventional wisdom, hunger is supposed to decline as a country’s wealth increases. Yet in China and India, hunger appears to be growing even as incomes increase at phenomenal rates.

Complete city market task force recommendations+July 11, 2011
As directed by City Council, the Task Force evaluated potential sites for a permanent location for the City Market and recommends that the present location be the permanent location. This recommendation takes into consideration best practices drawn from examples throughout the country about the economic, cultural, and public health values of markets to communities. These best practices include market location, but also market management and financing, growth and development, and, especially important for Charlottesville, the complementary relationship between urban markets and rural land use.

Answer for Invasive Species: Put It on a Plate and Eat It+July 11, 2011
With its dark red and black stripes, spotted fins and long venomous black spikes, the lionfish seems better suited for horror films than consumption. But lionfish fritters and filets may be on American tables soon.

Having a field day on the farm [Washington Post]+July 11, 2011
"About 1,700 people attended the recent Field Day at Polyface Farm in Swoope, Va., taking tours and seeing how the Salatin family practices pasture-based farming."
Migrants Work For The Future, Sing To Remember [NPR]+July 11, 2011
"Cherries are finally ready for harvest in the northwestern United States. A cold spring means that this is the latest cherry season anyone can remember.

One of the largest fruit orchards in the world is located in the hot, dry and dusty desert country of southeastern Washington. At the Broetje orchards, cherry trees create an emerald canopy. It's 4,400 lush acres on a bend in the Columbia River.

The feet of the cherry pickers peek out from the trees' branches on tall aluminum ladders. Their bodies and faces are hidden up in the leaves. The 12-foot ladders shift and the cherries thud softly in buckets.

A surprise comes for those who wait long enough: Many of these migrant workers sing to pass the time."
Some schools will serve free meals to all, thanks to new federal program+July 11, 2011
Any school in Illinois where at least 40 percent of students are needy will be able to serve free meals to all children, regardless of family income, starting this fall as part of a pilot program offered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

1 Pear Tree, 1 Hour, 567 Pounds for Those in Need+July 11, 2011
Fruit gleaning in Atlanta.
Ethanol Subsidies Besieged+July 8, 2011
Federal subsidies for corn ethanol have long been considered untouchable in Washington — not least because politicians want the votes of Iowans, who have traditionally held the first nominating caucuses in the contest for the presidency.

But this year, cutting the budget deficit holds more allure than courting corn farmers, making a turning point in ethanol politics.

In Washington, there is growing consensus that the ethanol industry has reached financial stability, making much government assistance unnecessary. A strong majority of the Senate recently voted to end most of the subsidies.
Humane Society, Egg Group Propose Cage, Hen Treatment Laws+July 8, 2011
The Humane Society of the U.S. and the United Egg Producers said they agreed to urge U.S. lawmakers to enact national standards for the treatment and living conditions of hens, including more cage space.

The agreement calls for new “enriched housing systems” that offer nearly double the amount of space provided for birds in conventional cages used in more than 90 percent of the egg- producing industry, the groups said today in a joint statement. The change will cost the industry $4 billion over the next 15 years, according to the groups.

'Anthropology of Food' Summer Course Leaves Students Hungry for More+July 7, 2011
University of Virginia students in Lisa Shutt's "Anthropology of Food" class are looking in a whole new way at what goes into their stomachs and how it got there.

Over the course of four weeks this summer, the students are exploring the ties between food, kinship, gender and ritual, among other cultural practices that both define and unite societies across the world. As an anthropologist and lecturer in the College of Arts & Sciences, Shutt explained, "Food is part of all our identities."

Want to Make More Than a Banker? Become a Farmer! [TIME]+July 7, 2011
"If you want to become rich, Jim Rogers, investment whiz, best-selling author and one of Wall Street's towering personalities, has this advice: Become a farmer. Food prices have been high recently. Some have questioned how long that can continue. Not Rogers. He predicts that farming incomes will rise dramatically in the next few decades, faster than those in most other industries — even Wall Street. The essence of his argument is this: We don't need more bankers. What we need are more farmers. The invisible hand will do its magic. "The world has got a serious food problem," says Rogers. "The only real way to solve it is to draw more people back to agriculture.""
5 Sustainable Lessons from a Family Farm+July 7, 2011
Over the years, I have heard farmers speak of their "sustainable" farms, only to wonder what they actually meant by that term.

Perhaps it is the engineer in me that desires precise definition, but I have not yet grasped the fidelity of sustainable land-based farming. I understand sustainable fishing and marine-based harvest, but on the East coast of the United States, most farmers are working on land that either wishes to return to its natural forest state, or is forced into nutrition alien to its heritage.

So although I wonder about the subtleties of terminology, I have been clear on one fundamental issue all farmers face: there is nothing sustainable about losing money.
The 33 Million Pound Diet+July 7, 2011
The sustainability movement is in full swing in the quick-serve industry, and as operations look for ways to go green, many are opting for systems that reduce the amount of waste that comes out of their stores and turns up in landfills.

While composting and recycling programs do plenty of good for the planet, some restaurateurs are finding that controlling the amount of food that becomes waste in the first place can be more cost-efficient.

Kenya approves law to allow GM crops+July 6, 2011
Kenya has become the fourth country in Africa to open up to genetically modified (GM) crops after approving laws to allow their production and importation.

East Africa's leading economy follows South Africa, a leader in the continent on biotechnology and a major exporter of GM maize, as well as Egypt and Burkina Faso, but it faces growing resistance from lobbyists against the move.
Research conflicted on benefits of soda tax in fighting obesity+July 6, 2011
Drinking soda is linked to obesity, but new research shows it may be in ways that complicate attempts to tax sweetened drinks as a weapon in the fight against bulging waistlines.
Michigan State University scientists working on project to track beef from farm to plate +July 5, 2011
A small herd of cattle from Michigan State University was recently slaughtered with two goals: boosting the amount of locally produced food on campus and creating a system of tracking beef from the farm to the plate.

Animal scientists at the East Lansing-based school are working on the state-funded projects starting with 10 steer and barcode tags on the beef that comes from them.

The small-scale effort has large aims, according to one of the project leaders. Associate Professor Dan Buskirk said in addition to verifying whether the beef came from a local source, shoppers eventually could use a smart phone or kiosk to find out if it came from grass-fed, grain-fed or hormone-free cattle.
Menu labels don't influence student food choices+July 5, 2011
Menu labels on college cafeteria food that highlight the nutritional good and the bad of various meal options make no difference in students' choices, according to the study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.
What’s Inside the Bun?+July 5, 2011
If there is no such thing as a healthy hot dog, how do you limit the damage at this weekend’s weenie roast?

Don’t count on the label to help much. Those pricey “natural” and “organic” hot dogs often contain just as much or more of the cancer-linked preservatives nitrate and nitrite as that old-fashioned Oscar Mayer wiener.

And almost no one knows it because of arcane federal rules that make the labels on natural and organic hot dogs, luncheon meats and bacon virtually impossible to decipher when it comes to preservatives. That includes products made from beef, pork, turkey and chicken.
Two Scouts Want Palm Oil Out Of Famous Cookies [NPR]+July 5, 2011
' A lot of adult environmentalists have been trying for years to focus attention on tropical rain forests in southeast Asia, but it took two teenagers to get the issue on the front page of a national newspaper and on the network news.

Four years ago, Rhiannon Tomtishen and Madison Vorva started studying orangutans for a Girl Scouts project. What they learned inspired them to start a campaign to raise awareness of the damage that palm plantations are causing the great apes.

"I liked them at first because they are such a cute animal," says Rhiannon, 15. "But they are also helpless. Their rain forest, their home, is being cleared for these palm oil plantations and they have no say in it." '
Urban Fish Farming: Wave of the Future? [NPR]+July 5, 2011
"It's a tough time for seafood lovers.

Prefer your fish from the ocean? That habitat is becoming a less hospitable place every day, according to a recent international State of the Oceans report. Water is getting warmer, more acidic. Dead zones are growing. A mass extinction of certain fish and coral species could happen sooner than scientists previously thought.

Don't mind a farmed fish? Maybe you should. It often grows in conditions so dirty it requires constant antibiotics and other chemicals just to grow big enough to eat.

Plus, 84 percent of U.S. seafood is imported and poorly regulated, which is why so much of it is mislabeled, disguised as pricier fish. You could be paying $23 a pound for red snapper that's really $3 a pound tilapia.

But there's a scientist in Brooklyn, N.Y., who says he has a solution to all of these problems.

For Martin Schreibman, the key is fish poop."
Flavored Milk Banned In LA Schools+July 5, 2011
The Los Angeles Unified School District is taking a stand against child obesity, becoming the nation's largest school system to stop serving sugar-laden flavored milk.

The school board on Tuesday voted to eliminate chocolate and strawberry milk from schools as of July 1.
The Spam Factory's Dirty Secret [Mother Jones]+July 5, 2011
First, Hormel gutted the union. Then it sped up the line. And when the pig-brain machine made workers sick, they got canned. By Ted Genoways
Growing a Revolution: America's Founding Gardeners [Science Friday]+July 2, 2011
"The founding fathers won a war, established a government and birthed a nation. And through it all, they never forgot to water the plants. Monticello garden director Peter Hatch and historian Andrea Wulf discuss how Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison helped create the uniquely American garden."

Features Peter Hatch, Director of Gardens and Grounds at Monticello (Charlottesville, Va)
Local Laws Fighting Fat Under Siege+July 1, 2011
Several state legislatures are passing laws that prohibit municipalities and other local governments from adopting regulations aimed at curbing rising obesity and improving public health, such as requiring restaurants to provide nutritional information on menus or to eliminate trans fats from the foods they serve.
U.S. Food Stamp Use on the Rise [WSJ]+July 1, 2011
"Growth in the food stamp program continued in the U.S. — with 27 states providing benefits to at least 1 in 7 people."
Farm Bill Facts+July 1, 2011
Bill to Aid Farm Workers Union Is Vetoed+June 30, 2011
A generation ago, Jerry Brown, then the governor, helped shape legislation that gave agriculture workers the right to unionize through a secret ballot system. But late Tuesday night, that same Mr. Brown, the governor again, vetoed a bill that would have made it significantly easier for those workers to unionize.
Fire Up the Grill, Not the Atmosphere+June 30, 2011
FOOD is responsible for 10 to 30 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions. By many estimates, cooking represents more of a meal’s carbon footprint than transport. For certain vegetables, it accounts for more emissions than agriculture, transport and disposal combined.

Fourth of July, the national celebration of combustion, presents an opportunity for atonement.
Monsanto under SEC probe for incentives+June 30, 2011
Monsanto, the world’s biggest seedmaker by revenue, is being investigated by the Securities and Exchange Commission over its use of cash to persuade distributors to use its herbicides.
Penn State Ag gets $5 million grant to study food insecurity+June 28, 2011
As part of a national initiative to reduce food insecurity, faculty in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences will direct a new $5 million project to study whether greater reliance on regionally produced foods could improve food access and affordability for disadvantaged communities, while also benefiting farmers and others in the food supply chain.

Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the project -- "Enhancing Food Security in the Northeast with Regional Food Systems" -- brings together researchers, educators, entrepreneurs and community leaders from a 12-state region to shed light on how the food system can better serve all Americans.
Sustainable Seafood Certification at Berkeley+June 28, 2011
Five years after becoming the first university dining program in the country to achieve organic certification, Cal Dining at the University of California, Berkeley, has achieved another first. It is the first public university in the nation to be awarded Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certification for its commitment to seafood sustainability, the MSC announced today (Monday, June 20).
Owens Community College urban agriculture and sustainability certificate program +June 28, 2011
Beginning this fall, Owens Community College will offer a new urban agriculture and sustainability certificate program on the campus in Perrysburg and at The Source Learning Center in downtown Toledo.

Area residents with aspirations of learning how to grow, maintain, harvest, store and distribute local produce and animal products will now have the opportunity to begin their educational journey at Owens Community College.
Urban foodies look to their pas and find recipes for healthy futures+June 28, 2011
"Ola Akinmowo has built an oasis in her apartment in central Brooklyn, a neighborhood that food justice advocates have identified as a food desert.

I visited her for dinner one night last week and she made a vegan version of the Eba Egusi, a dish that consists of ground cassava (yucca) made into a mound, with a stew featuring ground melon seeds and red palm oil, both of which she purchased in the neighborhood African market. For breakfast, she makes a smoothie with fruits purchased from the farmer’s market in a nearby yuppie neighborhood, or frozen from Trader Joe’s. She puts in flax seed oil, oatmeal and spirulina from the health food store on Fulton Street, central Brooklyn’s main drag. Her 9-year-old daughter, who is not a fan of smoothies, eats roasted potatoes, some fresh fruit and perhaps some vegetables."
Adult Diabetes Doubled in 30 Years [Economist]+June 28, 2011
"THE number of adults with diabetes more than doubled between 1980 and 2008, according to a new study led by Professor Majid Ezzati of Imperial College London and Goodarz Danaei at Harvard University and published in the Lancet. This jump is not quite as horrific as the numbers might initially suggest, because ageing helped push up rates. But a good 30% of the increase was caused by higher prevalence of diabetes across age groups. Obesity seems to be a main culprit; the authors found a high correlation between rising rates of diabetes and a rise in body mass index."
How Industrial Farming 'Destroyed' the Tasty Tomato [NPR]+June 28, 2011
' June 28, 2011
If you bite into a tomato between the months of October to June, chances are that tomato came from Florida. The Sunshine State accounts for one third of all fresh tomatoes produced in the United States — and virtually all of the tomatoes raised during the fall and winter seasons.

But the tomatoes grown in Florida differ dramatically from the red garden varieties you might grow in your backyard. They're bred to be perfectly formed — so that they can make their way across the U.S. and onto your dinner table without cracking or breaking.

"For the last 50 or more years, tomato breeders have concentrated essentially on one thing and that is yield — they want plants that yield as many or as much as possible," writer Barry Estabrook, tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross. "They also want those fruits to be able to stand up to being harvested, packed, artificially turned orange [with ethylene gas] and then shipped away and still be holding together in the supermarket a week or 10 days later." '
Advice for Young Farmers +June 28, 2011
Last week I asked Jim and Swanton Berry’s Human Resources Director Sandy Brown, two of the farm’s “co-dreamers,” for tips for aspiring new farmers on creating socially just farms. Here are five they shared with me:
Are Food Hubs the Next Big Thing?+June 28, 2011
The City of Everett began the new year with a bang by announcing plans to develop a year-round indoor farmers market/food hub that will include an on-site commercial kitchen and processing facility. Instead of being tucked away in an industrial zone, the market-hub will be front and center in a mixed-use development intended to create a more vibrant, walkable downtown Everett.

Only a few spots in the Northwest can boast of a food hub – there’s one in north central Washington, one along the I-5 corridor in central Oregon, but nothing yet in Idaho or Montana. However, food hubs are emerging as a much discussed need in growing sustainable regional food systems. Vancouver B.C. engaged in a food hub visioning process just this month and in Seattle, the concept is under review as a spur to urban agriculture.

What’s driving these developments is unmet demand for fresh, locally grown food. Hubs are one answer to the dilemma of how to increase access to good food by creating greater efficiencies in local food value chains.

Kitchens for hire+June 27, 2011
On a recent Tuesday afternoon, the Pie Pushers food truck crew is preparing ingredients for the New York-style pizzas they will serve over the next few days in Chapel Hill and Durham.

Co-owner Mike Hacker is shredding mozzarella and cheddar cheese, mincing garlic and removing stems from basil. His helper, Cara Pozsonyi, is grilling slices of red onions, seasoning pizza sauce bubbling on the stove and tossing hunks of eggplant in oil and vinegar before roasting. Their work is spread out over three tables, and they have a grill, convection ovens, a walk-in cooler and more at their disposal.

Like many food entrepreneurs, Hacker and co-owner Becky Cascio are taking advantage of a new trend in the Triangle: incubator kitchens, fully equipped commercial kitchens that meet health and safety standards and can be rented by the hour.
Lawmakers want you to eat California-grown on Sundays+June 27, 2011
With all the talk about eating locally grown food, you might think we wouldn't need reminding. But the California Legislature thinks otherwise: It has passed a resolution urging Californians to eat food grown in the state on Sundays.
The Great Corn Con+June 26, 2011
FEELING the need for an example of government policy run amok? Look no further than the box of cornflakes on your kitchen shelf. In its myriad corn-related interventions, Washington has managed simultaneously to help drive up food prices and add tens of billions of dollars to the deficit, while arguably increasing energy use and harming the environment.

German E.Coli Sickens 8 in France+June 26, 2011
The deadly German E. coli strain that killed at least 45 people has resurfaced in France, where officials said a cluster of eight people have fallen ill, apparently from eating contaminated sprouts grown in France.
Farm Viability & Development+June 26, 2011
We envision farming as an economically viable livelihood, which we define as farms where the
farmer’s primary occupation is farming, the farm operator household earns at least the Michigan
median household income1, and farm workers are paid fairly. We envision strong local and regional
agricultural markets in Michigan, integrated with our national and global agricultural markets. We
envision strong support for new and beginning farmers in acquiring access to land, capital business
training and agronomic training. We envision farmland protection policies that support the economic
viability of farming as a livelihood and ensure that our prime agricultural lands are treated as a resource
for generations to come. We envision a diversity of farmers and farm types, all supported
by the food system and by public policies and regulations.
Roundup and birth defects: report+June 26, 2011
Fast Food Restaurants Near Schools Don't Raise Obesity Risk [WebMD]+June 26, 2011
"June 15, 2011 -- A child's risk for becoming overweight or obese does not seem to increase when fast food establishments and stores are located near school grounds, a new study finds.

"Unhealthful food choices are ubiquitous and consequently stores selling these food items near schools have no significant effect on student obesity," researchers led by David E. Harris, PhD, of the University of Southern Maine in Portland say in the July/August 2011 Journal of Nutrition Education and Behavior.

Researchers compared the weight and height of 552 students from 11 high schools in Maine to the proximity of food stores to their schools. They computed the driving distance to all food stores within 1.24 miles of the schools or to the closest store. Ten schools had one or more stores that sold soda, and eight schools had one or more fast food restaurant less than a mile from their grounds, the study showed."
A Squash's Journey: From the Shelf to the Hungry [NPR]+June 25, 2011
"June 23, 2011
Americans waste an estimated 150 billion pounds of food a year. A lot of it comes from supermarkets and other retailers.

Food banks increasingly are trying to get their hands on some of that food to help feed the hungry.

The big challenge is time. It's a race to get the groceries off the shelves and into the mouths of those who need it before it spoils.

In an ambitious undertaking, Walmart and Feeding America, the nation's food bank network, are trying to make the system work. Walmart last year pledged to donate $2 billion in food and other aid to food banks over five years, the largest donation of its kind."
Food Bank Shortages Lead To Innovation [NPR]+June 25, 2011
"Food banks around the country are trying to keep their shelves stocked as more people in the U.S. struggle to get enough to eat. Increasingly, that means finding new ways to salvage food that would otherwise go to waste.

One innovation is being tested at the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northeast Tennessee. In a back room at the food bank's warehouse in Gray, Tenn., dented and crushed cans containing everything from green beans to beets are piled high on a counter.

In the past, these cans all would have been thrown out, because no one knew whether bacteria had slipped through a crack, spoiling the contents.

But Scott Kinney, who's in charge of finding food supplies for the food bank, says that might be about to change."
The True Cost of Bananas+June 24, 2011
Bananas are the most frequently bought grocery item in the United States, and they have a huge impact on a grocery store’s volume sales and profits. Apparently, shoppers have the price etched in their minds and retailers believe that this one item can influence where someone shops. Consequently, many stores are loathe to raise the price of a pound of organic, Fair Trade bananas above $.99/pound.

This price ceiling poses a challenge to suppliers of Fair Trade organic bananas. Small farmer organizations and independent exporters and distributors wishing to support alternative banana supply chains cannot easily compete with Dole, Chiquita and the three other companies that have dominated the global banana export market for over a half century. These companies make huge profits and they have the ability to pay high and offer low for temporary periods as a deliberate strategy to squeeze out their smaller competitors. Our banana team lives this reality on a daily basis, but it was the stories we heard from our farmer partners on this trip to Peru that crystallized my desire to help transform this industry.
Chipotle to double use of local produce+June 23, 2011
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc. said Wednesday it expects to double its use of local produce this year over 2010.

The Denver-based monster-burrito chain (NYSE: CMG), which began using local produce in 2008, said it used 5 million pounds of produce from local farms in 2010 and expects to use more than 10 million pounds in 2011 at its 1,100 restaurants.

Chipotle defines produce grown within 350 miles of a restaurant where it is served as “local.”

In Portland, farm to table reaches beyond fine dining restaurants and into sports bars, chains and tiny cafes+June 23, 2011
It's written on the chalkboard at your neighborhood cafe, or at the bottom of the drive-through menu at that fast food place by the freeway: "We strive to use local ingredients."

The farm-to-table movement, adopted by pioneering Portland chefs in the early 1990s, has been around long enough to become a well-worn cliche and the butt of jokes. But, spurred by forward-thinking farmers and pesky diners, produce from Oregon and southwest Washington has leapt off the white linen tablecloth and into neighborhood sports bars, Northwest chains and tiny family-run eateries. Today, a crop of new chefs, along with purveyors of those chains, pubs and cafes, have joined Portland's farm-to-table pioneers in bringing the concept to the masses. That's not only been good for diners who want to know where their food comes from, but it's also drawn national attention to Oregon's dining scene, and created a new market for rural farmers, even in an economic downturn.
National Geographic: Food Ark+June 23, 2011
A crisis is looming: To feed our growing population, we’ll need to double food production. Yet crop yields aren’t increasing fast enough, and climate change and new diseases threaten the limited varieties we’ve come to depend on for food. Luckily we still have the seeds and breeds to ensure our future food supply—but we must take steps to save them.
NC Piedmont Grown Certification Program Launches+June 22, 2011
Piedmont Grown today launched a local certification program to clearly designate food and agricultural products that are grown, raised, or made within the 37 county Piedmont Region of North Carolina, including the Triangle, Triad, and Charlotte areas. Displayed with food and farm products, the Piedmont Grown label readily identifies local agricultural products and helps consumers make informed buying choices that will benefit farms in the region and our local economy.
Food Desert to Food Oasis: Report+June 22, 2011
Ready access to healthy food and food security are taken for granted in most neighborhoods. Unfortunately, the residents of South Los Angeles do not have the opportunities to make healthy food choices like Angelinos in other areas of the County. As in many inner-city communities where lower-income and racial or ethnic minority individuals reside, South LA has suffered from a dearth of private investment and the inequitable distribution of public resources. Home to over 1.3 million people, the area’s 60 full-service grocery stores average 22,156 residents in contrast to the 57 stores in West LA that average only 11,150 residents. Limited access to supermarkets with affordable, nutritious food creates a “food desert” and significant barriers to healthful eating that are too high for many individuals and families to overcome.

Efforts to improve the health of South LA and eliminate disparities must include increasing access to full-service
grocery stores as part of a broader strategy to achieve health equity. Maintaining a healthy diet—one that
follows the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and emphasizes nutrient-dense foods, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk and lean meats —is a principal way to reduce obesity and the risk of developing dietrelated chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease and diabetes.2-5 However, the ability to eat healthily depends upon the food resources available in a community.6-8 Because they offer a larger selection of healthy foods at lower prices compared with corner grocery and convenience stores, which saturate the South LA food resource landscape, full-service grocery stores have been shown to increase the ability to eat healthily.9,10

This brief is the first in a series of reports on how policymakers, the grocery industry and community members can change the South LA food retail environment by increasing access to full-service grocery stores and other healthy food outlets and preventing the further proliferation of unhealthy food outlets. Food Desert to Food Oasis provides recommendations on policy and system changes the City of Los Angeles and Los Angeles County can adopt to attract healthy food retail to the South LA community and includes case studies of successful strategies from across the country. It focuses on the development of new full-service grocery stores in underserved neighborhoods, and paints a picture of the current food resource environment in South LA and the area’s market potential. Full-service stores are defined as stores of at least 10,000 square feet (including supermarkets that are generally greater than 45,000 square feet) that offer a variety of healthy foods and beverages, such as fresh produce, lean meats, whole grains, 100 percent fruit juice, non-fat/low-fat milk, and other dairy products. The recommendations are based on the advice of a variety of stakeholders on how to overcome the main barriers to new grocery store development in South LA.
Recalls of Imported Foods Are Flawed, a Government Audit Reports+June 21, 2011
Government food officials are often sloppy and inattentive in their efforts to ensure that contaminated foods from abroad are withdrawn promptly and completely from the nation’s food supply, according to government investigators.

In an audit of 17 recalls, investigators found that the Food and Drug Administration often failed to follow its own rules in removing dangerous imported foods from the market, according to Daniel R. Levinson, inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services. The products included cantaloupes from Honduras contaminated with salmonella, frozen mussel meat from New Zealand infected with listeria and frozen fish from Korea that contained the bacterium that causes botulism.

Afghanistan’s Last Locavores+June 21, 2011
MANY urban Americans idealize “green living” and “slow food.” But few realize that one of the most promising models for sustainable living is not to be found on organic farms in the United States, but in Afghanistan. A majority of its 30 million citizens still grow and process most of the food they consume. They are the ultimate locavores.

During the 12 months I spent as a State Department political adviser in northern Afghanistan, I was dismayed to see that instead of building on Afghanistan’s traditional, labor-intensive agricultural and construction practices, the United States is using many of its aid dollars to transform this fragile agrarian society into a consumer-oriented, mechanized, fossil-fuel-based economy.

Jack in the Box stops including toys in kids' meals+June 21, 2011
In a move that has drawn praise from nutrition advocates, Jack in the Box has stopped offering toys with meals aimed at children, a leading restaurant industry publication said this week.

Nation's Restaurant News reports that the nation's fifth-largest hamburger chain has posted signs in its restaurants letting parents know that trinkets will no longer be included in kids' meals.

Comparing MyPlate to farm subsidies+June 21, 2011
If you saw the movie "Food, Inc.," you're likely to remember the family of four who discovered eating at fast-food restaurants was more affordable than buying groceries. They were able to buy four hamburgers for less than it would cost them to buy four pieces of fruit.

The message was clear: Because beef and grains are highly subsidized by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the price of the beef patty and bun can be kept low. Since fruit receives little of the USDA's money, the price of fruit can be cost-prohibitive.

The recent introduction of the USDA's MyPlate brought this problem into focus. Half of the foods we should be eating should be fruit and vegetables, according to the USDA. Yet, fruits and vegetables make up less than 1 percent of the foods that the USDA subsidizes. MyPlate puts dairy off to the side, diminishing its importance, and protein (which includes meat) is less than a quarter of the plate. Yet, 63 percent of the USDA subsidy budget goes to meat and dairy.
Levees Save a Farmhouse, but Farming Is Still a Risk+June 21, 2011
Sitting on a boat, in a driveway on dry ground in the middle of a flood, a man can get to thinking about his place in the world.

That is where Todd Hart found himself on muggy nights this spring, a sentinel on a brand-new island. His was an island in negative, a patch of low-lying ground protected from a surrounding sea of floodwaters by 2,200 feet of packed-dirt levees.

It was part of an archipelago of private levees that he, his father and a handful of others created in a matter of days, an elaborate effort to save the Harts’ place in the Delta.

In some ways, that place had been eroding long before the flood arrived. Todd’s father, Irma Newell Hart, had grown disillusioned with farming, how the demanding but largely elemental practices he had inherited had given way to a modern, highly technical business. A few years ago, the elder Mr. Hart walked away from it for good, abandoning a livelihood that had been in the family for generations and that had been the reason his father came to this spot 65 years earlier.

But the Harts were not prepared to abandon the spot itself.
EPA Environmental App Competition+June 21, 2011
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is announcing its "Apps for the Environment" challenge to encourage the development of innovative environmental applications for people and communities. The challenge invites the information technology community to create applications that help people make informed decisions about environmental issues that can affect their health. EPA is engaging students, colleges and universities, and developers across the U.S. to develop and submit an app.
Farm to Campus: The Successes and Challenges of Sourcing Local and Sustainable Food+June 21, 2011
With the interest and demand for local and sustainable food sourcing on the rise at colleges and universities, what are the key issues campuses should know about? Sodexo, in partnership with colleges, universities and vendors, is committed to offering local, seasonal and sustainably grown produce.

In this webinar, Sodexo will share the current local and sustainable food trends on campuses throughout the country, how Sodexo measures success in the area of local and sustainable sourcing, and issues of food safety and quality when sourcing food from local farms and campus gardens. Kegel’s Produce based out of Lancaster, Pennsylvania will present their experience as a vendor and distributor including their approach to local food sourcing. The University of Louisville has a variety of local food initiatives on campus and will share their experience rolling out these programs and working with Sodexo and the campus community to accomplish their local food goals.

Panelists include: Kristi Theisen, Senior Manager of Sustainability & Wellness at Sodexo, Margaret Henry, Director of Performance at Sodexo, Evelyn Joe, Manager of Product Quality Assurance at Sodexo, Dave McNaughton, Business Development at Kegel’s Produce, and Mitchell Payne, Associate VP for Business Affairs at University of Louisville.

Culinary School Thrives, but Neighbors Stay Poor+June 20, 2011
After graduating from the Washburne Culinary Institute at City Colleges of Chicago in 2009, Clarence Robinson was determined to start his own restaurant.

Mr. Robinson lives in Englewood, where Washburne opened three years ago to anchor the neighborhood and to provide career training for low-income residents. But Mr. Robinson, whose car was stolen outside Washburne as he filled out paperwork for his diploma, knew that Englewood was not a viable place to open his business.

That impoverished South Side neighborhood is losing residents, and “people have no jobs — going to a restaurant is the last thing on their mind,” Mr. Robinson said. “The gas and light bills come before a Philly cheese steak.”

He also knew that outsiders were unlikely to patronize a restaurant in Englewood because of the area’s high crime rate. “It’s still a pretty rough area; the type of people I wanted to attract were the type who wouldn’t go to Englewood at this moment,” Mr. Robinson said.

So last month he opened Reecee’s Café next to the Morse Avenue L stop in Rogers Park, on the far North Side. The casual atmosphere — hand-drawn Magic Marker signs in the windows, simple glass-topped tables, a big chalkboard menu — belie the ambitions of dishes like wild mushroom chowder and Mr. Robinson’s signature Philly cheese steak with Mornay sauce made from fresh béchamel and local cheese.

Palestinian desire for food security drives farming innovation [Guardian]+June 20, 2011
"In a rural area of the central Gaza Strip, Eyad Najjar plucks organic carrots from the sandy soil of his tiny farm. Najjar no longer uses fertilisers or pesticides for his plot, which also grows tomatoes, parsley, rocket, lettuce and spinach. Instead, a fishpond on the field's far edge delivers water rich in nutrients via drip irrigation.

Smiling, Najjar squeezes an almost-ripe fruit hanging from the branch of a lemon tree. "The onions and lemons are bigger and better," he says.

But Najjar is not part of a hip, green revolution. In Gaza, organic agriculture has grown out of a concern for safe supplies of food. When Hamas took control in 2007, Israel imposed a crippling blockade. Not only were a number of foods blocked from entering, but stocks of pesticides and fertilisers also dried up. Israeli officials have said militants can use agricultural chemicals to make rockets.

Food insecurity among Gaza's 1.6 million people rose, and 80% became reliant on food aid, according to the Word Food Programme. Najjar was one of them."
Food price explosion 'will devastate the world's poor'+June 20, 2011
Food prices will soar by as much as 30% over the next 10 years, the United Nations and Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development have predicted.

Angel Gurría, secretary-general of the OECD, said that any further increase in global food prices, which have risen by 40% over the past year, will have a "devastating" impact on the world's poor and is likely to lead to political unrest, famine and starvation. "People are going to be forced either to eat less or find other sources of income."

With executive pay, rich pull away from rest of America+June 20, 2011
It was the 1970s, and the chief executive of a leading U.S. dairy company, Kenneth J. Douglas, lived the good life. He earned the equivalent of about $1 million today. He and his family moved from a three-bedroom home to a four-bedroom home, about a half-mile away, in River Forest, Ill., an upscale Chicago suburb. He joined a country club. The company gave him a Cadillac. The money was good enough, in fact, that he sometimes turned down raises. He said making too much was bad for morale.

Forty years later, the trappings at the top of Dean Foods, as at most U.S. big companies, are more lavish. The current chief executive, Gregg L. Engles, averages 10 times as much in compensation as Douglas did, or about $10 million in a typical year. He owns a $6 million home in an elite suburb of Dallas and 64 acres near Vail, Colo., an area he frequently visits. He belongs to as many as four golf clubs at a time — two in Texas and two in Colorado. While Douglas’s office sat on the second floor of a milk distribution center, Engles’s stylish new headquarters occupies the top nine floors of a 41-story Dallas office tower. When Engles leaves town, he takes the company’s $10 million Challenger 604 jet, which is largely dedicated to his needs, both business and personal.

Buy a half-gallon of sugar water at KFC, give a dollar to diabetes research+June 20, 2011
I honestly didn't believe this one was for real at first. No way even KFC, purveyors of a sandwich that uses fried meat as a delivery mechanism for fried meat, would seriously market a soda size called the "mega jug." And even if they did, they'd never have the chutzpah to donate "mega jug" dollars to juvenile diabetes research.

Sadly, I had totally underestimated KFC's capacity for irony. The mega jug is a half gallon of soda, and this is a real local promotion.
Cville School health advisor calls for sugar ban+June 20, 2011
Charlottesville’s School Health Advisory Board (SHAB) is trying to improve nutrition in schools by limiting the amount of sugar, as well as sodium and hydrogenated oils, in students’ lunches and snacks. To that end, SHAB—a group that guides the School Board on matters of student health—has significantly revised the school district’s 2006 Wellness Policy, and proposed a new, longer list of wellness regulations.

A Tough Day for Farmers as Lawmakers Look for Cuts+June 17, 2011
The House approved large cuts in food aid for the poor and various agriculture programs on Thursday after a steely weeklong debate that pitted Democrats against Republicans, and farm-state members against those within their own party who vehemently oppose certain types of farm aid.
Meatless Mondays Catch On, Even With Carnivores+June 17, 2011
Friction between the health-and-eco-minded hippies who came here for a Rocky Mountain High in the 1970s and the super-wealthy second-homers who followed from the intersection of Hollywood and Hedge Fund is an old story here at 8,000 feet.

But now there is a new potential skirmish line: Meatless Mondays.

Barry Estabrook’s ‘Tomatoland,’ an indictment of modern agriculture+June 16, 2011
“Tomatoland” is more than the sad tale of one fruit’s decline from juicy summer treat to bland obligation. It is an indictment of our modern agricultural system.

The book takes readers on a whirlwind tour from Peru, the birthplace of tomatoes, to California research labs, Pennsylvania farms and Estabrook’s Vermont kitchen, where in one scene he tries desperately to inflict damage on a store-bought tomato by dropping it, throwing it, then bowling it across the floor. No dice. (And no surprise, either: Early commercial breeders were instructed to imagine the tomato as a projectile in their quest for fruit that could travel long distances.)
Food Stamped: A Film For Our Times+June 16, 2011
Who knew that a documentary on the food stamp program could be funny, infuriating, informative, and entertaining? Food Stamped sets out to answer a simple but important question: Is it possible to eat well for a week on the federal supplemental food aid program?

Oxfam word cloud+June 16, 2011
A City Tries to Slim Down+June 14, 2011
This city’s Broadway displays its own array of neon signs — two dozen fast-food restaurants, as diverse as McDonald’s and the local Indi’s — beckoning along a 2.8-mile corridor bookended by low-income neighborhoods on the front lines of a multimillion-dollar battle against obesity.
Student Food Collective Sustainable Food Cart Receives UC Santa Barbara Green Initiative Funding+June 14, 2011
Student Food Collective Sustainable Food Cart will help with the construction and operation of a student-owned cooperative food cart, $30,000. The students will sell items such as sandwiches, wraps, and salads, as well as fresh fruits and vegetables. The cart will provide healthy food to the campus community at an affordable price, while also educating students about food sustainability and the local agricultural network.

Cornell U Hires Ag Operations Director with Sustainability Focus+June 14, 2011
As the new director of agricultural operations for the Cornell University Agricultural Experiment Station (CUAES) headquartered on the Ithaca campus, Glenn Evans '03, M.S. '07, Ph.D. '10, is first getting a handle on the 155,000 square feet of greenhouse space; hundreds of pieces of equipment; 2,100 acres of crop and forestland; 130 growth chambers; and 45 staff members.

His next step: to filter that data to inform the systemwide decisions he is poised to make for the most efficient use of resources. Perhaps the most important obligation Evans and his colleagues shoulder is the search for sustainability.

Ronald’s Exit Interview+June 13, 2011
McDonald’s Corp. is standing by its clown. The 48-year-old, red-haired mascot has come under fire from health-care professionals and consumer groups who, in recent days, have asked the fast-food chain to retire Ronald McDonald.

Cville City schools proposal calls for stringent sugar reduction+June 13, 2011
The Charlottesville School Board is considering an overhaul to the school division’s wellness policy that would impose new limits on the amount of sugar, sodium and trans fats in school meals.

The proposal, which would bring the first changes since 2006, calls for significant new regulations on what types of food will be available to students.

When Food Kills [NY Times]+June 12, 2011
"The deaths of 31 people in Europe from a little-known strain of E. coli have raised alarms worldwide, but we shouldn’t be surprised. Our food often betrays us.

Just a few days ago, a 2-year-old girl in Dryden, Va., died in a hospital after suffering bloody diarrhea linked to another strain of E. coli. Her brother was also hospitalized but survived.

Every year in the United States, 325,000 people are hospitalized because of food-borne illnesses and 5,000 die, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That’s right: food kills one person every two hours."
After Wild Weather, Higher Food Prices On Horizon [NPR]+June 12, 2011
"Throughout April and May, U.S. farmers faced floods, tornadoes, downpours and droughts — all of which made planting difficult. Now in June, intense heat has been sweeping over much of the country.

The harsh weather likely will reduce the fall's harvest, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. That, in turn, could further drive up grocery prices for consumers."
A farmer's dream in downtown Silver Spring [Washington Post]+June 11, 2011
"In the shadow of the multi-story office and apartment buildings of downtown Silver Spring, a few blocks from traffic-clogged roads, is a one-acre plot where customers swear by the lettuce, the tomatoes and their caretaker, Charlie Koiner.

Almost every day for nearly 30 years, Koiner, 90, has been there, along with his daughter Lynn, raising locally grown, sustainable produce long before the world considered it fashionable."
Improving School Food: Do It Now or Pay the Price Later +June 10, 2011
Last week (May 30), the Republican-controlled House Appropriations Committee voted to cripple the nation’s budding effort to do something about the woeful quality of school food and make America’s kids healthier.

Ignoring the recent bi-partisan mandate to develop new science-based, healthy food standards under the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010, the committee’s bill directs the US Department of Agriculture to ensure that its proposed school food standards will not increase costs to schools.

That would effectively squash the drive to make school food better.

What Dow Chemical Doesn’t Want You to Know About Your Water+June 10, 2011
Earlier this year, I was contacted by a PR firm working for Dow Chemical to contribute a 60-second video for The Future We Create virtual conference on water sustainability the company launches today. As a vocal advocate for strict regulation of toxic chemicals—especially for food and farming—I was surprised the company would approach me. Dow is the country’s largest chemical maker, and profits handsomely from developing some of the world’s most polluting products, many of which are widely used in industrial and consumer goods as well as agriculture.

In the video I submitted, which you can watch below, I stress that one of the greatest threats to clean water is chemical contaminants—and that Dow Chemical has a long history of water pollution. The PR representative e-mailed to say “unfortunately we can’t use your video,” but that she would be happy to include me, still, if I would consider re-recording it. When we discussed what that would mean she said, no “fingerpointing;” they wanted a “positive, inclusive discussion.”

Hedge funds 'grabbing land' in Africa+June 10, 2011
In a report, the Oakland Institute said hedge funds and other foreign firms had acquired large swathes of African land, often without proper contracts.

It said the acquisitions had displaced millions of small farmers.

Foreign firms farm the land to consolidate their hold over global food markets, the report said.

NPR Special Series, "Living Large: Obesity in America"+June 10, 2011
Small U.S. Farms Find Profit in Tourism [NYT]+June 10, 2011
"[I]ncreasingly farmers are eking more money out of the land in ways beyond the traditional route of planting crops and raising livestock. Some have opened bed-and-breakfasts, often known as farm stays, that draw guests eager to get a taste of rural living. Others operate corn mazes — now jazzed up with modern fillips like maps on cellphones — that often turn into seasonal amusements, with rope courses and zip lines. Ranchers open their land to hunters or bring in guests to ride horses, dude ranch style.

"Known as agritourism, such activities are becoming an important economic boost for many farmers."
McDonald’s to Serve Sustainable Fish in Europe+June 9, 2011
McDonald’s, the world’s biggest fast-food company, said Wednesday that it had reached a deal under which a nonprofit organization would certify as sustainable the catch used for each of the 100 million fish sandwiches the chain sells in Europe every year.

NPR’s Food Story #4: Interview with Lester Brown+June 8, 2011
"Melissa Block talks with Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute and author of the book World on the Edge: How to Prevent Environmental and Economic Collapse, about what's behind the doubling of grain prices over the last several years."
NPR’s Food Story #3: Mozambique's Struggles Fueled By The Price Of Bread+June 8, 2011
"Everywhere you go in Mozambique, you see people at bakeries buying their daily bread — delicious crusty loaves or eggy sweet rolls.

"At the Padaria Allianca, a bakery in the capital, Maputo, customers wait in a long line for their bread. Workers are busy slapping and shaping golden mounds of dough. The bakery turns out 12,000 loaves a day.

"The story of bread in Mozambique, as in much of the developing world, turns out to be a tale of poverty, food security and social unrest."
NPR’s Food Story #2: How Uncle Sam Helps Define America's Diet+June 8, 2011
"First Lady Michelle Obama received a lot of attention for her vegetable garden on the South Lawn of the White House. The garden, which provides vegetables both for the first family and for state dinners, was also meant to provide Americans with an example of how to eat more healthfully.

"As it turns out, Washington has a long tradition of trying to guide the American diet, going back over 200 years. Founding fathers like Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin brought plants like rice and olives from their missions abroad to see how they would fare in their own country."
NPR’s Food Story #1: Lobbyists Want Fries And Pizza To Stay In School+June 8, 2011
"Some student food favorites are under attack in Washington. The Agriculture Department has released new standards for school nutrition and published them for public comment. Speaking right up are lobbyists for the food industry."
Black Sheep sweets+June 8, 2011
Baa, baa, Black Sheep, have you any whoopie pies? There’s a new bakery in town promising to "take traditional baked goods to a new level.” Black Sheep Bakery has begun delivering homemade treats to the Charlottesville and Albemarle County area, slowly satisfying Central Virginia’s collective sweet tooth.

"I missed baking," says owner Sara Teaster, a second-year Master's student in UVA's Urban and Environmental Planning department, and this year's UVA student garden manager. "This is a new fun concept, and I'm excited about it. I love food and cooking for people."

Shop till you learn something new at the market+June 7, 2011
"I'm looking for a new rice, and what the heck to do with it," a middle-aged customer announces on a Saturday morning at the shiny new Whole Foods Market in Rockville.

This is music to the ears of Michael Kiss. Strategically positioned in the bulk foods section, he is not merely a team member, as company employees are known. He is the in-store cooking coach, a pioneer in Whole Foods’ effort to enhance food shopping with the one-on-one experience of, say, an Apple Genius Bar. Without having to make an appointment.
Local Food Hub Receives Grant to Help Farmers+June 7, 2011
The Local Food Hub was awarded a matching $75,000 grant to help some farms in central Virginia become more sustainable. The funding will be used to educate farmers and give them more resources so they can have a more successful crop.

Modeling Buffalo's Urban Food Movement+June 7, 2011
As Rust Belt cities transform vacant lots into green space for growing vegetables, University at Buffalo researchers are using modeling to help assess the City of Buffalo's capacity for sustainable agriculture.

Specifically, UB geographer Sara Metcalf has developed a conceptual model in the form of a "causal map" that shows, visually, how different elements within Buffalo's urban food movement relate to one another.
University revolutionizes Winnipeg's food scene +June 7, 2011
It was a review that would have shuttered most restaurants. Lukewarm, tough chicken served with soggy potatoes and vegetable mush. A server who coughed onto her own arm as she presented a meal.

This grim appraisal of a culinary experience appeared in the Maclean’s University Rankings of 2009, panning the food at the University of Winnipeg.

But instead of drowning its sorrows in a tray of powdered mashed potatoes, the school has set about completely overhauling its food-services divisions, firing its catering company, hiring an idealistic young chef who advocates fresh, local ingredients and managing to quickly turn a profit by serving real food.

And in the process, they’ve revolutionized the city’s food scene.

A Warming Planet Struggles to Feed Itself+June 6, 2011
The dun wheat field spreading out at Ravi P. Singh’s feet offered a possible clue to human destiny. Baked by a desert sun and deliberately starved of water, the plants were parched and nearly dead.

Dr. Singh, a wheat breeder, grabbed seed heads that should have been plump with the staff of life. His practiced fingers found empty husks.

“You’re not going to feed the people with that,” he said.

But then, over in Plot 88, his eyes settled on a healthier plant, one that had managed to thrive in spite of the drought, producing plump kernels of wheat. “This is beautiful!” he shouted as wheat beards rustled in the wind.

Hope in a stalk of grain: It is a hope the world needs these days, for the great agricultural system that feeds the human race is in trouble.

Gourmet Pet Food+June 6, 2011
LISA CORNISH is rattling off today’s menu:

Pan-seared duck with brown rice and blueberry compote.

Roasted turkey with butternut squash and russet potatoes.

Salmon with black-and-white quinoa.

Delish. Just keep in mind that all of this, right down to those banana and yogurt health bars, is dog food. Not mere Alpo, mind you — not by a long shot. And to prove it, Ms. Cornish, who works for a company called Petcurean Pet Nutrition, will give you a taste.

Fair Food: Book Review+June 6, 2011
We live in the midst of broken systems, or so it seems. From our education system to our financial and health care systems, we are confronted with all manner of interconnected problems. As if that isn’t enough, the system we rely on for our very sustenance — the one that delivers our food — is also in a state of disrepair.

In recent years, a spate of books and films has documented some of our largest food failures. Onto this crowded field marches “Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All” (PublicAffairs, $24.99), a lively book by Oran B. Hesterman, founder and head of the nonprofit Fair Food Network and a former agronomy professor at Michigan State University.

Chemicals in Farm Runoff Rattle States on the Mississippi+June 3, 2011
As the surging waters of the Mississippi pass downstream, they leave behind flooded towns and inundated lives and carry forward a brew of farm chemicals and waste that this year — given record flooding — is expected to result in the largest dead zone ever in the Gulf of Mexico.
Organic Farming Finds a Growing Fan Base in India+June 3, 2011
On Thakur Das’s farm in northern India, rice fields stretch into the distance, creating a chartreuse sea of waist-high stalks. Mr. Das, 59, gazed out at the crops on his small farm, about 16 kilometers from the city of Dehra Dun, where he grows rice, wheat and corn in rotation, as well as turmeric and beans. It looked to be another plentiful harvest. “Too much growth,” he joked.
The High Cost of Cheap Meat+June 3, 2011
The point of factory farming is cheap meat, made possible by confining large numbers of animals in small spaces. Perhaps the greatest hidden cost is its potential effect on human health.

Small doses of antibiotics — too small to kill bacteria — are fed to factory farm animals as part of their regular diet to promote growth and offset the risks of overcrowding. What factory farms are really raising is antibiotic-resistant bacteria, which means that several classes of antibiotics no longer work the way they should in humans. We pay for cheap meat by sacrificing some of the most important drugs ever developed.

Forbes on RelayFoods: Charlottesville "the locavore capital of the world."+June 2, 2011
GOP questions federal rules on healthier eating+June 2, 2011
House Republicans are pushing back against Obama administration efforts to promote healthier lunches, saying the Agriculture Department should rewrite rules it issued in January meant to make school meals healthier. They say the new rules are too costly.

The bill, approved by the House Appropriations Committee late Tuesday, also questions a government proposal to curb marketing of unhealthy foods to children and urges the Food and Drug Administration to limit rules requiring calorie counts be posted on menus.

Debate rages over labeling of GMO foods +June 2, 2011
When a team of activists wearing white hazmat suits showed up at a Chicago grocery store to protest the sale of food containing genetically modified ingredients, they picked an unlikely target: Whole Foods Market.

Organic foods, by definition, can't contain genetically modified organisms, known as GMOs. But genetically modified corn, soy and other crops have become such common ingredients in processed foods that even one of the nation's top organic food retailers says it's been unable to avoid stocking some products that contain them.

Oxfam Report: Food Justice in a Resource Constrained World+June 2, 2011
Oxfam has been responding to food crises for nearly 70
years – from Greece in 1942 to Biafra in 1969, Ethiopia in
1984, and Niger in 2005, plus countless other silent
disasters that play out beyond the gaze of global media.
All have been entirely avoidable – the result of disastrous decisions, abused power, and perverted politics. More recently, Oxfam has found itself responding to growing numbers of climate-related disasters.
Prevention is better than cure, and so Oxfam also
campaigns against the vested interests and unfair rules
that corrupt the food system: rigged trade rules, porkbarrel biofuel policies, broken aid promises, corporate power, and inaction on climate change.
Many other organizations – global civil society,
producers’ organizations, women’s networks, food
movements, trade unions, responsible businesses and
empowered consumers, grassroots campaigns for low
carbon living, food sovereignty or the right to food – are
promoting positive initiatives to alter the way we produce, consume and think about food. Together we will build a growing global movement for change. Together we will challenge the current order and set a path towards a new prosperity.
When the Nile Runs Dry+June 2, 2011
A NEW scramble for Africa is under way. As global food prices rise and exporters reduce shipments of commodities, countries that rely on imported grain are panicking. Affluent countries like Saudi Arabia, South Korea, China and India have descended on fertile plains across the African continent, acquiring huge tracts of land to produce wheat, rice and corn for consumption back home.

Bacteria Outbreak Casts Pall on Spanish Produce+June 2, 2011
Early June is normally one of the busiest seasons here in Spain’s farming heartland, as an army of seasonal farmworkers harvests cucumbers and tomatoes in the 5,000 greenhouses that dot the surrounding countryside. But most of the greenhouses were deserted on Wednesday, as demand for Spanish vegetables collapsed after the regional authorities initially linked a deadly outbreak of E. coli in Germany to farms in Andalusia.
Which Garden Model Should We Be Showering With Our Tax Dollars?+June 1, 2011
America's Kitchen Garden versus America's "Subsidy" Garden.
Goodbye Food Pyramid, Hello Dinner Plate+May 31, 2011
The Obama administration is about to ditch the food pyramid, that symbol of healthy eating for the last two decades. In its place officials are dishing up a simple, plate-shaped symbol, sliced into wedges for the basic food groups and half-filled with fruits and vegetables.

Monsanto endows chair at ISU+May 31, 2011
A $500,000 gift from seed producer Monsanto will establish a new faculty chair in soybean breeding within Iowa State University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

In addition to supporting faculty breeding research, the Monsanto Chair in Soybean Breeding will help support graduate students pursuing degrees in plant breeding. These students will join a group of more than 50 Monsanto Fellows in Plant Breeding across eight universities.

Food stamp program turns 50+May 31, 2011
Fifty years ago this Sunday, an out-of-work coal miner from McDowell County became the first American to receive food stamps.

Alderson Muncy of Paynesville received $95 in stamps for his family of 15: his wife, Chloe, himself and the 13 children living in their home. He immediately headed to a supermarket to exchange the stamps for groceries.

Coke Appoints First Sustainability Officer+May 31, 2011
The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE: KO) has created a global Office of Sustainability and appointed its first Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) in an effort to better integrate ongoing initiatives.

Beatriz Perez, who is currently Chief Marketing Officer for Coca-Cola North America, will serve as CSO beginning July 1. She will work to integrate Coca-Cola's sustainability initiatives in water, climate protection, packaging and recycling.

Foreign Policy's "Food Issue: Inside the Geopolitics of a Hungry Planet"+May 30, 2011
FP's first-ever food issue in which we travel across this hungry planet of ours at a time when skyrocketing prices are dictating politics from the Middle East to Madagascar. The special section, which travels from the yuppies who've appropriated the miracle food of the Incas to a darkened kitchen in Baghdad where women battered by war came together to celebrate life, explores the food wars of the 21st century, debunks the conventional wisdom about hunger and poverty, shows us 10 ways we really are what we eat, and asks leading experts to predict the future of food.
More Than 1 Billion People Are Hungry in the World: But what if the experts are wrong?+May 30, 2011
For many in the West, poverty is almost synonymous with hunger. Indeed, the announcement by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization in 2009 that more than 1 billion people are suffering from hunger grabbed headlines in a way that any number of World Bank estimates of how many poor people live on less than a dollar a day never did.

But is it really true? Are there really more than a billion people going to bed hungry each night? Our research on this question has taken us to rural villages and teeming urban slums around the world, collecting data and speaking with poor people about what they eat and what else they buy, from Morocco to Kenya, Indonesia to India. We've also tapped into a wealth of insights from our academic colleagues. What we've found is that the story of hunger, and of poverty more broadly, is far more complex than any one statistic or grand theory; it is a world where those without enough to eat may save up to buy a TV instead, where more money doesn't necessarily translate into more food, and where making rice cheaper can sometimes even lead people to buy less rice.
Chiquita targets growth+May 27, 2011
An exclusive produce partnership with the Walt Disney Co. at Disney’s Florida parks, resorts and cruise lines will help Chiquita Brands International grow its distribution and capitalize on the national healthy food movement, the company said Thursday.

The company’s chairman, Fernando Aguirre, also said he wants to see Chiquita products positioned next to candy bars and snacks in retail locations to help grow the company.

Mexican Retailers Forced to Pause Expansion Plans in Capital+May 27, 2011
-Mexico City government enacts 3-year ban on new grocery, convenience stores

-Retailers likely to redirect capex to other parts of country

-Segment to invest $3.5 billion nationwide in 2011

China’s Interest in Farmland Makes Brazil Uneasy+May 27, 2011
When the Chinese came looking for more soybeans here last year, they inquired about buying land — lots of it.
TEDxManhattan Challenge+May 27, 2011
TEDxManhattan is pleased to launch the TEDxManhattan Challenge – we challenge you to work with a group of people in your community anywhere in the United States on a project related to sustainable food and farming. Start a garden at a senior center; start a farmers market; develop a cooking class at your child’s school; create a Food Policy Council in your city. Be creative!

Let us know what you’re doing to change the way you eat in your community – the project deemed the most impactful will win the opportunity to speak live on the 2012 TEDxManhattan stage.

Tests Reveal Mislabeling of Fish+May 27, 2011
Scientists aiming their gene sequencers at commercial seafood are discovering rampant labeling fraud in supermarket coolers and restaurant tables: cheap fish is often substituted for expensive fillets, and overfished species are passed off as fish whose numbers are plentiful.

Spanish cucumbers in German E. coli O104 outbreak traced to organic producers+May 27, 2011
Three of four cucumber samples that tested positive for E. coli O104 in Germany were grown on two organic farms in Spain.

The news comes as the number of victims suffering from hemolytic uremic syndrome reached 214 out of approximately 600 ill, and at least four dead.

Virginia Insight: "Choosing Food" [audio]+May 27, 2011
"Would things be different if the healthiest foods were always within easy reach, ripe for the picking... while the bad-for-us stuff was far more difficult to get?

"Two Virginia researchers -- one a historian, the other a political scientist -- have been studying how our choices about food make the world what it is. We investigate their findings."
Petition to Restrict Sugar at Charlottesville Schools+May 26, 2011
Charlottesville's School Board is expected to discuss nutrition at its next board meeting. This comes as an online petition to restrict sugar in city schools is gaining momentum.

Farm Bill Survey+May 26, 2011
CFSC is in the process of developing our policy platform for the upcoming 2012 Farm Bill reauthorization. This survey contains questions about potential primary and secondary Farm Bill priorities for the Coalition, as well as potential grassroots mobilizing and outreach strategies. Your responses will be used to assist us in finalizing our policy platform.

Your answers will be anonymous. This survey should take approximately 15 minutes or less. Please complete this survey by the end of the day on Tuesday, May 31st.

If you have any questions about the survey, please call CFSC's Policy Office in Washington, DC, at 202-543-8602.

Inside the Geopolitics of a Hungry Planet+May 26, 2011
Welcome to FP's first-ever food issue in which we travel across this hungry planet of ours at a time when skyrocketing prices are dictating politics from the Middle East to Madagascar. The special section, which travels from the yuppies who've appropriated the miracle food of the Incas to a darkened kitchen in Baghdad where women battered by war came together to celebrate life, explores the food wars of the 21st century, debunks the conventional wisdom about hunger and poverty, shows us 10 ways we really are what we eat, and asks leading experts to predict the future of food.

Michigan Health & Hospital Association launches “Healthy Food Hospitals” +May 26, 2011
An initiative launched by the Michigan Health & Hospital Association on May 5 is good news for patients, visitors and staff at health care facilities across the state, according to Hillary Bisnett, coordinator of the Health Food in Health Care program at the Ecology Center. “It’s also very good news for Michigan farmers, food processors and the entire food supply chain across the state, Bisnett said. Although the initiative is about improving the nutrition of food served at hospitals and asking hospitals to be the best model of healthy eating, the keystone of the program is a commitment to buying more Michigan grown and produced food products, a long-standing policy goal for the Ecology Center. Bisnett worked with the MHA to create a state-wide Michigan Healthy Food Work Group – consisting of dietitians and healthy food advocates from across the state – which authored and provided critical input to the initiative.

Cooking Temperature for Pork Is Lowered+May 25, 2011
THE other pink meat?

That could be pork’s new slogan after the United States Department of Agriculture on Tuesday said it was lowering its safe cooking temperature to 145 degrees, from the longtime standard of 160. The new recommendation is in line with what many cookbook authors and chefs have been saying for years.

Is organic food the answer?+May 25, 2011
Well, that depends on the question.

Of all the things I write about – energy, the greening of business, the politics and policy of climate change, geoengineering – food is by far the most emotional. With near-religious fervor, people debate the merits or demerits of, broadly speaking, two ways to produce food.

Market Central: The Great Strawberry CRUSH +May 25, 2011
Market Central kicked off a summer long canning education program at the Charlottesville City Market with strawberry freezer jam demos - featuring guest 'junior jam sous chefs' recruited from the crowd. Here's Scarlett, and her first jam making session. She's a natural!

The 'Discover You Can!' program is sponsored by Jarden Home Brands (Ball canning jars) and the Farmers Market Coalition.

USDA Calls for Peer Reviewers for FY2011 Farmers Market Promotion Program +May 25, 2011
The U.S. Department of Agriculture invites individuals to share their expertise in reviewing project proposals for the fiscal year 2011 Farmers Market Promotion Program (FMPP) grant cycle.

Administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service, FMPP is a competitive grant program designed to expand direct producer-to-consumer market opportunities in the U.S. through the development and promotion of farmers markets, roadside stands, community-supported agriculture programs, agritourism, and other direct-marketing channels.
In ‘Food Deserts,’ Oases of Nutrition+May 24, 2011
Poor urban neighborhoods in America are often food deserts — places where it is difficult to find fresh food. There are few grocery stores; people may do all their shopping at bodegas, where the only available produce and meat are canned peaches and Spam. If they want fruits and vegetables and chicken and fish, they have to take a bus to a grocery store. The lack of fresh food creates a vicious cycle; children grow up never seeing it or acquiring a taste for it. It is one reason that the poor are likelier to be obese than the rich.

Grumbles that Seattle still has too many farmers markets+May 24, 2011
When farmers grumble that Seattle has too many farmers markets, it tends to deflate the city's eco-foodie image, where the mayor rides a bike and officials encourage backyard chicken coops.

So with a new farmers market season dawning, some wonder if the grumbles have led to any changes. Has the alleged glut corrected itself?

Read more:
Local Food Hubs Webinar +May 24, 2011
National Good Food Network Webinar on Local Food Hubs.
UC Davis Student group to bring food cooperative to campus+May 24, 2011
A student group called the Flatland Food Collective is attempting to bring locally-grown, organic food to campus.

Flatland Food Collective is one of many student groups nationwide that is striving to bring food cooperatives to college campuses, said Kase Wheatley, co-founder of Flatland Food Collective and sophomore sustainable agriculture and food systems major.

Green Mountain College announces Master's in Sustainable Food Systems+May 24, 2011
Green Mountain College announced today that it will offer a distance-learning master's degree in Sustainable Food Systems (MSFS), which builds on the surging interest in food and agriculture issues in the U.S. and on the success of the College's undergraduate major in sustainable agriculture. The MSFS program has received accreditation from the New England Association of Schools and Colleges and GMC plans to launch its first cohort in January, 2012.

Groundbreaking ceremony introduces new UW Farm site+May 24, 2011
A small group of UW students stood in an open field Sunday morning, munching on granola and fresh fruit as they anticipated the groundbreaking of the new UW Farm.

As of yesterday, that wait is officially over. The UW Farm, a registered student organization that grows produce, has expanded to include a new location near the Center for Urban Horticulture (CUH) on the east side of campus.
Innovation in Sustainable Supply Chain: Burgerville+May 23, 2011
Burgerville’s commitment to quality, local food has amounted to stability for farm families and boosted returns in the berry industry.

The company sells burgers made with pastured, vegetarian-fed and antibiotic-free beef at its 39 Pacific Northwest restaurants and also offers seasonal fare like blackberry milkshakes and onion rings made from Walla Walla sweet onions.
Helping Remove Barriers to Local Meat Processing+May 23, 2011
Ask meat vendors at a farmers' market what their biggest headache is, and they likely will say getting their animals processed. If those vendors are selling certified organic meat and poultry, the challenge is greater still.
Chickens & Bikes, the Stars of Tour de Coop+May 23, 2011
A group of bikers took advantage of Saturday's nice weather to check out chicken coops around Charlottesville.

The first ever Tour de Coop started at the Jefferson School Saturday morning and went around to eight different chicken homes in the city. About 50 riders went on the tour and were hopefully inspired to start up their own coop in the future.
Drought in Europe Hits Wheat Crop+May 20, 2011
Estimates for the European Union’s wheat harvest are shrinking by the day as plants wilt in a months-long drought that looks set to continue for a while.
Cash Crops Under Glass and Up on the Roof+May 20, 2011
When Lufa Farms began selling produce to customers in Montreal in late April, it signaled what could be the beginning of a tantalizing new era in the gastronomic fortunes of that Canadian metropolis.

Charting Growth: Sustainable Food Indicators+May 19, 2011
A growing number of organizations in the United States, supported by public and private funds, are trying to build food systems that simultaneously reap environmental, social and economic advantages for participants and the broader society. Yet articulating the parameters of such food systems so that we can measure their growth and build a stronger business case for them has not been done in a credible, rigorous way.

Charting Growth: Sustainable Food Indicators is designed to develop indicators for sustainable community-based food systems (SCBFS), and to use these indicators to assess their current strength in the US and their growth. The vision guiding this project was one of greater viability and number of food systems that provide access for all communities to a safe and healthy food supply, grown in a manner that protects the environment and adds social and economic value to rural and urban communities.

Fast-food industry is quietly defeating Happy Meal bans [LA Times]+May 18, 2011
"Working under the radar, restaurant lobbyists have persuaded state lawmakers in Florida and Arizona to ban local governments from outlawing giveaways of toys with high-calorie children's meals. A proposed ban in Nebraska died before its first hearing."
Ronald McDonald's midlife crisis+May 18, 2011
Ronald McDonald is having a midlife crisis.

His floppy shoes, painted-on smile and flaming-red hair may be a harder sell to today's kids who are trading in their dolls and trucks for manicures and mobile game apps at ever younger ages. He also seems out of step with McDonald's Corp.'s new efforts to appeal to adults. The 48-year-old spokesclown has fallen flat in new ads this year, according to Ace Metrix, a group that tracks TV advertising.

And the government is getting strict on marketing unhealthy food to children. That has both marginalized Ronald as more of a mascot than a product pitchman and landed him in the middle of the bigger debate about food makers' responsibilities in stemming the rise in childhood obesity.

McDonald's says it is proud of the food it offers and that Ronald teaches children to be active.

Critics say it's time to hang up the yellow jumper.

Raw Milk Advocates Protest FDA on Capitol Hill+May 17, 2011
"'As far as I can tell, we are at war,' David Gumpert, a onetime journalist turned raw-milk advocate declared emphatically at a rally on Capitol Hill Monday [May 16, 2011]. 'We have been attacked by our own government.'"

"The attack, as Gumpert and other ardent supporters of raw milk describe it, occurred last month when the Department of Justice filed a permanent injunction against Rainbow Acres Farm in Kinzer, PA after the farm's owner, Dan Allgyer, ignored warning letters from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for allegedly violating federal law by selling unpasteurized dairy into interstate commerce."

Read more at the link above.
UBC named Canada’s first Fair Trade Campus+May 17, 2011
The University of British Columbia has been named Canada’s first “Fair Trade Campus” – and will get its very own blend of ethically sourced coffee – as a result of its national leadership on Fair Trade purchasing.

Trevecca Nazarene University's chicks are on a mission+May 17, 2011
Turn right at the library, head downhill past the dormitories, and you’ll find the very best spot on the campus of Trevecca Nazarene University to pick up chicks.

“Hi, girls,” said adjunct professor Jason Adkins, reaching carefully into an oversize incubator and scooping up a few of the 60 baby chickens he and his students are raising.

Sodexo raises employees to living wage+May 17, 2011
Following a year of demonstrations from students and Ithaca residents, Sodexo dining hall employees have won the battle for a campus-wide living wage at Ithaca College. But students and employees are still looking for more changes.

Grow Your Own Food - Missoula Coyote Choir +May 17, 2011
Celebrate local food with the Missoula Coyote Choir!

Hobby farm is a field of dreams+May 17, 2011
What set off the farmyard choral trio is anyone’s guess.

Perhaps Casy the dog was expressing his enthusiasm for spring when he lifted his nose toward the sky and started to howl. Then the donkeys, Taylor and Whipper, joined in.

After several seconds of improvisational voicing, as if on cue, the braying and howling abruptly ended. For Michael and Audrey Levatino it was just one of those quirky critter things that doesn’t have to be explained, only enjoyed.

Since May 2002 the Levatinos have embraced a lifestyle on their 23-acre Louisa County farm that makes such moments of mirth and entertainment the norm. Their connection with the good earth and country ways apparently is something an increasing number of people are eager to emulate
Foods With Benefits, or So They Say+May 16, 2011
START in Aisle 2, third shelf from the bottom: here is grape juice for your heart. Over to Aisle 4: there are frozen carrots for your eyes.

In Aisle 5: vitamin-packed water for your immune system. In the dairy case: probiotic yogurt for your insides and milk for your brain.

Push a cart through the D’Agostino store in Midtown Manhattan, or any supermarket anywhere in America, and you just might start believing in miracles — or at least in miracle foods.

In aisle after aisle, wonders beckon. Foods and drinks to help your heart, lower your cholesterol, trim your tummy, coddle your colon. Toss them into your cart and you might feel better. Heck, you might even live longer.

Or not. Because this, shoppers, is the question: Are all these products really healthy, or are some of them just hyped?

NEW REPORT: Green Jobs in a Sustainable Food System+May 13, 2011
Demand for corn falls, could slow food inflation+May 12, 2011
The fast rise in food prices could begin to taper off later this year.

The government's latest crop report estimates that the domestic supply of corn, which had been forecast to shrink, will grow in the months ahead. The Department of Agriculture report suggested the high price of corn is prompting ranchers and feed makers to use less and farmers to plant more.

Analysts expect these trends to push corn prices lower. And this could ultimately make everything from beef to cereal to soft drinks less expensive at the supermarket.

Read more:
USDA moves to let Monsanto perform its own environmental impact studies on GMOs +May 12, 2011
Last August, Federal Judge Jeffrey White issued a stinging rebuke to the USDA for its process on approving new genetically modified seeds. He ruled that the agency's practice of "deregulating" novel seed varieties without first performing an environmental impact study violated the National Environmental Policy Act.
"Roles I Imagine I Am Auditioning for When I Shop at Whole Foods"+May 12, 2011
From the ever-so-tiny genre of foodie self-mockery.
Food Hubs Webinar, feat. the Local Food Hub+May 11, 2011
Food hubs, or regional food aggregation and coordination facilities, offer great promise for systemic social and environmental change. There is a growing interest in food hubs as a route to alleviating food deserts, increasing small farm viability, establishing much needed infrastructure, providing fresh and low-carbon footprint food to all communities, and revitalizing local economies. But the food system is extremely complicated, social and economic goals can seem at odds, and the variety of food hubs springing up may seem dizzying.

This webinar will provide a clear illustration of the variety of models that exist, the outcomes they offer, and a sense of their viability, focusing on key elements of successful food hubs. We will weave together the experiences of two innovative hubs (very different from one another) with the draft results of the first comprehensive US food hub study to tell this exciting story of how food hubs are a lynchpin in a regional food system.


- Food Hub Collaboration study co-leads:
- James Barham, USDA AMS and
- John Fisk, Wallace Center at Winrock International
- Kate Collier, Local Food Hub, Virginia
- Dan Carmody, Eastern Market, Detroit

Students Have More than a Mouthful to Say About Their Food+May 11, 2011
This spring at Duke, students in Professor Charlie Thompson's Politics of Food course started asking some big questions about the food they consume each day.

Students reviewed books on food and farming including Everything I Want to Do is Illegal by Joel Salatin, Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, and In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan.

Justice Department Files Antitrust Lawsuit Challenging George’s Inc.’s Acquisition of Tyson Foods Inc.’s Harrisonburg, Va., Poultry Processing Complex+May 11, 2011
The Department of Justice filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today challenging George’s Inc.’s acquisition of Tyson Foods’ Harrisonburg, Va., chicken processing complex. The department said that based on the information gathered thus far, the acquisition eliminates substantial competition between the two companies for the procurement of services of chicken growers in the Shenandoah Valley area.
Enjoy Duke-Grown Greens at Eateries+May 11, 2011
With spring in full swing, the Duke Campus Farm is hitting its stride.

Since its first workday last November, the student-employee project has continued to grow and volunteers recently had their first harvest of arugula, tatsoi and Garnet Giant and Ruby Streak mustard greens. The collection of leafy greens was recently delivered to the Great Hall and East Campus Marketplace to be used in salad mixes.

Colleges hope students use nutritional information to build good eating habits for a lifetime+May 11, 2011
Freshman year of college brings with it that heady feeling of freedom: Staying up late, sleeping in . . . eating whatever you want, whenever you want.

The latter is why in recent years what was once known as the "Freshman 5" -- the pounds incoming freshmen are said to gain -- evolved into the "Freshman 15," and then the "Freshman 30," according to nutrition policy expert Margo Wootan.

New breed of Americans going hungry+May 11, 2011
The recession may officially be over, but Sonia Cruz of Issaquah, Wash., a suburb of Seattle, still finds herself having to say "no" to many things.

No to the kids' request to go to the movies with friends. No to $1 Redbox movies. And definitely no to those trips to Cold Stone Creamery for ice cream.

"There's no way we can afford that anymore," she says.

Cutting back became a necessity for many American families during and after the recession. But what the Cruz family and a growing number of other once-thriving middle-class families didn't expect was to find themselves qualifying for — and needing — the support of federally funded food assistance programs.

50 billion quarter pounders!+May 11, 2011
The ethanol industry, weary of being beaten up over the food versus fuel debate, has fired back by noting that ethanol plants produce enough grain byproducts to feed enough cattle to make 50 billion quarter-pounders!

Budding connoisseurs seek new college food options+May 10, 2011
Not all college students are willing to live on cold pizza, ramen noodles and greasy takeout.

Some, like Wesleyan University junior Nica Latto, prefer wedges of locally produced artisanal cheeses added to the mix, perhaps a gouda with a slightly nutty undertone or a Gruyere for a fondue party while studying with classmates.

Read more:
Fast-food lobbies U.S. states on 'Happy Meal' laws+May 10, 2011
Fast-food companies are asking U.S. state legislators to remove restaurant marketing from local governments' regulatory menu, in the latest industry bid to stay a step ahead of anti-obesity laws.
Greening Your Dining Services: Key Opportunities+May 10, 2011
A quick scan of the nation's media will show a plethora of stories about institutions adopting practices such as trayless dining and -- in some cases -- composting or purchasing of local and organic food. Dining services professionals continue to face pressure from student groups and administrators to "green" their operations, work with local farmers, and reduce waste emissions; yet few institutions have taken a comprehensive approach to sustainable dining, moving beyond going trayless to making a substantive impact on the campus' carbon footprint.

To identify some low-cost opportunities and learn more about how dining services professionals can think comprehensively about greening dining services, we turned to one of the forerunners in this area -- Nell Fry, the sustainability coordinator for Georgia Tech's dining services. Here is Fry's advice.

Black Bear Dining considers Maine-grown food a ‘top priority’+May 10, 2011
Black Bear Dining has increased its offering of Maine-grown produce by 50 percent within the past year.

As of July 2010, Black Bear Dining switched its 5-year contract with PFG Northcenter to Sysco.

According to Glenn Taylor, director of culinary services, the contract must go out to bid every three to five years and the switch to Sysco “automatically resulted in more local food”.

Sysco’s purchasing partner, Farm Fresh Connections, allows clients to connect with localized farmers and vendors through one source rather than individually.

Texas college turns football field into farm+May 10, 2011
In Texas, where football fields are hallowed ground, the state's oldest historically black college is planting the seeds for community change between its fading goalposts.

Tweet ShareThis Yellow and purple onions, beans and strawberries are sprouting from rows of dark, rich earth where visiting teams once clashed with the Paul Quinn College Tigers.

The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards +May 10, 2011
The Harry Chapin Self-Reliance Awards (HCSRA) is a national grant program providing economic resources and networking opportunities to outstanding community-based organizations for their creative and effective approaches to fighting hunger and poverty in the United States. Since 1985, WhyHunger has been working with the Harry Chapin Foundation to identify and champion these model programs.

In China, Fear of Fake Eggs and ‘Recycled’ Buns+May 10, 2011
On a bustling corner near downtown Shanghai recently, some shoppers avoided the steamed buns sold by Zhu Qinghe in a street-side cubbyhole. Instead, they bought the packaged buns in the freezer section of Hualian, a supermarket chain store in the same building.

Big mistake: Mr. Zhu’s buns were soft, tasty and fresh, made every day, he said, at 3 a.m. The supermarket’s, on the other hand, came from a filthy workshop where workers “recycled” buns after their sell-by date. The workers merely threw the stale buns into a vat, added water and flour, and repackaged them to be sold anew.

NEW online certificate in sustainable food and farming at the University of Massachusetts+May 10, 2011
One of the delights I’ve experienced recently at the University of Massachusetts is a marked increase of interest among students in food and farming. I suspect we can partially attribute this to bestselling books by Michael Pollan, Barbara Kingsolver and Eric Schlosser, or perhaps movies such as Food, Inc and The Future of Food. Whatever the cause, we’ve seen a more than 10-fold increase in the number of students who are choosing to major in Sustainable Food and Farming.
Goats stomp out weeds at new UMD garden+May 10, 2011
Instead of using chemicals to combat the tangle of weeds in the public health school's proposed garden, students contracted goats to spruce up the area.

For three days and two nights, more than 30 goats grazed on the weeds, poison ivy and thorns on the plot of land between the Eppley Recreation Center and the School of Public Health building, clearing the land for students to grow their own fruits and vegetables, meditate, take classes or simply hang out.

Anti-Hunger, Faith, Food and Farm Leaders Challenge World Agriculture Investment Conference+May 10, 2011
Leaders of anti-hunger, faith, food and farm groups from across the U.S. are highlighting the dangers in a convergence of some of the world’s leading agribusiness and investment firms for the World Agricultural Investment Conference at the Wyndham Hotel in Chicago on May 9 and 10, 2011 ( Topics covered at the conference, the admission for which starts at $2,500, range from commodities futures to global land markets. According to one conference spokesperson, “There are limited regions in the world which have sufficient land with good agri-production climates and potential. These regions are still relatively low priced so the future capital gain opportunity is very good.”
Oakland urban farming prompts plan to redo rules+May 9, 2011
It has been a tough row to hoe, but urban farming impresario Novella Carpenter appears to be on her way to legally growing chard and raising animals in Oakland.
Farm Subsidies Become Target Amid Spending Cuts+May 9, 2011
When it comes to spending cuts, members of Congress like to say that “everything is on the table.” Except, generally, food. But now federal farm subsidies, long decried by policy makers as wasteful and antiquated but protected by powerful political interests, appear to be in serious danger.
Grant Funded Food Security?+May 9, 2011
We farm in cities to grow our community’s food and to take control of the systems that feed us. We strive to build community farms offering jobs as a healthier alternative to corner stores selling junk food. We know urban farming is one of the solutions to feeding ourselves as the oil prices rise and the prospect of food traversing continents comes to an end. We do this with seeds and soil, with partnerships and perseverance, with compost bins and hoop houses, and with cold winter harvests and long hot summer days. We do this work because we love it, but also for establishing a sense of security in our otherwise fragile food system.
Global Warming Reduces Expected Yields of Harvests in Some Countries, Study Says+May 6, 2011
Global warming is already cutting substantially into potential crop yields in some countries — to such an extent that it may be a factor in the food price increases that have caused worldwide stress in recent years, researchers suggest in a new study.

'Local' Claims on Menu Grew 13% in Last Year+May 6, 2011
In 2007, the word locavore was chosen by the New Oxford American Dictionary as the word of the year. Its definition was “one who eats food grown locally whenever possible.” This started a revolution that is still going strong today. According to Mintel Foodservice, the “local” claim on U.S. restaurant menus has grown by a healthy 13 percent in the past year alone.

As identified in the 2011 foodservice trends, Mintel Menu Insights sees a push toward indigenous ingredients, taking the local trend a step further.

Tater Tots? At Prep Schools, Try the Rutabaga Fries+May 6, 2011
Here is what $35,000 buys today: Steak and blue cheese tossed with dandelion greens. Artichoke, tomatoes and fennel with penne. Oven-roasted rutabaga fries.

TEDxManhattan Archive+May 6, 2011
TEDxManhattan, "Changing the Way We Eat," took place on February 12, 2011 in New York City. The one-day event highlighted several aspects of the sustainable food movement and the work being done to shift our food system from industrially-based agriculture to one in which healthy, nutritious food is accessible to all. Speakers with various backgrounds in food and farming shared their insights and expertise. Relevant clips from TED conferences were shown. A highlight of all TED and TEDx events is the ample time given for attendees to meet each other, and at TEDxManhattan looked for new synergies and new ideas to help bolster the sustainable food movement.
2011 Food Sovereignty Prize Nomination+May 6, 2011


The non-organic future+May 6, 2011
The United Nations says a billion people go hungry on this planet each day. And the overall population is growing. Experts expect we'll top 9 billion by 2045. The looming question: How to feed everyone with limited resources? This week, several major foundations -- including Ford and Gates -- launched a $3 million a year initiative aimed at figuring out how to come up with the food we need.

From the Marketplace Sustainability Desk, Adriene Hill looks at what the answer might involve -- and what it might not.

Washing Away the Fields of Iowa+May 5, 2011
To an untrained eye, the fields of Iowa have a reassuring solidity. You cannot tell that the state has lost half its topsoil in the past century. According to a new report from the Environmental Working Group, Iowa’s soil is washing away at rates far higher than anyone realized.

Organic farm subsidies are not the answer to the global food security threat+May 5, 2011
A proposal by the Prince of Wales for organic farm subsidies would be a huge step backwards for the ability of UK farming to contribute towards food security and the fight against climate change, warns the Crop Protection Association.

Where’s the beets? Vegetarian options rare in QSR segment+May 5, 2011
Vegetarianism is no passing trend. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, 3 percent of U.S. adults never eat meat, poultry or seafood. Eight percent avoid red meat altogether.

This is up from a similar poll in 2006 in which 2.3 percent classified themselves as vegetarians, and 6.7 percent refrained from eating red meat.

If a growing number of Americans get their protein fixes from fields rather than barns, why are there so few vegetarian options on quick-service menus?

USDA: Become a Champion to End Hunger+May 5, 2011
In 2009, nearly 1 million children simply didn’t get enough to eat in the United States. It’s a startling statistic but one that we can change, and you can help. Today, USDA launched a series of new online tools and volunteer initiatives to increase the number of individuals, organizations, and governments actively working to end childhood hunger. These tools will help you to get involved and become a champion to end hunger in your community! We can end hunger if we all work together. Whether you represent a non-profit, faith-based organization, state or local government, school, private company, or you’re an interested and passionate member of the public, it’s time to get involved and take action.

By visiting, you can access the initiatives listed below, make a commitment to end childhood hunger, and join a network of people doing the same all across the country.

Junk Food ‘Guidelines’ Won’t Help+May 4, 2011
Imagine your child’s teacher was distributing twice daily snacks, before and after lunch — maybe Snickers and PopTarts in the morning, Mountain Dew and fries in the afternoon. Now let’s pretend you complain to the principal, who tells the teacher, “Could you please stop doing that? You have until … five years from Tuesday.”
On Small Farms, Hoof Power Returns+May 4, 2011
ON a sunny Sunday just before the vernal equinox, Rich Ciotola set out to clear a pasture strewn with fallen wood. The just-thawed field was spongy, with grass sprouting under tangled branches. Late March and early April are farm-prep time here in the Berkshires, time to gear up for the growing season. But while many farms were oiling and gassing up tractors, Mr. Ciotola was setting out to prepare a pasture using a tool so old it seems almost revolutionary: a team of oxen.

USDA Encourages Schools To Partner With Local Farms+May 4, 2011
The U.S. Department of Agriculture just announced a new rule to encourage schools to partner with nearby farms as a way to get more healthy, locally-grown fruits, veggies, and more into school lunches.

Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon says the rule is "an important milestone that will help ensure that our children have access to fresh produce and other agricultural products."

Aboard the L Train, Luncheon Is Served+May 4, 2011
IN the era of pop-up restaurants and speakeasies, flash mobs and social stunts, it was perhaps inevitable that a formal luncheon for a dozen people would be staged aboard the Brooklyn-bound L train. Inevitable, but still impressive.

Children’s Food Environment State Indicator Report, 2011+May 4, 2011
The current childhood obesity epidemic is the result of many factors and may not be resolved by any single action.
Rather, resolution of the childhood obesity epidemic will require concerted action across many sectors and settings
such as child care facilities, communities, and schools. The 2011 Children’s Food Environment State Indicator Report
highlights selected behaviors, environments, and policies that affect childhood obesity through support of healthy
eating. These indicators represent opportunities for action. Specific action steps and resources are detailed in the
National Action Guide at
New Initiative to Provide Path Forward for Transforming Food and Ag Policy+May 3, 2011
Today eight of the world's leading foundations launched AGree, a new initiative that will tackle long-term food and agriculture policy issues confronting the nation and the world as the population continues to grow and resources become ever-more constrained.
Salad bars coming to 32 schools in the New Orleans area+May 3, 2011
New Orleans students at 32 schools around the city will be getting new healthy lunch options by the end of the year with donated salad bars from the United Fresh Produce Association.

Concrete Farm Grows Chard (Callaloo, Too)+May 3, 2011
We here at the Incompetent Gardeners Association of Greater New York can only dream of making a patch of land look as good as the Hoyt Street Garden did last Sunday. The garden, a postage-stamp-size community effort at Hoyt Street and Atlantic Avenue in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, had about 250 yellow daffodils in full bloom that day against a pachysandra background, with five benches beckoning. The word “oasis” certainly came to mind.

Food For Thought: US Squanders Energy on Food Chain [CNBC]+May 2, 2011
"A fall 2010 report by the Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service, ERS, called "Fuel for Food: Energy Use in the U.S. Food System," found that while energy consumption per capita fell by 1 percent between 2002 and 2007, food-related energy use grew nearly 8 percent, as the food industry relied on more energy-intensive technologies to produce more food for more people."
Getting dirty to clean up ASU's organic waste+May 2, 2011
It’s a dirty job, and ASU students rallied to do it.

Rolling up their sleeves and getting down and grimy with a full day’s waste from a campus dining hall was just part of regular class activities for students in the School of Sustainability’s Urban Composting Systems solutions workshop.

Storm leaves Alabama poultry industry in ruins+May 2, 2011
On its destructive path across the southern US this week, the storm that left at least 340 dead also devastated Alabama's important poultry industry, as the BBC's Daniel Nasaw reports from Red Hill.

Another Side of Tilapia, the Perfect Factory Fish+May 2, 2011
Tens of thousands of beefy, flapping tilapia are hauled out of teeming cages on Lake Yojoa, converted to fillets in a cold slaughterhouse and rushed onto planes bound for the United States, where some will appear on plates within 12 hours.
Soft Drink Industry Fights Proposed Food Stamp Ban+May 1, 2011
To Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, it seemed like a sensible way to attack a major public health problem. To the soft drink industry, giant food companies, makers of snacks and candy, supermarkets, and antihunger groups, it seemed like an attack at the grocery checkout counter.

Why being a foodie isn’t ‘elitist’+May 1, 2011
At the American Farm Bureau Federation’s annual meeting this year, Bob Stallman, the group’s president, lashed out at “self-appointed food elitists” who are “hell-bent on misleading consumers.” His target was the growing movement that calls for sustainable farming practices and questions the basic tenets of large-scale industrial agriculture in America.

The “elitist” epithet is a familiar line of attack. In the decade since my book “Fast Food Nation” was published, I’ve been called not only an elitist, but also a socialist, a communist and un-American. In 2009, the documentary “Food, Inc.,” directed by Robby Kenner, was described as “elitist foodie propaganda” by a prominent corporate lobbyist. Nutritionist Marion Nestle has been called a “food fascist,” while an attempt was recently made to cancel a university appearance by Michael Pollan, author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma,” who was accused of being an “anti-agricultural” elitist by a wealthy donor.

Expert weighs in on future of City Market+May 1, 2011
An international expert on farmers markets was left standing silently on the Jefferson Theater stage Saturday while audience members debated the future of the Charlottesville City Market.

David K. O’Neil, a former manager of Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market who now does market consulting work, was in town to provide guidance on a new location for the market. After a general presentation on the history and importance of markets, he opened up the floor for a lively discussion that yielded more questions than answers.

A Café for the Community+May 1, 2011
Junior Melissa Eddison’s idea of a nonprofit, community-run co-op cafe that will feature sustainable, local food earned her the first Steven and Diane Robinson Knapp Fellowship for Entrepreneurial Service-Learning award at GW university’s 2011 Service-Learning Symposium April 26.

A lesson in climate change and chili peppers+May 1, 2011
There are more than 10,000 varieties of chili peppers, and they are big business. But climate uncertainty is affecting the cultivation of some peppers.

Map the Meal Gap+April 29, 2011
Feeding America undertook the Map the Meal Gap project, with the generous support of the Howard G. Buffett Foundation and The Nielsen Company, to learn more about the face of hunger at the local community level. Select your state from our interactive map below and start learning more about the residents struggling with hunger and the food banks that serve them.
U.S. Seeks New Limits on Food Ads for Children+April 29, 2011
Will Toucan Sam go the way of Joe Camel?

The federal government proposed sweeping new guidelines on Thursday that could push the food industry to overhaul how it advertises cereal, soda pop, snacks, restaurant meals and other foods to children.

Farms, restaurants are reaping the rewards of local sourcing+April 29, 2011
Ten years ago, Art King inquired about selling produce to restaurants in fast-growing Cranberry and Mars.

"The restaurant owners looked at me like I was crazy," the Middlesex farmer said. "It did not go well."

What a difference a decade makes.

Read more: Farms, restaurants are reaping the rewards of local sourcing - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
Enhancing food access through transportation and land use policies+April 29, 2011
Residents of South Los Angeles and many other
urban areas face a challenge in accessing
healthy food. Despite the recent opening of
a Superior grocery store and a Fresh & Easy
Neighborhood Market, South Los Angeles still has
fewer supermarkets per capita than the more
affluent parts of the region.1 The small and high
concentration of corner stores and mini marts
throughout the area carry a limited selection
of healthy and fresh items.2 South Los Angeles
also has the highest rate of poverty and obesity
in Los Angeles County, with nearly 30 percent
of households living in poverty and 35 percent
of adults considered obese.3 Many residents are
transit dependent, making it increasingly difficult
for them to access healthy food when it is located
far from their homes.
What does ‘sustainability’ mean?+April 29, 2011
The word “sustainable” is being used in so many ways today that it is hard to know what it means. It came into increasing use after the 1987 report “Our Common Future” published by the United Nations World Commission on Environment and Development -- also known as the Brundtland Report, named after the Chair of that Commission.

What’s Worse Than an Oil Spill?+April 28, 2011
A year ago, the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, gushing nearly five million barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico before it was finally capped three months later. It was by most accounts a disaster. But when it comes to wrecking our oceans, the accidental BP spill was small compared with the damage we do with intent and ignorance.

Gov't to urge food companies to limit ads for kids+April 28, 2011
Commercials promoting sugary breakfast cereals could be put on a strict diet under government guidelines urging food companies to limit marketing of unhealthy products to children.

Under guidelines obtained by The Associated Press, companies would be urged to only market foods to children ages 2 through 17 if they are low in fats, sugars and sodium and contain specified healthy ingredients. The government is planning to propose the voluntary guidelines Thursday, according to three people familiar with the process who were not authorized to speak publicly.

Recycling Isn't the Answer: To Save the Planet, Eat Plants+April 27, 2011
Lincolnshire, England, is populated with few townspeople and many livestock ranches on land that's flat as far as the eye can see. It was there, in the middle of nowhere and more than five years ago, that I attended my first seminar connecting the dots between the food system and climate change. Back then, before An Inconvenient Truth, climate change wasn't on most Americans' radar, and even fewer were thinking about whether food production was contributing to it.

So much has changed since then. And yet, so little.

China’s Cheap Vegetables Problem+April 27, 2011
When China suffers inflation, food prices are always a significant part of the problem. But the conundrum China’s leaders face with this latest round of inflation is somewhat bizarre: While the country’s consumer price index is running at a near three-year high, vegetables are so cheap that tons and tons of them are being left to rot away in the fields.

2011 NRDC Growing Green Awards +April 27, 2011
The 2011 Growing Green Awards recipients were selected from hundreds of nominees by an independent panel of sustainable food experts. We're thrilled to share their incredible sustainable food stories with you!

Chef Ann Cooper on The Case for Universal Breakfast+April 27, 2011
I have been working as a chef for over three decades and in school food for over one. As a chef, I cooked or oversaw the cooking of tens of thousands of breakfasts. In every restaurant, hotel, cruise ship and catering operation I worked in, it was always taken for granted that breakfast was the most important and perhaps the hardest meal to prepare and serve of the day. The guests are often tired, perhaps cranky; they want food and beverage fast and they all have “important” things that need to be taken care of immediately. To top it all off, breakfast has the lowest price point of almost any restaurant meal, so we need to be fast, efficient, smiley and cheap, not easy in today’s world – never mind in the world of school food.

In every school and district I’ve worked in over the past twelve years, we have served or given access to breakfast to all of the students. Over the years of working in schools across the country, it has become apparent that the best way to assure all students eat breakfast is for it to be served in the classroom.

New USDA Rule Encourages Purchase of Local Agricultural Products+April 27, 2011
Today, Agriculture Under Secretary Kevin Concannon announced that USDA's child nutrition programs are implementing new rules designed to encourage use of local farm products in school meals.

The final rule, published in the Federal Register, will let schools and other providers give preference to unprocessed locally grown and locally raised agricultural products as they purchase food for the National School Lunch, School Breakfast, Special Milk, Child and Adult Care, Fresh Fruit and Vegetable, and Summer Food Service programs. The rule is part of the Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010 signed into law by President Obama and one of the key provisions to bolster farm to school programs across the country.

Behind the Rising Cost of Food+April 26, 2011
The plate has always been a great fortifier. Soup to heal, stew to comfort, escape delivered in a good piece of chocolate.

But events both at home and internationally are conspiring to shake the confidence of eaters. Global famine, war and disaster are no longer so easy to keep from the table.

What a (Daily) Deal+April 25, 2011
Online coupon sites — think Groupon — are pretty popular these days, but in true Charlottesville fashion, we’ve got our own locally-based, locally-minded alternative right here in town. Like Groupon, The Hook’s Daily Deal also offers fast-paced bargains, but with a twist: Their sales focus on small and locally-owned businesses, and they dedicate two percent of their profits to local charities.

We’re excited to announce that Local Food Hub is the Daily Deal’s featured nonprofit during the months of April and May! And we’re dedicating all funds raised through the Daily Deal to our Farm to School Fund!

UVa Farm-to-Fork Meal Highlights Local Food +April 23, 2011
Folks at the University of Virginia Dining program celebrated Earth Day on Friday with a "farm-to-plate" luncheon.

The meal highlighted food from Central Virginia farmers, including the Local Food Hub. The annual event is a way for UVa students and the entire University community to learn more about local food.

In Online Games, a Path to Young Consumers+April 23, 2011
Deep into one of her favorite computer games, Lesly Lopez, 10, moves her mouse to click on a cartoon bee. She drags and drops it into an empty panel, creating her own comic strip.

Lesly likes this online game so much that she plays twice a week, often e-mailing her creations to friends. “I always send them to my cousin in Los Angeles,” she said.

But this is not just a game — it is also advertising. Create a Comic, as it is called, was created by General Mills to help it sell Honey Nut Cheerios to children.
Regional Food Hubs: National Survey Findings+April 23, 2011
Welcome to the 2011–2013 Food and Community Fellows+April 22, 2011
The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) is pleased to announce the selection of 14 new Food and Community Fellows. The 2011–2013 class of fellows is a mix of grassroots advocates, thought leaders, writers and entrepreneurs. You can see the full class below and at
High-End Burger Joints Raise The Stakes+April 22, 2011
If you're not aware of Five Guys Burgers and Fries yet, just wait — you probably will be. It's the fastest growing restaurant chain in the country, and it's leading a burger revolution that's making the bigger chains take notice.

U.S. organic industry valued at nearly $29 billion in 2010+April 22, 2011
The organic industry grew at a rate of nearly eight percent in 2010, bucking the current trend whereby “flat is the new growth” for many other segments of the economy. Further, some sectors of the organic market enjoyed annual growth of well over 30 percent, the Organic Trade Association (OTA) revealed today in releasing findings from its 2011 Organic Industry Survey. In 2010, the organic industry grew to over $28.6 billion.
Worries about rising costs cast pall on McDonald's+April 22, 2011
McDonald's Corp. said Thursday that it expects more price increases for beef and other key ingredients, sending its shares down even as it reported its first-quarter profit and revenue rose.

The company spent the day emphasizing how sales have increased, beating analysts' expectations, and showcasing strong demand in Europe and Asia.

But analysts were more concerned about rising food prices, a global trend that is rippling to customers, franchisees and investors everywhere.

Read more:
Understanding The Farm Bill And Subsidies+April 21, 2011
TEDxManhattan “Changing the Way We Eat” took place February 12, 2011, in New York City. The one-day event highlighted several aspects of the sustainable food movement and the work being done to shift our food system from industrially-based agriculture to one in which healthy, nutritious food is accessible to all. Ken Cook of the Environmental Working Group shared their insights and expertise.

The latest oxymoron: Oxfam helps Coca-Cola reduce poverty+April 21, 2011
I keep arguing that partnerships and alliances with food corporations put agriculture, food, nutrition, and public health advocacy groups in deep conflict of interest.

The latest example is Oxfam America’s partnership with Coca-Cola and bottler SAB Miller to evaluate the effectiveness of these corporations in reducing poverty (again, you can’t make these things up):

Despite the challenges involved, The Coca-Cola Company and SABMiller have each made ambitious and laudable commitments to labor rights, human rights, water, gender, and sustainability. However, there is little accountability to such commitments without the informed engagement of affected groups. By looking across all relevant issues (no cherry-picking) with an organization like Oxfam America and reporting out to stakeholders, these companies have opened themselves to heightened public scrutiny and hopefully increased accountability.

Hopefully, indeed.

Law Firm Voluntarily Withdraws Class Action Lawsuit against Taco Bell +April 19, 2011
Taco Bell said today that Alabama-based Beasley Allen law firm voluntarily withdrew the class action lawsuit against the company. As Taco Bell has stated before, the allegations in the lawsuit and in public statements about Taco Bell’s seasoned beef, food quality and advertising were absolutely wrong. After reviewing the facts, the lawyers for the plaintiff withdrew the lawsuit. No money or other value was exchanged between the parties, and Taco Bell is not making any changes to its products or advertising.
Resetting the Table: A People's Food Policy for Canada+April 19, 2011
This document reflects a growing wave of concern amongst regular people across Canada about the future of food. It is the result of 3500 talking about food at over 250 kitchen table talks. It contains our ideas about how to make Canada's food system fair, healthy and ecological.
U.S. Foodservice Acquires Ritter Food Service, Leading Supplier of Premium Poultry, Meat and Seafood+April 19, 2011
U.S. Foodservice, one of America’s leading foodservice distributors,
has purchased Ritter Food Service, a division of The Pennfield Corporation. Ritter, based in Mount Joy,
Pa., is a specialty distributor of high quality poultry, meats and seafood, including the Pennfield Farms
brand. Ritter serves more than 1,000 customers which include local retailers and restaurants in
Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey. Ritter’s operations will become part of the U.S. Foodservice
Allentown, Pa., division.
Sodexo Expands Meatless Monday Program+April 19, 2011
After a successful start to Meatless Mondays at Sodexo, the institutional feeder plans to introduce new clients to the movement! Sodexo first launched the campaign in over 900 hospitals nationwide. Starting this week, Meatless Monday will also be offered to over 2,000 Sodexo corporate and government clients, including Toyota, Northern Trust Bank and the U.S. Department of the Interior.
UCSB's Associated Students to Launch Campus's First Food Bank+April 18, 2011
A second-year student faces a difficult decision: buying a textbook required for class, or buying food for dinner. Her budget's so tight right now, she can't afford both.
Unfortunately, this scenario is becoming too common at UC Santa Barbara, according to Associated Students (AS), the governing body for students. So, AS leaders are addressing the issue by launching the campus's first Food Bank. Starting in mid-April, undergraduate and graduate students will be able to pick up nonperishable food and other items on the third floor of the campus's University Center.
BGSU dining hall offers a lot to digest +April 18, 2011
Though four months from completion, The Oaks at Bowling Green State University appears to have the potential to become a place 21st century alumni will want to visit when they return to campus.
And to make 20th century alumni jealous.
An exhibition kitchen, seven-foot hearthstone oven that cooks a whole lot more than pizza, small and large dining areas (some that offer privacy); plenty of natural light, interaction with the cooks, environmental design, recycling of building materials, a small convenience store with an organic flavor and a full-scale Dunkin' Donuts are among the highlights.
"We like to refer to this as an environment, an experience. This is not a building," Karl Behrens, of The Novus Group, said Tuesday morning.
UMass Embraces Permaculture +April 18, 2011
Auxiliary Services at 26,000-student University of Massachusetts, Amherst is in the process of building and planting one of the first permaculture gardens on a college campus, according to Ken Toong, executive director for auxiliary services.
Is Sugar Toxic?+April 17, 2011
On May 26, 2009, Robert Lustig gave a lecture called “Sugar: The Bitter Truth,” which was posted on YouTube the following July. Since then, it has been viewed well over 800,000 times, gaining new viewers at a rate of about 50,000 per month, fairly remarkable numbers for a 90-minute discussion of the nuances of fructose biochemistry and human physiology.

Prof. Ben Cohen on Bean Counting+April 16, 2011
What bean-counting ‘contrarians’ miss about the local-food movement (Grist).
Let Us Eat Fish+April 15, 2011
THIS Lent, many ecologically conscious Americans might feel a twinge of guilt as they dig into the fish on their Friday dinner plates. They shouldn’t.

Price of Tomatoes Has a Lot to Do With These Thefts+April 15, 2011
The high price of produce, especially for tomatoes after the deep winter freezes, has attracted more than heightened attention from consumers. A ring of sophisticated vegetable bandits was watching, too.

UW Assistant Professor Awarded $5 Million Grant for Sustainable Community Food Project+April 15, 2011
A University of Wyoming professor is leading a $5-million, multi-state project to build community food systems that nourish populations in both current and future generations.

Christine M. Porter, assistant professor in the College of Health Sciences Division of Kinesiology and Health, leads the five-year "Food Dignity: Action Research on Engaging Food Insecure Communities and Universities in Building Sustainable Community Food Systems," project. It is funded by the United States Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI) Competitive Grant program.

Chicago school bans homemade lunches+April 15, 2011
Students who attend Chicago's Little Village Academy public school get nothing but nutritional tough love during their lunch period each day. The students can either eat the cafeteria food--or go hungry. Only students with allergies are allowed to bring a homemade lunch to school, the Chicago Tribune reports.

Daily Show: Jamie Oliver+April 14, 2011
Jon wishes Jamie Oliver luck with helping Americans become healthier, better people.
U.S. Sees More Female Farmers +April 14, 2011
The old farmer stereotype of a white guy in overalls has at least one truth to it: The majority of farmers in the U.S. are white males. Yet a growing number of women are joining their ranks.

Women now run about 14 percent of the nation's farms, up from only 5 percent in the 1980s. Most female-run farms tend to be smaller and more diverse, and many are part of the burgeoning organic and local foods movement.

Organic farming just as productive as conventional, and better at building soil, Rodale finds+April 14, 2011
Organic agriculture is a fine luxury for the rich, but it could never feed the world as global population moves to 9 billion.

That's what a lot of powerful people -- including the editors of The Economist -- insist. But the truth could well be the opposite: It might be chemical-intensive agriculture that's the frivolous luxury, and organic that offers us the right technologies in a resource-constrained, ever-warmer near future.
Renegade San Francisco Underground Market+April 14, 2011
IN the Bay Area, year-round farmers’ markets and food co-ops are plentiful and well-established. Too well-established, it turns out, for a group of amateur chefs, foragers and home food purveyors in San Francisco. So the disparate crew founded a renegade market for vendors who lack the commercial kitchens and licenses needed to operate elsewhere.

High Prices Sow Seeds of Erosion+April 14, 2011
When prices for corn and soybeans surged last fall, Bill Hammitt, a farmer in the fertile hill country of western Iowa, began to see the bulldozers come out, clearing steep hillsides of trees and pastureland to make way for more acres of the state’s staple crops. Now, as spring planting begins, with the chance of drenching rains, Mr. Hammitt worries that such steep ground is at high risk for soil erosion — a farmland scourge that feels as distant to most Americans as tales of the Dust Bowl and Woody Guthrie ballads.

School Meal Nutrition Standards: Comments Due April 13+April 13, 2011
As part of the “Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010,” more commonly known as the
reauthorization of the Child Nutrition Act, the Secretary of Agriculture was required to
revise the meal patterns and nutrition requirements for the National School Lunch
Program (NSLP) and the School Breakfast Program (SBP) to align them with the 2005
“Dietary Guidelines for Americans.” The changes proposed in this rule are based on
recommendations from the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine’s 2009 Report
“School Meals: Building Blocks for Healthy Children.”
How to Save a Trillion Dollars+April 13, 2011
In the scheme of things, saving the 38 billion bucks that Congress seems poised to agree upon is not a big deal. A big deal is saving a trillion bucks. And we could do that by preventing disease instead of treating it.

For the first time in history, lifestyle diseases like diabetes, heart disease, some cancers and others kill more people than communicable ones. Treating these diseases — and futile attempts to “cure” them — costs a fortune, more than one-seventh of our GDP.

But they’re preventable, and you prevent them the same way you cause them: lifestyle. A sane diet, along with exercise, meditation and intangibles like love prevent and even reverse disease. A sane diet alone would save us hundreds of billions of dollars and maybe more.

Back to the Farmland+April 12, 2011
Everybody wants to shop at the farmers market these days and a whole lot of people seem to be dreaming of farming themselves — getting back to the land, anyway. Some chickens, a goat, their own veggies, maybe a real crop.

Kurt Timmermeister did it, almost by accident. Bought four acres on an island off Seattle. Then bought more. Tried honey bees and sheep. Tomatoes and kale. Goats and cows and butchering himself. It was a big, long learning curve. Hard work. He’s finally found his way.

This hour On Point: becoming a farmer.

Real Food Awards+April 11, 2011
College food gets a bad rap.

But these days, there's also a lot to celebrate.

The Real Food Awards shine a spotlight on the people who represent the best of college food.

These awards are about rethinking what's good. "Good" isn't only about taste--it's also about doing good in our communities. These awards are fun, but they're also serious.

Dolores Huerta tells us to "honor the hands that harvest your crops." It's also important to honor all the hands that prepare our food. These awards are a way to thank those who take care of us every day.

College of Marin Organic Ag Apprenticeship Program+April 11, 2011
College of Marin students are getting an opportunity to get hands-on instruction in organic farming.

The college, which has an organic farming program at its Indian Valley Campus in Novato, is teaming up with the Fresh Run Farm in Bolinas on an apprenticeship program that combines classroom instruction with paid farming positions on the 22.5-acre farm.

Water Footprint+April 11, 2011
How much water is consumed based on what we're eating, drinking buying or based on where we live? Two Harvard Graduate School of Design students, Joseph Bergen and Nickie Huang, set out to show the world in a creative data visualization. The interactive online graphics show visitors how much water they use based on what country they live in or, even better, allows users to see how much water is used to create common consumer beverages and products.

Bluefin Tuna Catch a (Small) Break+April 11, 2011
The numbers of endangered bluefin tuna are rapidly dwindling, due to vast overfishing fueled by Japan’s insatiable sushi appetite. The international body set up to conserve these fish has utterly failed to do its job. But a small and clever innovation may slow their decline: special hooks designed to help commercial fishing boats in the Gulf of Mexico avoid catching bluefin accidentally.

Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation and United Farm Workers Release Groundbreaking Report on U.S. Farm Labor+April 9, 2011
More and more Americans are asking questions about where their food comes from, but few are going so far as to think about who picked it. Farmworkers remain in the shadows. A groundbreaking new report released today, César Chávez Day, in honor of the labor leader who fought tirelessly for farmworker rights, shines a light into these dark corners of our nation’s food system.

The Inventory of Farmworker Issues and Protections in the United States is the product of a unique for-profit/NGO joint venture of the Bon Appétit Management Company Foundation and United Farm Workers (UFW), with support from Oxfam America. By compiling and analyzing data from multiple federal, state, and private sources, it renders the most comprehensive picture yet of the reality faced by America’s least-valued yet critically important workforce.

Go Philly!+April 8, 2011
Foodwise, among the most progressive cities in the country right now is Philadelphia, where the alliance of a forward-thinking mayor and a 19-year-old non-profit is moving things forward. Within a year or two, Philly might be funding better access to real food for its poorest citizens by taxing soda. And if you accept the notion that childhood obesity and the accompanying Type 2 diabetes are big problems, and you’re aware that soda is a major cause, you’ll agree that’s a huge step in the right direction.
Gains and Losses+April 8, 2011
After a long, scentless winter, apart from the tang of woodsmoke in the air, you could suddenly smell the earth again early one morning last week. It seems odd to call the scent fresh — it was darker and mustier than that — but fresh is how it felt, hovering like a ground fog above the last banks of snow. A whole field of clover could grow in that smell alone.

What You Need to Know About School Lunch+April 8, 2011
A big picture overview of how school lunches are funded and the regulations by which they are dictated.
USDA Awards Four NY Communities With Funds To Increase Food Access+April 8, 2011
New York State Agriculture Commissioner Darrel J. Aubertine announced that the U.S. Department of Agriculture has awarded four grants totaling $2.3 million to four New York communities to help them end hunger by increasing food access and improving nutrition in low-income households.

Rush to Use Crops as Fuel Raises Food Prices and Hunger Fears+April 7, 2011
The starchy cassava root has long been an important ingredient in everything from tapioca pudding and ice cream to paper and animal feed.

But last year, 98 percent of cassava chips exported from Thailand, the world’s largest cassava exporter, went to just one place and almost all for one purpose: to China to make biofuel. Driven by new demand, Thai exports of cassava chips have increased nearly fourfold since 2008, and the price of cassava has roughly doubled.

Report: To what extent have sweetened beverages contributed to the obesity epidemic?+April 7, 2011
Obesity rates and sweetened beverage intake have increased in tandem in
the USA. Studies consistently show that higher intake of sweetened beverages is
associated with higher energy intake. Energy in liquid form is not well compensated
for by reductions in the intake of other sources of energy.Well-designed observational
studies consistently show a significant positive relationship between sweetened
beverage intake and adiposity. More importantly, several well-conducted randomized
controlled trials have shown statistically significant changes in adiposity as a result of
corresponding changes in sweetened beverage intake.
Quinoa’s Global Success Creates Quandary at Home+April 7, 2011
Now demand for quinoa (pronounced KEE-no-ah) is soaring in rich countries, as American and European consumers discover the “lost crop” of the Incas. The surge has helped raise farmers’ incomes here in one of the hemisphere’s poorest countries. But there has been a notable trade-off: Fewer Bolivians can now afford it, hastening their embrace of cheaper, processed foods and raising fears of malnutrition in a country that has long struggled with it.

The shift offers a glimpse into the consequences of rising global food prices and changing eating habits in both prosperous and developing nations.
School Food Revolution: Charlottesville+April 7, 2011
Recently I was asked to travel to Charlottesville, Va., to talk about school food and I knew something important was afoot in Jefferson’s home town when I checked in at the Budget Inn.

Waiting for me behind the desk clerk was a gorgeous gift box filled with treats from a local food emporium: chocolate almond bark, candied walnuts, handmade cheese straws, but also local foods, including apples, beef jerky and a half-dozen farm-fresh eggs.

All had been prepared courtesy of an amazing alliance of local food activistis, parents and University of Virginia educators laying the groundwork for a school food uprising in Charlottesville. I was part of a panel designated to pick up the discussion following a screening of the documentary Lunch Line at the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for the Performing Arts.

Yale Dining Services Raises the Bar with Sustainably-Sourced Products +April 7, 2011
Whether navigating the tricky issue of chicken tenders in its everyday operations, or finding sustainably-sourced crab for high-profile events, Yale University Dining has raised the bar for sustainable university food service. Most recently, Yale Dining, with the Yale College Council, organized the third annual “Final Cut” cooking competition between teams from each residential college, based on the Iron Chef program and incorporating as the theme ingredient wild-caught Alaskan King crab. Crab was chosen as a sustainable alternative to other meat options since US crab fisheries are more rigorously monitored than many other fishing industries (such as overfished East Coast salmon and cod fisheries), to ensure that fishers do not exceed the total allowable catch as calculated by fisheries scientists and ensure long-term sustainability. Furthermore, the methods for catching crab have less impact on the natural environment, since crab pots and traps result in no bycatch.

Appalachian Food Services Takes First Step Toward Buying Local Food: Meets with Local Food Producers.+April 7, 2011
Appalachian Food Services plans to purchase food being raised by local farmers and other producers. This initiative is designed to help sustain the land, local farms, and the health of customers, while also supporting the economic vitality of the area and minimizing the distance that meat and produce must be transported.

Safe and Suitable Ingredients Used in the Production of Meat, Poultry, and Egg Products+April 6, 2011
This directive provides inspection program personnel (IPP) with an up-to-date list of substances that may be used in the production of meat, poultry, and egg products. FSIS will continue to update this directive quarterly by issuing revisions to this directive as opposed to issuing amendments to the directive.
NYC politician wants ban on fast-food meal toys+April 6, 2011
A city lawmaker thinks free toys and other giveaways cause children to clamor for fast food, and he planned to introduce a bill Wednesday that will ban them from meals that fail to meet nutritional guidelines.
Poultry Industry Groups Join Farm Bureau Lawsuit Challenging EPA Program+April 6, 2011
U.S. Poultry & Egg Association and the National Chicken Council have joined the American Farm Bureau Federation in a lawsuit challenging the Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to implement a program based on flawed assumptions that EPA has failed to address that could also destroy agricultural jobs in the Chesapeake Bay region.
Bat epidemic could bite into your grocery budget +April 6, 2011
It's bad enough that the U.S. honeybee population has dropped precipitously in the past few years, threatening the existence of all pollinated crops (that's one-third of American agriculture). Now an epidemic may be hitting the country's bats — and it has the potential to further threaten agriculture.
Restaurants eager to meet demand for local food +April 6, 2011
Teibel’s Family Restaurant in Schererville has a long tradition of getting its food supply in the region, one that stretches back throughout the family-owned restaurant’s history.

Digital Farm Collective+April 6, 2011
A project by fourth-generation farmer Matt Moore that brings time-lapse photography and art to present new and evocative images of food. Or, to quote Moore, he was "inspired to create the ‘Digital Farm Collective’ to collect and share the images from the most important daily process of agriculture, the growth of our produce."
First Seed Lending Library Opens in San Francisco +April 4, 2011
Seed Lending libraries are sprouting up across the state with at least six in Northern California and one coming soon in Los Angeles. With the recent opening of two branches in San Francisco, community members are bringing food safety, biodiversity protection, and urban farming back into their own hands. The first two branches of the San Francisco Seed Library, a project of Transition SF and the San Francisco Permaculture Guild, are open for lending at Hayes Valley Farm and as a pilot project at the Potrero Branch of the San Francisco Public Library; the next seed saving class is on June 4 at 3:30 in the Potrero Branch Program Room.

The process is simple; residents choose from a list of vegetable seeds available in the Seed Library collection, borrow them, and plant their seeds. After they have harvested their crops, they save the seeds from the heartiest and healthiest of their harvest and return the seeds to the same branch. Over time, each SF Seed Library branch will include a wide selection of seeds that are best suited to each micro-climate since they have grown to full fruition, responding to the local soil, climate, and plant/animal diversity.

The Inconvenient Truth About Cheap Food and Obesity: It's Not Farm Subsidies+April 4, 2011
Pop quiz: What mistaken belief about food is endorsed by both the libertarian right and the foodie left?

Answer: That farm subsidies make unhealthy foods artificially cheap.

This myth gained currency thanks to Michael Pollan’s runaway 2006 bestseller, The Omnivore’s Dilemma, which blamed America’s bad eating habits on corn and soy, made cheap and ubiquitous by farm subsidies. More recently, the Cato Institute, and even George Will, have made the same claim.

F.D.A. Panel to Consider Warnings for Artificial Food Colorings+April 1, 2011
After staunchly defending the safety of artificial food colorings, the federal government is for the first time publicly reassessing whether foods like Jell-O, Lucky Charms cereal and Minute Maid Lemonade should carry warnings that the bright artificial colorings in them worsen behavior problems like hyperactivity in some children.
Campus Kitchens at UVa: March Matchness+March 31, 2011
Campus Kitchens across the nation are taking to the (virtual) court for March Matchness.

The competitive fundraising event is a chance to show off your school pride, and make an impact in your community.

For the next 20 days, your support can help us sustain Campus Kitchens for 2011. Over the next 10 days, the top kitchens will move on to the Final Four to be eligible for an additional 10% of the funds you raise from CKP National.
This year CKUVA is supporting The Salvation Army, The Hope House, On Our Own and The Haven. Through these agencies we provide 140 meals to needy community members every week. Your donation of $3.52 can be part of a larger picture to help the Charlottesville community.

Over the next 10 days help us move on the next round by donating a gallon worth of gas to CKUVA!
Food Inflation Kept Hidden in Tinier Bags+March 31, 2011
Chips are disappearing from bags, candy from boxes and vegetables from cans.

As an expected increase in the cost of raw materials looms for late summer, consumers are beginning to encounter shrinking food packages.

Amber Waves to Ivory Bolls+March 31, 2011
Tight supplies of corn, soybeans and wheat have sent prices skyrocketing in the last year, prompting worries of a looming global food crisis.

In other years, American farmers have responded to high prices by devoting more land to staple food crops.

But this spring, many farmers in southern states will be planting cotton in ground where they used to grow corn, soybeans or wheat — spurred on by cotton prices that have soared as clothing makers clamor for more and poor harvests crimp supply.

UVa Sustainable Foods Sampling+March 31, 2011
NBC29 video.
Why We’re Fasting+March 31, 2011
I stopped eating on Monday and joined around 4,000 other people in a fast to call attention to Congressional budget proposals that would make huge cuts in programs for the poor and hungry.

By doing so, I surprised myself; after all, I eat for a living. But the decision was easy after I spoke last week with David Beckmann, a reverend who is this year’s World Food Prize laureate.
Purdue University tackles global food security+March 31, 2011
Purdue University has launched the Center for Global Food Security to tackle the difficult issue of feeding people today and more of them in the future.

The center has begun operation’s at the university’s Discovery Park, a $500 million complex of organizations leading large-scale collaborative research efforts on the West Lafayette, Ind.-based campus.

How Cows (Grass-Fed Only) Could Save the Planet+March 30, 2011
On a farm in coastal Maine, a barn is going up. Right now it's little more than a concrete slab and some wooden beams, but when it's finished, the barn will provide winter shelter for up to six cows and a few head of sheep. None of this would be remarkable if it weren't for the fact that the people building the barn are two of the most highly regarded organic-vegetable farmers in the country: Eliot Coleman wrote the bible of organic farming, The New Organic Grower, and Barbara Damrosch is the Washington Post's gardening columnist. At a time when a growing number of environmental activists are calling for an end to eating meat, this veggie-centric power couple is beginning to raise it. "Why?" asks Coleman, tromping through the mud on his way toward a greenhouse bursting with December turnips. "Because I care about the fate of the planet."
Cafe strives for sustainability despite small kitchen space+March 30, 2011
Size doesn’t matter for the Refectory Cafe at Duke Law School.

For a venue that serves between 500 and 600 people daily, the Refectory Cafe at Duke Law School has a surprisingly small amount of kitchen and storage space, as the Duke University Student Dining Advisory Committee witnessed Monday. DUSDAC was given a tour of the facility by Laura Hall, owner of Bon Vivant Catering, the company which operates both the Law School and Divinity School branches of the Refectory Cafe.

“One of my goals was to change the whole restaurant model,” Hall said. “What we try to do is take the sugar, salt and fat out of your meals but leave the nutrients and give them interesting flavors.”

Mayor's Community Garden Program Approved by Richmond City Council +March 30, 2011
Mayor Dwight C. Jones’ proposed ordinance of offering City property to non-profit organizations, civic associations, community groups, and other eligible entities to be developed into community gardens was unanimously approved by Richmond City Council last night. The new ordinance requires the creation of a permit process to enable certain parcels of City-owned real estate to be used for community gardens.

F.C. Schools Win Prestigious Magna Award for Healthy Meals Plan +March 30, 2011
Falls Church School Board chair Joan Wodiska announced to the F.C. City Council tonight that the Falls Church City Public Schools have just been awarded first place among the nation's small school systems in the American School Board Journal's Magna Awards for its program of "healthy meals for all students."

National Archives Opens "What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?" Food Exhibit June 10, 2011+March 29, 2011
On Friday, June 10, 2011, the National Archives will unveil a delectable new exhibition, What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government’s Effect on the American Diet. Unearth the stories and personalities behind the increasingly complex programs and legislation that affect what we eat. Learn about Federal government’s extraordinary efforts, successes, and failures to change our eating habits. From Revolutionary War rations to cold war cultural exchanges, discover the multiple ways that food has occupied the hearts and minds of Americans and their government.
California Launches Nation's First Organic Farming Apprenticeship Program+March 29, 2011
California's Division of Apprenticeship Standards (DAS) has partnered with College of Marin and Fresh Run Farm to offer students the nation's first-of-its-kind apprenticeship program for organic farming. Participating students will learn progressive, responsible farming practices including landscape ecology, composting and fertility management. In addition, students will learn the business side of farming with coursework in marketing and certifications.
Philadelphia School Battles Students’ Bad Eating Habits, on Campus and Off+March 28, 2011
Tatyana Gray bolted from her house and headed toward her elementary school. But when she reached the corner store where she usually gets her morning snack of chips or a sweet drink, she encountered a protective phalanx of parents with bright-colored safety vests and walkie-talkies.

The scourge the parents were combating was neither the drugs nor the violence that plagues this North Philadelphia neighborhood. It was bad eating habits.

W. K. Kellogg Foundation Funds an Endowed Chair in Sustainable Environmental Food Systems at the UNM+March 28, 2011
The Uni­ver­sity of New Mex­ico Sus­tain­abil­ity Stud­ies Pro­gram has received a $1.5 mil­lion grant for an endowed chair in sus­tain­able envi­ron­men­tal food sys­tems and $150,000 in start-up funds from the W.K. Kel­logg Foun­da­tion. The endow­ment will sup­port edu­ca­tion that increases the well-being of stu­dents and cit­i­zens by advanc­ing envi­ron­men­tal sci­ence and social equity applied to the devel­op­ment of local food systems.

VT Dining Services names sustainability coordinator +March 28, 2011
Virginia Tech Dining Services has named Elena Dulys-Nusbaum the department's new sustainability coordinator.

In her position, Dulys-Nusbaum will work closely with Dining Services to find ways to further develop a sustainable dining program at the university and work with students to address concerns and seek input.

Lunch Line Screening Coverage+March 27, 2011
Webcast by a Hip-Hopper Who Cooks+March 27, 2011
WHEN Richard Colon reaches for a mixer on the kitchen counter, it’s a tossup whether he’ll be using it to blend beets or beats. His kitchen doubles as a studio for a weekday Webcast, “Lunch Breaks,” and tucked among the stove, refrigerator and cutting board are turntables, headphones and, yes, a digital mixer.
Arganica: Former real-estate developer thinks his Va. farm is fertile ground for business [WaPo]+March 27, 2011
Former real estate developer attempts to sow new life on a farm: Dominique Kostelac is the founder of Arganica Farm Club, a service that delivers fresh groceries from local producers to customers’ doorsteps in the Washington area.

They recently expanded to Charlottesville (actually, where they are based), overlapping with the mission of, Horse & Buggy, and other local-food delivery businesses.
Food dyes' favor fades as possible links to hyperactivity emerge [Washington Post]+March 26, 2011
"Now, federal regulators are reexamining artificial ingredients they have long deemed to be safe, prompted by scientific studies suggesting that color additives might be linked to hyperactivity in children and other health effects. On Wednesday, an advisory panel to the Food and Drug Administration will begin a two-day meeting to discuss the science behind artificial dyes and whether the government ought to restrict their use."
Let Them Eat Cutbacks+March 25, 2011
Food stamps are part of the social safety net, but they work more as the ultimate ground-level crutch for Americans staggering against poverty. During the recession, food stamps were an important factor in helping an estimated 4.5 million Americans stave off the official poverty (no more than $21,756 annually for a family of four) that engulfed nearly 16 percent of the nation. The stamps are win-win: $9 in fast economic stimulus for every $5 spent on food for a hungry family.

Sad wonder, then, that cuts in food stamps are the latest proposal heading for the House Republicans’ budgetary chopping block. An attempt to set them back at the levels of 2007 — and cost a family of four $59 out of their $294 monthly allotment — is part of welfare “reform” legislation being proposed by leaders of the powerful Republican Study Committee. This group, embraced by two-thirds of the House majority, is the conservative engine driving much of the deficit-slashing mania to extremes.

Welcome to Maine – the way farming should be+March 25, 2011
Not only is Maine the way life should be, it's also the way farming should be.

On March 8, the United Nations released a report contradicting the philosophy of industrial farming by saying that the only way to feed the world's growing population is by relying on small, diversified, sustainable farms.

According to the latest statistics from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Maine is home to 8,100 farms, and more than 90 percent of them are classified as small operations. Maine is also ahead of the curve in the organic farming movement, with the number of certified farms doubling between 2006 and 2008, the latest years for which the USDA's figures are available.

Ban backlash: U.S. politicians to prohibit bans on Happy Meal toys+March 24, 2011
San Francisco’s ban on distributing free toys with unhealthy fast-food meals has prompted politicians in other states to take action.

No, they’re not following suit. Rather, lawmakers in Arizona and Florida are pushing to ban such bans.

Bills smell like a CAFO+March 24, 2011
In 1994, I was escorted to a large excavation that would become a cesspit of what was then Continental Grain, now Premium Standard Farms (PSF), owned by Smithfield Inc.

The people escorting me were farmers whose land was adjacent to this massive pit, which was the size of a football field and about 18 feet deep.

The farmers told me that the Department of Natural Resources had issued a permit for as many as 80,000 hogs in a gigantic concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) nearby, and this pit would soon be filled with hog manure and urine.

Food: Six Things to Feel Good About+March 23, 2011
The great American writer, thinker and farmer Wendell Berry recently said, “You can’t be a critic by simply being a griper . . . One has also to . . . search out the examples of good work.”

I’ve griped for weeks, and no doubt I’ll get back to it, but there are bright spots on our food landscape, hopeful trends, even movements, of which we can be proud.
Ag Committee Supports Cuts to Food Assistance, Not Farm Subsidies+March 23, 2011
The House Agriculture Committee endorsed a letter this week to Budget Chairman Paul Ryan arguing that the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which helps low-income Americans purchase food, would make a better target for cuts than automatic subsidies to farms.

The move comes as food prices are rising -- the Department of Agriculture expects overall food prices to rise 3 percent to 4 percent this year -- making it harder for the beneficiaries of SNAP to stretch their existing benefits, even as farmers profit from the tightening market. Critics across the political spectrum have called agricultural subsidies wasteful and unnecessary, and they question the logic of maintaining them as lawmakers hunt for budget cuts.

Kojo Nnamdi, reluctant foodie [WaPo]+March 23, 2011
It was a “food” program like no other. Kojo Nnamdi and his production team had set up shop in Port-au-Prince, Haiti, last November, nearly 11 months after an earthquake killed more than 200,000 people and left even more scrambling for sustenance and shelter in tent cities. Nnamdi wasn’t there to conduct, as Anthony Bourdain had in a recent episode of “No Reservations,” some liberal-guilt exercise to feed the hungry and then chronicle the “Lord of the Flies”-like results. WAMU’s “The Kojo Nnamdi Show” was there to talk with two people “committed to reviving Haitian agriculture as a way to getting the economy back on track.”...
National Young Farmers Coalition Survey+March 23, 2011
This survey, built by the National Young Farmers' Coalition (NYFC), is an attempt to better understand the needs of America's young farmers. The information we gather will be used to inform NYFC policy priorities and help lawmakers better understand the challenges that young farmers face.

Your individual survey submission and contact information will not be shared. If you have any questions about the survey or would like to know more, contact

Interactive Food Sovereignty Map+March 22, 2011
Grown in the City has launched an “Interactive Food Sovereignty Ordinance Map” to track food sovereignty ordinances across the United States, following the unanimous passage of the first ordinance in Sedgwick, Maine. The legality of the ordinance at the State and federal level has not yet been determined, but it has been a symbolic victory for those who support local, sustainable food systems guided by completely free markets.
Lunch Line Movie Screening +March 22, 2011
On Friday, March 25th a local coalition in Charlottesville will host a screening of Lunch Line, a documentary film that details the history of the school lunch program, followed by an exciting panel discussion that will explore what kinds of solutions exist and how you can help bring them to your school. Panelists include local school nutrition directors, UVA professors, a state representative, and even a leading school lunch-focused journalist!

Course Development Grants for UGA Local Food Systems Certificate+March 22, 2011
Organic, natural products sell strongly despite recession+March 21, 2011
For the past three years, American consumers have been on a shopping diet. They cut nonessentials
from their shopping lists. Yet, they've continued to open their wallets for natural and organic
Many shoppers say that natural and organic items remain on their shopping lists because they're
concerned about their health, the environment, America's agribusiness — or all three.
Food companies on quest for the next generation of healthy+March 21, 2011
For decades, packaged-food companies have been reducing fat and calories in their products. More recently the industry undertook a broad-based effort to eliminate trans fats, and even high-fructose corn syrup. But today, big food is at a crossroads.
Some Animals Are More Equal Than Others+March 21, 2011
It’s time to take a look at the line between “pet” and “animal.” When the ASPCA sends an agent to the home of a Brooklyn family to arrest one of its members for allegedly killing a hamster, something is wrong.

That “something” is this: we protect “companion animals” like hamsters while largely ignoring what amounts to the torture of chickens and cows and pigs. In short, if I keep a pig as a pet, I can’t kick it. If I keep a pig I intend to sell for food, I can pretty much torture it. State laws known as “Common Farming Exemptions” allow industry — rather than lawmakers — to make any practice legal as long as it’s common. “In other words,” as Jonathan Safran Foer, the author of “Eating Animals,” wrote me via e-mail, “the industry has the power to define cruelty. It’s every bit as crazy as giving burglars the power to define trespassing.”

Itinerant Life Weighs on Farmworkers’ Children+March 20, 2011
A girl in Oscar Ramos’s third-grade class has trouble doing homework because six relatives have moved into her family’s rusted trailer and she has no private space.

A boy has worn his school uniform for two weeks straight because his parents are busy with harvest season.

And while Mr. Ramos patiently explains the intricacies of fractions, he is attuned to the student who confides, “Teacher, on Saturday the cops came and took my brother.”

“I know you still love your brother,” Mr. Ramos gently told him. “But let’s talk about your vision for your future.”

Kelloggs agrees to non-GM policy +March 20, 2011
KELLOGG'S have agreed to produce foods without genetically modified ingredients, following encouragement from Greenpeace.

The company was found by Greenpeace to be producing a bar with an ingredient that was suspected to have been genetically modified.

The Kellogg's K-Time twist bar has fructose sourced from the US as a listed ingredient.

"Fructose sourced from the US almost always comes from corn and is genetically modified," said Nathaniel Pelle a Greenpeace campaigner and the producer of Greenpeace's Truefood Guide.

Read more:
Forget the gloom—new ways of living and organizing our economy are flourishing +March 19, 2011
Last fall, I visited Charlottesville, Va., for a speaking engagement, and got the chance to visit Local Food Hub, a nonprofit launched by the owners of Feast, a small, excellent food shop that I profiled briefly in December. Among activities designed to build up the regional food system -- including the critical seed-starting piece -- the Food Hub picks up produce from farms in the area and markets it to institutions -- everything from restaurants and grocery stores to large potential buyers like the Charlottesville-based University of Virginia. The model works for farms at a variety of scales -- from small operations that need an efficient way to get produce to upscale restaurants, to mid-sized farms that can supply tomatoes for a few weeks to a hospital.

As the project matures, Food Hub plans to establish a commercial kitchen, where growers can preserve fresh produce for sale in winter months -- providing a year-round income source for farmers and extending the season for local food.

Get produce ‘to-go’ at the Duke Mobile Farmers Market+March 19, 2011
Since he and his wife are vegans, Daniel Gauthier often works a bit harder to find ways to include a variety of fruits and vegetables in their diet. With Duke’s Mobile Farmers Market, there’s no trouble at all.

Whether it’s lettuce, squash, collards or whole wheat flour, Gauthier can pick up all these and more each week by simply swinging by the mobile market at Sarah P. Duke Gardens on his way home after work on Tuesdays.

Higher milk prices don't help dairy farmers much+March 18, 2011
While milk prices continue to rise and exports to Asian markets have expanded, many dairy farmers are still struggling with the aftermath of several disastrous years and hoping the federal government will do something to help stabilize the industry.

After milk prices plunged and farms began going under, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said a year and a half ago that the industry needed restructuring and his department would look at its programs to see what changes could be made to help create more stability.

The U.S. Wastes 40 Percent of All Food Produced Per Year. How About We Stop Doing That?+March 18, 2011
This poster is about 100 years old but its message is no less pertinent. Why? Because every year, the United States wastes 40 percent of the food it produces. That's enough food to fill the Rosebowl every day.
Eating Healthily Without Busting Your Budget+March 18, 2011
So you have committed to feeding your family healthier food. But when you make your way down the aisles you find that adding the fresh produce, and the organics, along with the whole grain breads to the cart, you see your grocery bill go through the roof. But you can still eat healthily without breaking the bank!

Cville Crop Mob+March 18, 2011
Join the Charlottesville Crop Mob for our inaugural outing at the Local Food Hub’s Educational Farm in Scottsville! Get your hands dirty planting 600 lbs of organic potatoes and constructing high tunnels for early pepper plants. Finish the day with a tour and picnic on the farm.

Date: Saturday, March 26, 2011
Time: 10am – 1pm, followed by picnic lunch
What to Bring: water, work gloves, picnic lunch, clothes that can get dirty, shovels, sledgehammers (if you have them).
Register: RSVP on Facebook!
Rain date: April 2, 2011

Sustaining Family Farming Through Mentoring+March 18, 2011
Looking at the challenges facing America’s aging agricultural base, National Family Farm
Coalition’s (NFFC) Local Foods Subcommittee requested the creation of a report focusing on
how NFFC members can connect with mentoring opportunities targeted at supporting young
farmers. This toolkit is the product of a five-month long research project that included
interviewing staff of 21 organizations that coordinate or facilitate mentoring opportunities for
beginning farmers across the U.S. Sustaining Family Farming Through Mentoring includes: an
introduction to beginning farmer issues; a research project that explored the strategies and
challenges of mentoring organizations; a compilation of resources for experienced farmers
interested in becoming mentors; and a directory of mentoring organizations. This toolkit seeks to
connect NFFC members with mentoring organizations in their area as well as to deepen
understanding of the role of mentoring organizations in the local food movement.
“Alliance to Feed the Future” Forms to Tell the Real Story of Modern Food Production+March 18, 2011
As misperceptions about modern food production and technology become increasingly common, a new alliance has formed to better articulate how our food is produced. Today the Alliance to Feed the Future is announcing its formation and its new website,

In an effort to meet the world’s increasing food needs responsibly, efficiently and affordably, the members of the Alliance to Feed the Future share the common goal of building understanding and promoting the benefits of modern food production, processing and technology. The Alliance is currently comprised of 52 like-minded groups and continues to grow. Members span all sectors of the food value chain and include professional societies, commodity groups, industry and academia to coordinate via the Alliance to help multiply the effects of their individual and joint efforts to tell the true story of modern food production.

As in U.S., European food giants use shenanigans to continue marketing junk to children+March 18, 2011
I just returned from a two-day meeting in Brussels. I was asked to participate with other experts from around the world (mostly from Europe) to address the problem of cross-border marketing of unhealthy food to children. In the age of satellite TV, the internet, and other technologies, one country's standards may be insufficient to protect children from being exposed to junk food marketing. Because the meeting was not open to the general public, I cannot share all of what was discussed (the standards are still in draft form), but I can highlight a couple of presentations made to a larger group of "stakeholders."
Study: Diet May Help ADHD Kids More Than Drugs+March 18, 2011
Hyperactivity. Fidgeting. Inattention. Impulsivity. If your child has one or more of these qualities on a regular basis, you may be told that he or she has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. If so, they'd be among about 10 percent of children in the United States.

Kids with ADHD can be restless and difficult to handle. Many of them are treated with drugs, but a new study says food may be the key. Published in The Lancet journal, the study suggests that with a very restrictive diet, kids with ADHD could experience a significant reduction in symptoms.

ConAgra Foods Launches Child Hunger Ends Here Campaign to Donate an Additional 2.5 Million Meals to Feeding America+March 18, 2011
With one in four American children struggling with hunger, ConAgra Foods(R) (NYSE: CAG), in partnership with Feeding America(R), is asking consumers to act now by taking part in a new initiative to fight child hunger. ConAgra Foods' Child Hunger Ends Here(TM) campaign is designed to draw attention to child hunger in the United States and provide consumers with simple ways to help end it. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, 17.2 million children are at risk of hunger across the nation in communities that include rural towns; suburban neighborhoods and urban centers - making it clear that hunger is a reality for many Americans.


Child Hunger Ends Here brings together some of ConAgra Foods' best known brands as part of the largest cause-marketing program in the company's history. Highlighted by a multi-brand packaging promotion, the airing of a broadcast special on NBC and online and social media extensions, the comprehensive campaign extends ConAgra Foods' long-standing commitment to ending child hunger in America.

County Moves to Allow Food Stamp Purchases of Healthy Restaurant Meals+March 16, 2011
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday to begin a program that will allow more than 21,000 county residents to use food stamps to pay for healthy restaurant meals.

Through the Restaurant Meals Program, seniors, disabled and homeless people will be able to use their CalFresh benefits at some local eateries that will offer low-cost healthy menu options.

King of California [Angry Bear Economics Blog]+March 16, 2011
David Zetland at Aguanomics offers this review of a topic that gets little national attention - the use of water between watershed areas, water rights, and how we value water to date at least in this area of the country. Use of water and policy on water use tends to be regionally and locally based, making a one size fits all answer to the problems of water use less than useful.
Farm Bill 2012: Eaters Deserve a Place at the Table+March 15, 2011
Federal nutritional guidelines advise us to eat five-to-nine servings of fruits and vegetables a day. That’s not too difficult if you are lucky enough to have access to the fresh and tasty produce grown in Northern California, where I live.

But many folks in this region and in the rest of the country aren’t so lucky. Fresh vegetable consumption has declined by nine pounds per person over the past 10 years. And it’s no wonder, considering how little US agricultural policy invests in fruit and vegetable production.

Instead, the sprawling federal Farm Bill, written by Congress every five years, is geared towards supporting large farms that grow five commodity crops: corn, soybeans, rice, cotton and wheat. These commodities, which mostly provide cheap feed for livestock and raw material for highly processed foods, are primarily grown in the Midwest, though California is no stranger to large-scale cotton and rice production.

Big Brands Launch Sustainable Packaging Trade Group+March 15, 2011
Big-name companies such as ConAgra, Colgate-Palmolive, Kellogg, Procter & Gamble, DuPont and Dow Chemical formed a new trade organization to give industry a voice on policy issues related to sustainable packaging.

The American Institution for Packaging and the Environment (AMERIPEN) launched this week in the mold of its European and British forebears, EUROPEN and INCPEN. The group plans to lobby for science-driven sustainable packaging policies that don't favor any one type of material over another.
Morven Summer Institute+March 14, 2011
The Morven Summer Institute is an intensive and unique four-week (May 16 - June 9, 2011) experience held on the grounds of UVa's historic Morven Farm. Designed for undergraduates with interests in sustainability, design, food systems, and ecology, this interdisciplinary program features courses in Architecture, Interdisciplinary Food Studies, and a one-credit seminar co-taught by a multidisciplinary team of faculty from across the University. Students will arrive at Morven in the morning (transportation is provided) and return to Grounds in the early afternoon. Like Study Abroad, but in Charlottesville, students will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in a distinctive learning environment for a novel environmental education. Alongside coursework, the Morven Kitchen Garden will be both a highlight and focus of the student experience at the Morven Summer Institute.

The Morven Summer Institute is a collaborative effort involving faculty from the School of Architecture, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and the College of Arts and Sciences; the Office of the Vice President for Research, and the Office of Summer and Special Academic Programs.

Can the United States feed China? [Washington Post]+March 13, 2011
Lester Brown wonders if America will become Beijing's new breadbasket.
Homeward Bond+March 12, 2011
HERE’S a statistic you may not be aware of: about 50 percent of the world’s uncultivated, arable land is in Africa. This abundance of potential farmland offers Africa the opportunity to feed itself and to help feed the rest of the globe. But consider another statistic: because of poor roads and a lack of storage, African farmers can lose up to 50 percent of their crop just trying to get it to market.

Peapod Challenges Fresh Direct in Grocery War [NY Times]+March 12, 2011
"There's no doubt New York is the biggest prize that exists with respect to this business..."
Heat Damages Colombia Coffee, Raising Prices+March 11, 2011
Like most of the small landowners in Colombia’s lush mountainous Cauca region, Luis Garzón, 80, and his family have thrived for decades by supplying shade-grown, rainforest-friendly Arabica coffee for top foreign brands like Nespresso and Green Mountain. A sign in the center of a nearby town proclaims, “The coffee of Cauca is No. 1!”

But in the last few years, coffee yields have plummeted here and in many of Latin America’s other premier coffee regions as a result of rising temperatures and more intense and unpredictable rains, phenomena that many scientists link partly to global warming.

Farm to School in Minnesota+March 11, 2011
Aimed at educating children about where and how their food is grown, strengthening local economies and supporting healthy eating habits, the Farm to School (F2S) movement is rapidly growing. The Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) began supporting Farm to School efforts locally and nationally in 2007. Our efforts include training for K-12 school staff, building connections with farmers and allied businesses, promotions, outreach, research and related strategies.
IATP partners closely with the Minnesota School Nutrition Association (MSNA), a nonprofit association representing over 2,700 school foodservice professionals. In late 2008, IATP collaborated with MSNA to survey their members about their perceptions and experiences with Farm to School. A follow-up survey was conducted in 2010.
For our third annual survey, foodservice leaders at all 333 K-12 school districts in Minnesota were encouraged to participate. Responses from 165 districts, representing 70 percent of Minnesota’s K-12 student population, were received. Their feedback is summarized in this report.
American low-income families can’t afford protein, survey finds+March 11, 2011
Three quarters of America’s low-income families say that they simply can’t afford two of the staples of the American diet: protein as well as fruits and vegetables, according to a national hunger survey by Hart Research Associates that was commissioned by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) and Tyson Foods, Inc.

McDonald's Announces Commitment to Certified Sustainable Sources+March 10, 2011
McDonald's Corporation (NYSE: MCD) today announced its Sustainable Land Management Commitment (SLMC), a significant advancement in the company's effort to ensure the food served in its restaurants around the world is sourced from certified sustainable sources. The McDonald's SLMC requires that, over time, its suppliers will only use agricultural raw materials for the company's food and packaging that originate from sustainably-managed land. This commitment is guided by a long-term vision and supported by an external, third-party annual evaluation process.

"McDonald's serves customers around the world, and we accept the responsibility that comes with our global presence," said McDonald's Chief Executive Officer Jim Skinner. "We will continue to focus our energy on developing sustainable sourcing practices and broadening our menu choices. Each year, we set goals that challenge us to put our resources toward strengthening communities and helping maintain a world that can carry all of us well into the future."

McDonald's actions initially will be focused on five raw material priorities -- Beef, Poultry, Coffee, Palm Oil and Packaging. Based on a thorough analysis conducted in collaboration with World Wildlife Fund (WWF), the five raw materials which are the initial focus of the SLMC were identified as having the most potential sustainability impacts.

Sustainable Farming Can Feed the World?+March 10, 2011
The oldest and most common dig against organic agriculture is that it cannot feed the world’s citizens; this, however, is a supposition, not a fact. And industrial agriculture isn’t working perfectly, either: the global food price index is at a record high, and our agricultural system is wreaking havoc with the health not only of humans but of the earth. There are around a billion undernourished people; we can also thank the current system for the billion who are overweight or obese.

Yet there is good news: increasing numbers of scientists, policy panels and experts (not hippies!) are suggesting that agricultural practices pretty close to organic — perhaps best called “sustainable” — can feed more poor people sooner, begin to repair the damage caused by industrial production and, in the long term, become the norm.

Taking Photos of Breakfast and Giving Meals to Children+March 10, 2011
BREAKFAST eaters around the country are photographing their bowls of cereal, plates of eggs and assorted pastries, not out of a personal obsession with food but for a more wholesome reason: giving breakfast to children in need.

For each breakfast photo a user uploads to the Web site, the Kellogg Company will donate a breakfast to a child who might otherwise go without. The project is part of a national advertising campaign for Kellogg called Share Your Breakfast, which will support National Breakfast Day on Tuesday.

Farm-to-fork trend inspiring operators+March 10, 2011
When Michael Atkinson and his wife go out to dinner, the couple won’t order meat-based menu items unless they know exactly where it comes from, including whether the animal received antibiotics or hormones, and if it was grass-fed versus corn-fed.

Atkinson, CEO and founder of, a foodservice social media solutions company, has more than 30 years of experience in the foodservice industry as a restaurant owner, operator, executive and entrepreneur. He considers himself a “professional consumer” with “hospitality DNA.”

“Supply chains scare the hell out of me. We’ve been trained, as consumers, to read labels and the ingredients on those labels. We just want to know what’s in our food, so we can make our own decisions,” Atkinson said. “If Choice A offers higher quality, nutritional details and is located in an acceptable radius to my hometown, then I’m going to pay a little more and go for it over Choice B.”

Wendell Berry receives humanities medal from Obama+March 10, 2011
Kentucky author Wendell Berry was honored at the White House Wednesday for his writings and conservation advocacy, receiving the National Humanities Medal from President Barack Obama.

Berry, 76, a Port Royal novelist, essayist, poet, farmer and activist, shook hands with Obama, and the two whispered to one another briefly. The president then draped the red ribbon and medal around Berry’s neck.

Mexico oks pilot field of genetically modified corn+March 9, 2011
Mexico on Tuesday approved the first pilot program to plant genetically modified corn, a sensitive topic in the country that touts itself as the birthplace of corn and where small farmers worry the high-tech grain may contaminate native varieties.

The Agriculture Ministry granted a permit to global biotech seed maker Monsanto (MON.N) to plant no more than 2.47 acres (1 hectare) with genetically modified corn in the northern state of Tamaulipas.

Brazilian Beef: Greater Impact on the Environment Than We Realize+March 9, 2011
Increased export of Brazilian beef indirectly leads to deforestation in the Amazon. New research from Chalmers and SIK in Sweden that was recently published in Environmental Science & Technology shows that impact on the climate is much greater than current estimates indicate. The researchers are now demanding that indirect effect on land be included when determining a product's carbon footprint.
Local Food and Community Self-Governance Ordinance of 2011+March 9, 2011
We the People of the Town of (name of town) ,
(name of county) County, Maine have the right to produce, process, sell, purchase and
consume local foods thus promoting self-reliance, the preservation of family farms, and local
food traditions. We recognize that family farms, sustainable agricultural practices, and food
processing by individuals, families and non-corporate entities offers stability to our rural way of
life by enhancing the economic, environmental and social wealth of our community. As such,
our right to a local food system requires us to assert our inherent right to self-government. We
recognize the authority to protect that right as belonging to the Town of (name of town) .
We have faith in our citizens’ ability to educate themselves and make informed decisions. We
hold that federal and state regulations impede local food production and constitute a usurpation
of our citizens’ right to foods of their choice. We support food that fundamentally respects
human dignity and health, nourishes individuals and the community, and sustains producers,
processors and the environment. We are therefore duty bound under the Constitution of the State
of Maine to protect and promote unimpeded access to local foods.
Fed-up college kids take food buying into their own hands +March 9, 2011
Say you're a college student ready to eschew the standard pizza-burrito-pretzels-beer diet and start eating more whole, sustainably produced foods. Say you want to take it a step further and work to make healthy and ethical food widely available on your campus -- without having to pay gourmet grocery store prices. Well, you might consider starting a co-op.
Can College Dining Be Socially Responsible?+March 9, 2011
When I went to college the food was dismal, and my freshman meal plan forced me to eat it three times a day. I later learned how to work the system and make the best choices I possibly could from what was available, but those pickings were slim. Today, not only do college dining halls provide a variety of healthy options alongside the standard burgers and fries, many are moving toward more socially responsible offerings.
Mainstream Consumers Drive Fair Trade Certified Sales Up 24 Percent+March 9, 2011
Fair Trade USA, the leading third-party certifier of Fair Trade products in the United States, today reports new data to confirm that mainstream consumers are increasing their commitment to Fair Trade faster than ever. Sales of Fair Trade Certified™ products increased 24 percent at grocery stores during 2010.
Pig owners protest about cost of running business+March 9, 2011
A Bucklebury pig farmer says she is struggling to survive due to the rising costs of feed and low prices at supermarkets.

Hundreds of pig farmers are holding a rally outside Downing Street to appeal to the government to help their industry.

They say they are being forced out of business. Kate Munro-Ashman says she is losing £20 for every pig she farms.

Speaking at her Berkshire piggery, she pointed out the individual 20m pens and wallows which give her pigs the freedom to move around.

Spring is a state of mind, wherever you are [USA Today]+March 7, 2011
Inside the Mad Science of 7 Renegade Researchers: #5, Wes Jackson [Wired]+March 7, 2011
For 10,000 years, humans have drained aquifers, poisoned land and sea, and eroded once-fertile plains into wastelands—all so we can grow food. Plant geneticist Wes Jackson wants to reverse all that. His plan: Reboot agriculture by domesticating perennial crops.
New York City a Pioneer in School Lunch Revolution [NYT]+March 7, 2011
By Ariel Kaminer, at the Times (March 4, 2011): Everyone seems to have an opinion about school lunches these days. Michelle Obama has pointed to them as a battlefield in the fight against childhood obesity. Nutrition advocates have led a charge against the presence of fast food. Individual districts have kicked soda and candy vendors to the curb.

Listening to that national conversation from New York, you might wonder, what took them so long? School lunches in the city began a radical transformation six or seven years ago, with the Department of Education’s decision to think of them as food rather than as a government service. From there, it made sense to regard the cafeterias as restaurants, and the children as customers....
Beef Industry Carves a Course +March 7, 2011
Colorado native Jen Johnson loved raising cattle and eating steak, a lifestyle some of her friends at Princeton University found a bit hard to swallow.

Ms. Johnson tried winning them over with sheer enthusiasm. But she soon realized she needed help persuading her salad-nibbling sorority sisters to order steaks. So she went back to school to get her MBA—Masters of Beef Advocacy.

The National Cattlemen's Beef Association, which represents beef producers, launched the MBA two years ago. The course trains ranchers, feedlot operators, butchers, chefs—anyone, really, who loves a good, thick rib-eye—in the fine art of promoting and defending red meat.

UW recognized for protecting water quality, salmon habitat +March 7, 2011
The UW’s Seattle campus has just become the largest institution in the state to be certified as salmon-safe.

The certification, which was created by the Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability (NBIS), recognizes the UW’s efforts to protect water quality and salmon habitat. In addition, the UW had to agree to further reduce its environmental impact over the coming five years.

Food Safety Cuts+March 7, 2011
The House has voted to cut $106 million from the president’s request for $1.036 billion for meat inspections by the Department of Agriculture. That money would help pay for the inspectors who oversee the 6,300 plants that process the nation’s meat and poultry supply.
College Dining Takes a Fresh Turn+March 7, 2011
When students at the University of Kansas go home for Thanksgiving dinner this year, many might actually eat worse food than they do at school. In the college town of Lawrence, Kan., long gone are the days of freshmen and sophomores subsisting solely on over-processed junk food. Sure, students still can choose from typical college-food options—what’s a student union without a little pizza?—healthier ones are also available, thanks to KU’s Farm-to-Cart program.

Launched in June 2010, the Farm-to-Cart program does exactly what it says: It makes farm-fresh, local foods available on a cart in a food court-like area of KU’s student union called The Market.

The Food Movement's Role in Revitalizing Environmentalism [Seattle Times]+March 7, 2011
Seattle Times guest columnist Jeffrey C. Sanders reflects on the history of the Northwest food movement and its potential for connecting east and west, city and country.
Soup Without Fins? Some Californians Simmer+March 7, 2011
As the proprietor of Chung Chou City, a packed-to-the-gills dried seafood emporium in Chinatown here, Anna Li presides over barrels full of coveted ingredients like dried shrimp eggs and scallops and fried fish stomachs.

The Rolls-Royce of the sea is her shark’s fin, the pricey pièce de résistance of traditional Chinese banquets. “No shark’s fin soup, you’re cheap,” said Mrs. Li, summing up the prevailing ethos toward the steamy glutinous broth, for centuries a symbol of virility, wealth and power.

But in a move that has infuriated Mrs. Li and others in this community, a bill recently introduced in the California Legislature would ban the sale and possession of shark fins, including the serving of shark’s fin soup. Down the rickety alleyways and produce-laden byways of San Francisco’s Chinatown, some see the proposed law as a cultural assault — a sort of Chinese Exclusion Act in a bowl.

In Price of Farmland, Echoes of Another Boom+March 6, 2011
The surge in prices has been dizzying throughout the Midwest, with double-digit percentage increases last year in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota and Nebraska. In parts of Iowa, prices for good farmland rose as much as 23 percent last year, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.

Pick your peppers: Bellair Farm+March 6, 2011
If you feel that signing up for one of the six local CSAs is a bit like playing a game of musical chairs, one Albemarle farm is doing its part to make sure everyone finds a seat at the Community Supported Agriculture table.

Says Bellair Farm CSA Manager Jamie Barrett, “Our goal is to connect families to the land and their food.”

In New Food Culture, a Young Generation of Farmers Emerges+March 6, 2011
Now, Mr. Jones, 30, and his wife, Alicia, 27, are among an emerging group of people in their 20s and 30s who have chosen farming as a career. Many shun industrial, mechanized farming and list punk rock, Karl Marx and the food journalist Michael Pollan as their influences. The Joneses say they and their peers are succeeding because of Oregon’s farmer-foodie culture, which demands grass-fed and pasture-raised meats.

“People want to connect more than they can at their grocery store,” Ms. Jones said. “We had a couple who came down from Portland and asked if they could collect their own eggs. We said, ‘O.K., sure.’ They want to trust their producer, because there’s so little trust in food these days.”

New York Times City Critic: School Lunches+March 5, 2011
Short video highlighting the food services of the New York City Public Schools.
Students discuss sustainable food+March 4, 2011
A group of Charlottesville residents, University students and local producers met in the Jefferson Foundation Hall last night to discuss the importance of supporting local food produce.

The event began with a 30-minute documentary, “Nourish,” which traces the different sources of food across the world. The film was followed by a panel discussion with speakers from the Local Food Hub and University Dining Services. The panel focused on the University’s promotion of sustainable farming and its growing relationships with the Local Food Hub, a not-for-profit organization based in Northern Virginia that coordinates distribution from local growers to buyers.

Duke, UNC Choose ‘Eating Animals’ for Summer Reading+March 4, 2011
"Eating Animals" by Jonathan Safran Foer will be the 2011 summer reading book for incoming students at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University.

On Monday, a 21-member selection committee of students, faculty and staff from both universities chose the book from six finalists. Students on the committee described "Eating Animals" as an even-handed review of the food industry - not a campaign for vegetarianism.

Priya Bhat, a Duke senior from Nashville, Tenn., said that "Eating Animals" was her top choice. "For me, it's not just a book about food," she said. "It's a book about being really active in making your own decisions."

The schools will ask new students who will enroll next fall to read the book this summer and participate in small group discussions during orientation or soon thereafter. The program aims to stimulate critical thinking outside the classroom and give new students intellectual common ground. An academic icebreaker, it encourages students to engage with the scholarly community and come to their own conclusions about the material.

Don’t End Agricultural Subsidies, Fix Them+March 4, 2011
Agricultural subsidies have helped bring us high-fructose corn syrup, factory farming, fast food, a two-soda-a-day habit and its accompanying obesity, the near-demise of family farms, monoculture and a host of other ills.

Yet — like so many government programs — what subsidies need is not the ax, but reform that moves them forward. Imagine support designed to encourage a resurgence of small- and medium-size farms producing not corn syrup and animal-feed but food we can touch, see, buy and eat — like apples and carrots — while diminishing handouts to agribusiness and its political cronies.

Farmers want consumers to know their food's origin+March 4, 2011
Marc Marchini wants people to know exactly where their food comes from.

The Le Grand farmer is a member of Young Farmers and Ranchers, a group of growers ages 18 to 35 who are members of the California Farm Bureau Federation. Marchini, 27, is one of several local growers participating in Food Check-Out Week.

"It's really easy for people to forget where their food comes from," Marchini said.

To help correct that, Marchini spent Sunday at Raley's Supermarket in Merced, talking to consumers about what he grows on his family's farm.
Jamie Oliver: Food fighter+March 4, 2011
Jamie Oliver presses a "happy cow" veggie burger on me with the fervor of a believer handing out religious pamphlets. He asks me whether I love it, but his smile is pure certainty that I will -- and even love him for making it. He's stepped out from the kitchen at Patra's, a Glassell Park drive-through where his crew is taping footage for "Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution," a TV show that's not just about healthy food but also about converting skeptics and unbelievers. The chef who's been made a Member of the Order of the British Empire has an empire of his own -- TV shows in several dozen countries, foundations and charities, restaurants and books. His crusade for quality food in schools and homes has changed British food-itudes and menus. He's brought himself, his cameras and his good-food ardor to L.A., with an emphasis on kids. But the LAUSD has closed its cafeteria doors to him, so far. Characteristically, he's found other projects and causes, like his offerings at Patra's; as the man from Essex asks anxiously, "How's that slaw salad with your burger, luv?"
CU aims to bolster food security in India with $9.6M grant+March 4, 2011
Cornell will play a lead role in a consortium of Indian and U.S. universities and agribusinesses that will work together to boost agricultural production and food security in northern India. Rural populations on the Indo-Gangetic Plain typically live on less than $1.25 a day and face hunger, poverty and child malnutrition.

The new Agricultural Innovation Partnership (AIP), launched by India and the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) under "Feed the Future," the U.S. government's global hunger and food security initiative, is funded with a $9.6 million grant from USAID (India).

Kingsolver to receive LEAF Award+March 3, 2011
American author Barbara Kingsolver was announced as the 2011 recipient of the Duke LEAF Award for Lifetime Environmental Achievement in the Fine Arts in a Nicholas School of the Environment news release yesterday.

Kingsolver has authored seven books, including bestsellers such as “The Lacuna,” “Animal Dreams” and “The Poisonwood Bible.” She is also known for her poetry, essays and creative non-fiction works.

A Food System Blueprint that Advances the Health of Iowans, Farms and Communities+March 3, 2011
We all eat. Food is essential to our existence. It’s an important part of Iowa’s heritage and culture. Yet we often take for granted the large systems that produce, process, distribute, make accessible and dispose of the food we eat.

Iowa’s food systems are being challenged by environmental threats of climate changes, water shortages, and depleted soils; energy threats of decreasing fossil fuels and rising energy costs; health threats of increasing obesity and, at the same time, increasing hunger; and economic threats of fewer farmers and increased control of our food by large corporations.

Cultivating Resilience: A Food System Blueprint that Advances the Health of Iowans, Farms and Communities is the result of multi-disciplinary efforts including food system stakeholders across Iowa engaged in conversations about the future of food.

Duke Employees, Students Go Vegetarian for February+March 3, 2011
Duke faculty, staff and students helped decrease Duke’s carbon footprint in February not by changing the way they commute or using less electricity, but adjusting the way they eat.

About 950 members of the Duke community took part in the February Green Devil Challenge to eliminate meat from their diet, whether for one meal, one day or even the entire month. The change can easily be felt in a person’s carbon emissions – meat-filled diets produce about 2.5 more tons of carbon over a vegetarian diet each year. That’s the equivalent of burning through 255 gallons of gas.

Youth Engagement & Opportunity: Michigan Good Food Group Report Series+March 3, 2011
Duke Univ: Chef’s Table with Bon Appetit's Michael Moroni+March 2, 2011
Join Executive Chef Mike Moroni as he hosts monthly Chef’s Tables above the Marketplace. Chef Mike works for Bon Appetit Management Company and has been preparing delicious food with a focus on health and sustainability here at Duke for nearly 4 years. Join him as he passes out samples of local foods and discuss any and all things related to sustainable dining and Bon Appetit at Duke!

The Mutato Archive [Edible Geography]+March 2, 2011
Since 2006, artist Uli Westphal has been collecting, documenting, and eating Berlin’s Mutatoes—the non-standard fruits, roots, and vegetables that can be found at the city’s farmers’ markets. His photographs form an archive of “these last survivors of agricultural diversity,” revealing an incredible variety of colours, curves, and contours. This post discusses those left out of the standardizing process and shares some of the pictures.
Panel to Discuss Local Food Procurement at U.Va.+March 2, 2011
The importance and logistics of local food procurement will be the subject of a panel discussion at the University of Virginia, to be held March 2 at 7 p.m. at the Jefferson Scholars Foundation Hall at 112 Clarke Court.

The panelists – Jamie Barrett, farm manager of Bellair Farm and partner producer with the Local Food Hub; Alan Moore, Local Food Hub operations and sales manager; and Bryan Kelly, U.Va. Dining executive chef – will discuss community and health connections and their roles in U.Va. Dining's large-scale local food supply chain. They also will explore the journey locally grown food makes, from field to truck to kitchen, before it reaches students' plates.
Warning over 'local' produce labels+March 2, 2011
Almost a fifth of foods labelled as "local" on sale in England and Wales are making the claim falsely, a study has revealed.

"Welsh lamb" from New Zealand, "Somerset butter" from Scotland, "Devon ham" from Denmark and "West Country fish fillets" - where fish is caught in the West Country but filleted in China - are some examples of items found to be misleading consumers.

Poll: Do you believe genetically modified foods should be labeled?+March 2, 2011
Congress Cafeteria De-Greens+March 2, 2011
In the cafeterias, polystyrene packaging was replaced with trays and utensils made of biodegradable corn starch. Four separate stations were installed for recycling and sorting. A healthier menu was also introduced in 2008, offering cage-free eggs and antibiotic-free beef.

Items deemed compostable waste, such as coffee cups, were sent to a pulper in a lower basement, which squeezed out all the liquid before dispatching the material by truck to a commercial composting site in the suburbs of Washington DC.

There, the waste was mixed with soil, which eventually returned to Capitol Hill to be used as fertiliser on the grounds. Hundreds of tonnes of waste was saved from landfills yearly, Democrats said.

Emory Sustainable Seafood Event+March 1, 2011
A record-setting line of tacos at Emory and a giant sushi roll at Oxford raise awareness about sustainable seafood. In the Dobbs University Center Feb. 16, students and staff from Emory Dining’s Green Team filled tortillas with sustainable cod, cabbage salad and salsa cruda. The 260 tacos formed a line nearly 121 feet long, setting a Guinness World Record. In a related event at Oxford College on Feb. 15, students built a giant sushi roll in Lil’s Dining Hall. Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute supplied the fish.

The Dickinson College Farm is officially certified, and soon will add cattle+March 1, 2011
The Dickinson College Farm has already received the stamp of approval from students, staff, community members and shoppers at the weekly farmers’ market, to name a few. Now it has another, albeit more official endorsement to add to its growing list of accolades—United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Organic Certified.

How does our food production system drive our exposure to toxic chemicals?+March 1, 2011
Our mechanized, pesticide-rich, fertilizer-driven food production system has a significant impact on our exposure to toxic chemicals. Antibiotics and hormones support the mass production of eggs, chicken, milk, and beef. Fertilizers and phosphates flow to our rivers and lakes, contaminating waterways and encouraging the bloom of toxic algae. Chemical food flavorings and colors, some of which affect children’s behavior, are added to foods to encourage consumption. Pesticides including neurotoxins remain as residues on food and are subsequently ingested and metabolized by people. Plastic and paper packaging may leach toxic chemicals into food. And food is trucked, shipped, and flown around the world, contributing to air pollution. This month, our expert contributors address the ways in which our food production system drives our exposure to toxic chemicals.

Dinner with Michael Jacobson, 'Chief of the Food Police'+March 1, 2011
Jacobson, 67, is co-founder and executive director of the Center for Science in the Public Interest, the Ralph Nader-inspired D.C. outfit best known for exposing the nutritional perils of buttered popcorn, Kung Pao chicken, chimichangas and trans fats. After 40 years of telling everyone that what they are eating is slowly killing them, he has earned the unofficial honorific "Chief of the Food Police" and less savory epithets, such as the "Ayatollah of Food," from restaurant and food-industry types.
Sodexo Commits to 100% Contracted Sustainable Seafood by 2015+February 28, 2011
Sodexo, Inc., the world leader in Quality of Daily Life Solutions, announced today a comprehensive, industry leading Sustainable Seafood Initiative, including a commitment to have 100 percent of its contracted fresh and frozen seafood certified as sustainable by the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) or Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) by 2015.

Sodexo's Sustainable Seafood Initiative is part of Sodexo's Better Tomorrow Plan, the company's global roadmap for sustainability. The commitment to source sustainable seafood is one of 14 Better Tomorrow commitments to the environment, health and wellness, and support for local communities.

Summer camp planned to teach restaurant skills+February 28, 2011
Having opened some of the most popular restaurants in the District, including J. Paul's and Georgia Brown's, Paul Cohn understands the importance of a skilled staff. He also knows that for adept chefs, managers and restaurateurs, the hospitality industry can offer sustainable careers. Which is why he is gearing up to launch a summer camp and culinary school to provide job training to teenagers in the District.

Consumers Start to Feel Pinch From Higher Grain Prices +February 28, 2011
The surge in grain prices that has been stoking food inflation for months in much of the world is beginning to seep into U.S. supermarkets and restaurants.

U.S. food prices will jump between 3% and 4% this year, the U.S. Agriculture Department forecast Thursday, after rising in 2010 by the slowest rate since 1962.

Skip the Sundae? Christie Is on the First Lady’s Side+February 28, 2011
In the dessert wars, at least, Chris Christie and Mike Huckabee side with Michelle Obama, not Sarah Palin.

Some conservatives, notably Ms. Palin, have mocked Mrs. Obama’s campaign against obesity, particularly in children. But on separate Sunday morning news programs, Mr. Christie, the New Jersey governor, and Mr. Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor — both Republicans — defended Mrs. Obama, and Mr. Christie put his answer in personal terms.

“I think it’s a really good goal to encourage kids to eat better,” Mr. Christie said on “Face the Nation,” on CBS. “You know, I’ve struggled with my weight for 30 years, and it’s a struggle. And if a kid can avoid that in his adult years or her adult years, more power to them, and I think the first lady’s speaking out well.”

Maine Farmers seek to protect locally grown foods+February 28, 2011
Small, local farm operations in recent years have faced increasingly stringent state regulations that, farmers say, threaten their farms and the rights of local residents to buy local food.

Now, they are pushing back.

A group of Hancock County farmers has proposed an ordinance in four towns that would exempt small farms from new state licensing and inspection requirements as long as the farm products are sold directly to a customer for home consumption. The ordinance is mirrored in two bills introduced this session by state Rep. Walter Kumiega, D-Deer Isle.

USDA Approved Monsanto Alfalfa Despite Warnings of New Pathogen Discovered in Genetically Engineered Crops+February 28, 2011
Just two weeks before the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) fully deregulated Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa, a senior soil scientist alerted the department about a newly discovered, microscopic pathogen found in high concentrations of Roundup Ready corn and soy that researchers believe could be causing infertility in livestock and diseases in crops that could threaten the entire domestic food supply.
Community involvement class practices active citizenship at VT Dining Services Garden +February 27, 2011
A group of Virginia Tech students engage in learning outside the classroom by volunteering at the Dining Services Garden at Kentland Farm.

Since mid-October, some members of a community involvement class in the Department of Urban Affairs and Planning have been promoting local food while getting hands-on experience by weeding, harvesting, and learning about the local food system. The Virginia Tech class focuses on issues, concepts, and practices of citizen participation in the development of a community.

The 9 billion-people question+February 27, 2011
This special report concentrates on the problems of feeding the 9 billion. It therefore gives greater weight to the first group. It argues that many of their claims are justified: feeding the world in 2050 will be hard, and business as usual will not do it. The report looks at ways to boost yields of the main crops, considers the constraints of land and water and the use of fertiliser and pesticide, assesses biofuel policies, explains why technology matters so much and examines the impact of recent price rises. It points out that although the concerns of the critics of modern agriculture may be understandable, the reaction against intensive farming is a luxury of the rich. Traditional and organic farming could feed Europeans and Americans well. It cannot feed the world.

Wisconsin Farmers on Collective Bargaining as a Farming Issue+February 27, 2011
Five or six times a year Joel Greeno takes out his 1935 Allis Chalmers WC tractor to offer tractor rides in his Wisonsin community.
“We have a potluck dinner and go for a 35 to 40-mile tractor ride, come back and eat the leftovers, and then go back home and do chores,” Greeno describes, explaining that it’s a chance to enjoy life, have a good time with friends and get away from everything. Now, he’s hoping to use his tractor on Saturday in a tractorcade of protests in Madison, WI.
Miami students cook up healthy Southern classics+February 27, 2011
MIAMI -- In a historically black neighborhood tucked beneath two highways far from Miami Beach, students donned aprons Friday and cooked up a meal of collard greens, parmesan chicken and bread pudding.
Michael Pollan Interview about California's Food System+February 25, 2011
Roots of Change (ROC) president, Michael Dimock, had the pleasure to interview one of the leading figures in the food movement, Michael Pollan. Pollan is the author of several well-known books such as The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals and Food Rules: An Eater's Manual. He has changed the way Americans view their food and has promoted local food systems throughout the country. During this interview he discussed his thoughts on the future of California’s food system and ROC’s policy proposal, the California Healthy Food & Agriculture Platform.

The Food Crisis+February 25, 2011
Food prices are soaring to record levels, threatening many developing countries with mass hunger and political instability. Finance ministers of the Group of 20 leading economies discussed the problem at a meeting in Paris last week, but for all of their expressed concern, most are already breaking their promises to help.

After the last sharp price spike in 2008, the G-20 promised to invest $22 billion over three years to help vulnerable countries boost food production. To date, the World Bank fund that is supposed to administer this money has received less than $400 million.
Women in Agriculture – by the Numbers+February 25, 2011
Big Ag is big business – and big profits. And when anyone raises questions about the billions of tax dollars lavished on the largest industrial growers of corn, soybeans and other commodity crops or points out the harm that these perverse incentives do to the environment, Big Ag’s lackeys lash out.

But bullying your critics and worried consumers is not always the best public relations strategy. Sometimes you need to cultivate the softer sell.

That must be why commodity growers’ lobbies have launched fresh campaigns aimed at polishing their tarnished reputation. How? By showcasing female farmers as the fresh, new faces in their public relations toolbox. The latest campaign by the National Corn Growers Association and the United Soybean Board is titled Common Ground.

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Common Ground “will attempt to put a more feminine, friendly and empathetic face on large-scale agriculture by using women farmers to appeal to suburban and urban grocery shoppers – most of whom are women themselves.”
Buy Sustainable Chicken during National Nutrition Month – March 2011+February 25, 2011
Join the campaign during National Nutrition Month in March 2011 to buy chicken produced without arsenic compounds or antibiotics, and ideally from local farmers.
How to Make Oatmeal . . . Wrong+February 24, 2011
There’s a feeling of inevitability in writing about McDonald’s latest offering, their “bowl full of wholesome” — also known as oatmeal. The leading fast-food multinational, with sales over $16.5 billion a year (just under the GDP of Afghanistan), represents a great deal of what is wrong with American food today. From a marketing perspective, they can do almost nothing wrong; from a nutritional perspective, they can do almost nothing right, as the oatmeal fiasco demonstrates.

One “positive” often raised about McDonald’s is that it sells calories cheap. But since many of these calories are in forms detrimental rather than beneficial to our health and to the environment, they’re actually quite expensive — the costs aren’t seen at the cash register but in the form of high health care bills and environmental degradation.

Share your food rule with Michael Pollan!+February 24, 2011
What is your food rule? Michael Pollan is writing a new edition to his best-selling Food Rules and has asked for your help. Three lucky contributors will receive a signed copy, and you may just see your rule in print!
On-Farm Renewable Energy Production Shows Tremendous Growth +February 24, 2011
The number of solar panels, wind turbines and methane digesters on America's farms and ranches has increased significantly over the past decade and there are now 8,569 operations producing their own renewable energy, according to the results of the 2009 On-Farm Renewable Energy Production Survey released today. Conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Agricultural Statistics Service, this was the first-ever nationwide survey that looked at renewable energy practices on America's farms and ranches.
Webinar: North Carolina's Statewide Initiative for Building a Local Food Economy+February 24, 2011
The Webinar will describe the Center for Environmental Farming Systems statewide Local Foods Initiative in North Carolina, and highlight some of the accomplishments, partnerships, and priorities for action. A key initiative, The 10% Campaign, will be described in detail.
New Organic Milk Contains Illegal Synthetic Additive+February 24, 2011
A prominent organic industry watchdog filed a formal legal complaint today alleging that a newly introduced product, by the giant dairy conglomerate Dean Foods, includes a synthetic nutritional oil that is prohibited in organics. The product, Horizon Fat-Free Milk Plus DHA Omega-3, bears the USDA organic seal despite a ruling in 2010 by the USDA that the proprietary DHA oil, an ingredient derived from algae, is not legal in organic production.
Economics of Regional Meat Webinar +February 23, 2011
A truly regional food system includes proteins, and for many that means meat. What are the roadblocks to regional meat? Are the economics of meat very different from produce? Where should one concentrate their efforts to most effectively pave the way towards regional meat?

As the Wallace Center project “Charting Growth: Sustainable Food Indicators” reports, the concentration of the meat industry is staggering (e.g. in 2007 the 4 top beef packers controlled over 80% of the market). Those looking to build a sustainable regional food system must understand the tremendous economic forces that lead to this situation to succeed in their goal. This webinar is designed for attendees of all knowledge levels to increase the effectiveness of their regional efforts.

Wegmans groceries announce price freeze on 40 staple products through end of year+February 23, 2011
Wegmans Food Markets has announced that it won't raise prices on more than three dozen staple products.

The Rochester-based supermarket chain announced Tuesday that it will freeze the prices on 40 products, including fruit, vegetables, ground beef, pasta and coffee. Most of the items are the Wegmans brand.

The company says the price freeze will continue through the end of 2011.

Consumers Want to Know More About What's in Their Food+February 23, 2011
Seventy percent of U.S. diners say they want more information about the sourcing and nutritional value of their meals when dining out, with nearly two-thirds (64 percent) agreeing they would choose healthier meals if more information was provided, according to Unilever Food Solutions' new World Menu Report, "What's in Your Food?"

The global report surveyed 3,500 diners in the U.S., United Kingdom, Germany, China, Russia, Brazil, and Turkey who eat out at least once a week. The survey was conducted to measure consumers' attitudes and behaviors toward eating out.

Minnesota meat processing plant to pay environmental fines+February 23, 2011
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and a meat-processing plant in Windom, Minn., have reached an agreement that resolves alleged violations of water quality and hazardous-waste laws and rules.

The company, PM Beef Holdings LLC, will pay a $49,000 civil penalty and is required to complete corrective actions.

New Free, Hands-On Tool Supports Sustainable Living Choices+February 23, 2011
People who want to eat healthy and live sustainably have a new way to measure their impact on the environment: a Web-based tool that calculates an individual's "nitrogen footprint." The device was created by University of Virginia environmental scientist James N. Galloway; Allison Leach, a staff research assistant at U.Va.; and colleagues from the Netherlands and the University of Maryland.

The calculator is a project of the International Nitrogen Initiative, a global network of scientists who share research and data on the nitrogen dilemma. The project was announced Feb. 19 at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Washington.
Coleman Shows Enthusiastic U.Va. Audience How to Extend Growing Seasons+February 22, 2011
More than 200 people attended a talk by organic farming expert and visionary Eliot Coleman at the University of Virginia's Hereford Residential College on Sunday.

Coleman, a pioneer in season-extending measures for vegetable farming in cold climates. gave a detailed account of how he and his wife, food and garden writer Barbara Damrosch, farm vegetables year-round in Maine using hoop houses, portable greenhouses and cold frames. Using them in combination allows Coleman to shift seasons.

New UNH Sustainable Agriculture Program Shapes Future of Food+February 21, 2011
The University of New Hampshire has launched a new major in that reflects the region’s agricultural landscape and the growing appetite for local, sustainable food, products and services. The major, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, combines plant, animal, and environmental sciences with related topics such as nutrition, forestry, aquaculture, and business disciplines such as entrepreneurship and marketing. With a high degree of flexibility to address students’ unique goals and needs, the major offers both Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Arts degrees.
Fewer MI college students to get food stamps+February 21, 2011
As many as 20,000 college students who now receive food stamps could lose their eligibility in April.

According to a new state policy that will go into effect this spring, college students in Michigan won't qualify for the federally funded Food Assistance Program — unless they have particular circumstances like caring for young children, working at least 20 hours a week or other federal exceptions.
UK Government advisers to recommended lower meat consumption+February 21, 2011
A Government-commissioned report to be published by scientists will say that eating less red meat and processed meat lowers the risk of developing cancer.

It is expected to recommended that consumers eat no more than 2.5 oz (70g) of red or processed meat a day – the equivalent of three rashers of bacon.

The weekly recommended limit is likely to be 1.1 lb (500g), the same as eating a large pack of minced beef, two 8oz steaks or four 4oz pork chops.

However ministers are likely to face accusations that they are furthering the “nanny state” by telling citizens what to eat, while the farming and retail industries will object strongly to anything that threatens their livelihoods.
Local, Organic Milk: Nice Idea, but Try Making a Prof+February 19, 2011
So far, success has been elusive. Ever since its milk began hitting shelves in January 2010, the company has barely managed to stay afloat, relying on a mix of investor money, grants, charitable donations and the kindness of neighbors buying half-gallons in solidarity.

Development of Technical Guidelines and Scientific Methods for Quantifying GHG Emissions and Carbon Sequestration for Agricultural and Forestry Activities - Call for Responses+February 18, 2011
Notice of project undertaken to develop technical guidelines and scientific methods for quantifying greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon sequestration at the practice-, process-, farm- and entity-

The GOOD Challenge: Give Up Processed Food for a Month+February 18, 2011
In January, my colleague Cord launched a year of GOOD Challenges with a pledge to give up soap and shampoo for a month. (He made it, and reported no ill-effects, although a weekend in Vegas toward the end of January definitely tested his resolve.) This month—which is the shortest of the year, thank goodness—it's my turn, and I'm giving up industrially processed food.

Foodies Can Eclipse (and Save) the Green Movement+February 18, 2011
These are dark days for the environmental movement. A year after being on the cusp of passing landmark legislation to cap greenhouse gases, greens are coming to accept the fact that the chance of national and international action on climate change has become more remote than ever. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is under attack by newly empowered Republicans in Congress who argue that the very idea of environmental protection is unaffordable for our debt-ridden country. Accustomed to remaining optimistic in the face of long odds, the environmental movement all at once faces a challenge just to stay relevant in a hostile political climate. In 2004, authors Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus faced a harsh backlash from the greens when they released a polemic essay called "The Death of Environmentalism," but now it appears they might have been ahead of their time.

Even as traditional environmentalism struggles, another movement is rising in its place, aligning consumers, producers, the media and even politicians. It's the food movement, and if it continues to grow it may be able to create just the sort of political and social transformation that environmentalists have failed to achieve in recent years. That would mean not only changing the way Americans eat and the way they farm — away from industrialized, cheap calories and toward more organic, small-scale production, with plenty of fruits and vegetables — but also altering the way we work and relate to one another. To its most ardent adherents, the food movement isn't just about reform — it's about revolution.
Is the World Producing Enough Food?+February 18, 2011
Global food prices are soaring again, as droughts, freezes and floods have affected various crops in many parts of the world. At the same time, demand is rising with living standards in fast-growing countries.

The price spikes are not as sharp as they were in 2008, but the new volatility reflects more than the sum of recent freakish weather "events," from severe droughts in China and Russia to floods in Australia to a deep freeze in Mexico.

Economists and scientists have identified longer-term changes -- from global warming to China's economic growth to a lack of productive farmland -- as the culprits. Is the world producing enough food -- specifically grain? Is this a continuation of the 2008 crisis, or something quite different?
A Healthy Nation Needs Healthy Farms+February 18, 2011
The overwhelming passion and energy in this country surrounding issues of public health reached the national stage in December with the enactment of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act. The updated child nutrition bill not only increased the number of free school lunches available, but it also introduced measures to improve the nutritional quality of what is being served in those lunches.

With this intensifying national focus on food, the time is ripe to direct our energies to the policies and programs that impact our nation’s farms and the farmers who are growing our food.

L.A. Community Starved For Healthful Food Options+February 18, 2011
Los Angeles is a food lover's paradise — unless you happen to live in the Ramona Gardens housing project. Other parts of the city have organic farmers markets and natural food emporiums, but this neighborhood, surrounded by freeways, train tracks, and industrial warehouses, is isolated from all that.

"From here, you look all around, there's no market," says Olga Perez, a 48-year-old single mother who lives in the projects.

AmeriCorps volunteers sworn in to fight hunger, funded by Wal-Mart+February 18, 2011
Forty-eight young adults from around the country vowed to "get things done for America," as members of a new AmeriCorps VISTA program connecting people to food assistance programs were sworn in Thursday at a City Hall ceremony.

The Anti-Hunger and Opportunity Corps is the brainchild of Joel Berg, executive director of the New York City Coalition Against Hunger. It's a pilot program that will cost $1 million - $760,000 in federal grants and $280,000 donated from Wal-Mart Stores Inc. - to fund 48 full-time volunteers at 30 sites in 18 states for a full year.
The Color of Food: Equity in the Food System+February 18, 2011
The Applied Research Center recently embarked on a broad survey of the food system, to map out the race, gender and class of workers along the supply chain. Our findings, detailed in the new report "The Color of Food," were sadly not surprising.
Genetically engineered alfalfa isn't necessary+February 18, 2011
Alfalfa's roots go deep in the soil and deep in history. Prized by the ancient Persians, this high-protein "Queen of Forages" is still treasured. It is the fourth-largest crop grown in the United States, primarily for feeding cattle. And it is the latest one to fall to the Empire of Monsanto.

Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack's recent decision to deregulate the use of Monsanto's Roundup Ready Alfalfa (RRA) has alarmed many in the farming community, and beyond, who expected better from this administration. I suppose the kindest thing you could say about this genetically engineered seed - developed to allow the plant to withstand applications of Roundup herbicide - is that it's unnecessary.

A Duke University farm, for starters+February 17, 2011
The cleared, flat plot of land directly opposite the Carolina Friends School has a barren, harsh look that matches the weather on a recent chilly winter’s day.

But in the middle of it, there is hope, and there are dreams.

In the middle, looking lonely now, its plastic tarp flapping a little in the brisk wind, is a newly erected greenhouse. It is the beginning, the first step, to what’s going to become the Duke University Campus Farm.
Alternative Spring Break in Durham: Food and Farming in the Triangle +February 17, 2011
Are you interested in food? Still don't have spring break plans? Want to learn more about agriculture and the local food movement in the Durham area?

Then join Duke and UNC students for an alternative spring break in Durham about food and farming, sponsored by the Duke Community Gardens and Duke Campus Farm.

From March 5 to 8th, join the alternative spring break "On being a locavore: Food and farming in the Triangle" in Durham, NC.

22 million reasons to regulate our food supply+February 17, 2011
After more than five years of skirmishes, the battle over genetically modified alfalfa appears to have come to an abrupt end. Following weeks of cliff-hanger suggestions by Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack that his agency might choose to pursue a novel and controversial path -- one of conditional regulation for gentically modified alfalfa -- he announced that the USDA will completely deregulate the planting of Monsanto's Roundup Ready alfalfa. The ruling is likely to unleash thousands of tons of stockpiled GM alfalfa seed for planting this spring.

So after years of ping-pong litigation that reached its crescendo in the echelons of the U.S. Supreme Court last summer, the case now seems settled: America the beautiful's amber waves of grain will now be of the genetically modified variety.

Teens, Parents Notice Calorie Counts But Don’t Drop the Fries+February 16, 2011
The FDA is still working out the details of how chain restaurants should include calorie information on their menus. (The requirement is courtesy of the health-care overhaul bill.)

But evidence is mounting that labeling isn’t a silver bullet. We’ve reported on other research suggesting that knowing how many calories are in your burrito, for example, doesn’t significantly change purchasing behavior.

And now there’s a new study looking specifically at teens and parents of small kids that points in the same direction.

Double Up Food Bucks program success in Michigan+February 16, 2011
A program that first sprouted at the Crossroads Farmers Market in Takoma Park in 2004 has firmly taken root in Michigan, where healthful-food advocates will launch a statewide effort this spring to double the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program benefits used at farmers markets.

The goal, say organizers, is to give low-income families access to locally produced fruits and vegetables in a state where unemployment remains a good two points above the national rate and where the economy has sputtered along for a decade without any economic growth. According to the Fair Food Network in Ann Arbor, 1.75 million people in Michigan receive SNAP benefits, which is 17.5 percent of the state's population, compared with the national average of 12.9 percent. Michigan's SNAP recipients have increased by 50 percent since October 2008.

For Thriving Indians, Costlier Food Is an Annoyance, Not a Threat+February 15, 2011
Two staples, lentils and beans, illustrate the increasing gap between demand and supply in the India food market.

Both are used extensively in Indian cooking. But demand is growing 6.5 percent a year, while the supply is increasing less than 1 percent, according to one study.

Galloping Growth, and Hunger in India+February 15, 2011
The 50-year-old farmer knew from experience that his onion crop was doomed when torrential rains pounded his fields throughout September, a month when the Indian monsoon normally peters out.

For lack of modern agricultural systems in this part of rural India, his land does not have adequate drainage trenches, and he has no safe, dry place to store onions. The farmer, Arun Namder Talele, said he lost 70 percent of his onion crop on his five-acre farm here, about 70 miles north of the western city of Aurangabad.

“There are no limits to my losses,” Mr. Talele said.

Mr. Talele’s misfortune, and that of many other farmers here, is a grim reminder of a persistent fact: India, despite its ambitions as an emerging economic giant, still struggles to feed its 1.1 billion people.

Obama's budget would deeply cut farm subsidies+February 15, 2011
President Obama's 2012 budget plan calls for the elimination of more than $5 billion in public support for agricultural programs, including subsidies to the wealthiest U.S. farmers.

On Monday, Obama signaled that his administration wants to shift federal dollars away from farm programs, setting up a battle between the White House and legislators from agricultural states. It will also test the political will of some Republican and "tea party" lawmakers from rural districts who have vowed to trim federal spending.

It's a hot-button issue that draws uncomfortable political battle lines: Should lawmakers deeply cut farm subsidy programs that help ensure a steady domestic supply of food, but that critics say are rife with waste and largely benefit large agribusiness corporations?
Cows or condos? California's leading farmland preservation program faces the ax amid budget woes+February 15, 2011
Alarmed at the urban sprawl that gobbled up Los Angeles orange groves, vast cherry orchards around San Jose and cattle ranches east of Oakland, state lawmakers struck a bargain with farmers 45 years ago.

Sign a contract promising not to develop your land for 10 years, and your property taxes will be slashed.

But now the program -- California's main strategy for preserving farms and ranch land amid relentless population growth -- may itself be bulldozed as the state tries to balance its budget. A proposal last month by Gov. Jerry Brown to eliminate state funding for the Williamson Act is alarming county leaders and creating rare alliances between people who drive Priuses and people who drive pickup trucks.

"This is the only issue where the Sierra Club and the Farm Bureau and the Cattlemen's Association are saying the same thing," said Darrel Sweet, a fifth-generation rancher in Livermore. "If there's anything else that can bring them together I haven't seen it."

Oysters are 'Functionally Extinct'+February 14, 2011
Oysters aren't disappearing from the dining table anytime soon, but they may be disappearing from our oceans.

A recent study published in BioScience has shown that the mollusks, declared "functionally extinct," are disappearing quickly as 85 percent of their reefs have been destroyed through disease or over-harvesting, according to the AFP. 75 percent of the remaining wild oysters can be found in 5 locations in North America.

So what does "functionally extinct" mean?

Oysters no longer play almost any significant role in their ecosystems.

Farms should be the new new thing for Silicon Valley+February 14, 2011
Once known as the Valley of Heart's Delight, Silicon Valley is home to some of the most fertile soil in the nation. The high-tech industry that grew in inverse proportion to our farms and orchards has come to symbolize the triumph of invention and IPOs, but it also represents something else entirely: the tragedy of farmland lost to development and contamination.

Learn The Art and Craft of Beekeeping-Online Workshop!+February 14, 2011
This course is an opportunity to learn about ‘natural beekeeping’ in top bar hives. This is a simple, practical way to have healthy and happy bees in your garden or back yard, with the possibility of your own honey harvest, but without the cost and complications associated with conventional beekeeping.

U.S. Approves Corn Modified for Ethanol+February 13, 2011
A type of corn that is genetically engineered to make it easier to convert into ethanol was approved for commercial growing by the Department of Agriculture.
Tyson Foods Charged with FCPA Violations+February 11, 2011
The Securities and Exchange Commission today charged Tyson Foods Inc. with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by making illicit payments to two Mexican government veterinarians responsible for certifying its Mexican subsidiary’s chicken products for export sales.
Food Is the New Fashion +February 11, 2011
When New York Fashion Week gets underway on Thursday, those of us with a keen interest in design and style will be watching to see what comes down the runway. From the cuts to the color palettes, the clothing is almost always interesting -- and even, at times, surprising. And while I don't expect to see anyone outfitted in a raw meat bikini a la Lady Gaga on the cover of Vogue Hommes Japan, it would be almost fitting -- especially if the meat is organic, grass-fed, antibiotic-free, and humanely raised.

As a professional cook, cookbook author and teacher, I have a noticed a shift in the role that food plays in our lives and in our culture. Food has become more than one of life's great pleasures. It has become a signifier of style, too. The notion that "you are what you eat" extends beyond the virtues of a nutritious, well-balanced diet. These days, it often seems that you are what you purchase in the supermarket or at the farmer's market; your grocery list is a reflection of your values and your identity. Chefs are as celebrated as designers (move over, Armani, here's Batali!) and eating and entertaining have become haute couture: Food is the new fashion.

Wholesome Tummies delivers fresh lunches to schools on parents' request+February 10, 2011
The South Florida school cafeteria soon may get a new competitor.

Wholesome Tummies, which delivers custom-made lunches to children at their schools, has opened a Palm Beach County franchise. The owners have begun dropping off healthful meals at four private schools and are negotiating with several others, including the Palm Beach County School District.

U.S. Corn Reserves at Lowest Level in More Than 15 Years+February 10, 2011
Reserves of corn in the United States have hit their lowest level in more than 15 years, reflecting tighter supplies that will lead to higher food prices in 2011. Increasing demand for corn from the ethanol industry is a major reason for the decline, according to federal officials.

Is ‘Eat Real Food’ Unthinkable?+February 10, 2011
In recent weeks we’ve seen a big, powerful government agency, a big, powerful person and a big, powerful corporation telling us what to eat. Even with all this big, powerful input, we know nothing that we didn’t know last year. We do, however, have a new acronym; unfortunately, it’s not the one we need.

And a little progress. Limited kudos go to the United States Department of Agriculture, whose Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2010 — yes, it’s 2011, but they’re published every five years — are the best to date. We’re told to eat “less food” and more fresh foods; wise advice. But aside from salt, the agency buries mostly vague recommendations about what we should be eating less of: we’re admonished to drink “few or no” sodas — hooray for that — and “refined grains,” Solid Fats and Added Sugars. And there’s our fabulous acronym: SOFAS.

On Point Radio: Global Food Price Spikes+February 10, 2011
2008 was a bad year for global food supplies. A real pinch.
Now, just over two years later, the pinch is back. The U.N.’s global food price index is at a record high. Experts say the era of “cheap food” is ending. That’s good for farmers with food to sell, but hard for everybody else.
It’s a factor in the unrest in the Middle East. It can push inflation all over, and it leaves people hungry. We’ve got high global demand, smaller crop yields, bad weather – maybe from climate change – and biofuels cutting into food crops. It’s a recipe for trouble.
We look at food, and a crowded planet.
Southeast Youth Food Activist Summit +February 9, 2011
The 3rd annual Real Food Challenge Southeast Youth Food Activist Summit will be a convergence of youth and students across the southeast. SYFAS strives to: unite a coalition of young leaders across age, race, class and geography, ignite food justice organizing and activism with new ideas, tactics and opportunities, and shine a spotlight on the powerfully diverse, youth-driven food movement.

SYFAS will be comprised of: workshops with role-playing and activism training, panels with youth leaders, academic experts, farmers and urban gardeners, service opportunities and field trips featuring local food projects, and networking with food activists and other students.

The keynote address will highlight the importance of food justice and access in the sustainable food movement. Bottom line: if you like eating food, making friends, and sustainable living, this is a weekend you will not want to miss!

Cost to Attend: Youth/Student registration fee: $30.00; Non-student/non-youth rate: $60.00

Register here:

Also, find us on facebook: Southeast Youth Food Activism Summit (SYFAS) 2011!

NY City Council wants local food for school lunches+February 9, 2011
It's no secret that the food served in city school cafeterias would get a failing grade if students were allowed to vote on its tastiness.

But less known is where the food actually comes from—and that's a point of contention for a growing number of City Council members who want the city to purchase more food from local farmers and suppliers.

A Council oversight held hearing Tuesday on the Department of Education's school food policies was meant to shine a spotlight on the issue and encourage the public to demand more information on the origins of the food students eat at school.

Schools Facing Cuts if Lunches Aren’t Paid For [NYT]+February 9, 2011
"Of [New York] city’s 1,600 schools, 1,043 owe a collective $2.5 million to the department for meals served in the first three months of this school year. That puts them on track to be $8 million behind by the end of the school year.

"New York City’s lunch money problem is costly and complicated, but not unique. The economy has school administrators all over the country scratching for savings even as more parents are falling behind in lunch fees. A September survey by the School Nutrition Association, a professional organization, showed that in 2009-10, 34 percent of school districts saw an increase from the previous school year in the number of meals not paid for...."
Walmart/CSA partnership+February 8, 2011
Geane Brito has to wait until her two kids get out of school before going to Whole Foods in Miami Beach to pick up their box of vegetables for the week from Teena’s Pride in the Redland.

Magnus and Isadora Kron, ages 8 and 10, dash immediately into the store, eager to take inventory of the seasonal vegetables just picked from a local farm: broccoli leaves, heirloom tomatoes, poblano peppers and carrots with the tops still attached.

Brito’s family is part of a growing group in South Florida and around the country embracing Community Supported Agriculture. For $20 to $40 a week, they buy ultra-fresh food straight from the farm at prices similar to the grocery, and pick them up at Whole Foods.
Fast Food chains can help consumers save on calories without losing profits+February 7, 2011
Darden Professor Kathryn Sharpe has published new research showing that fast food restaurants can help consumers make smarter food choices by changing the kinds of foods offered in their combo meals--all without affecting profits.
Healthy Eating Vouchers in the UK+February 7, 2011
Can people be bribed into better health? The British government is increasingly convinced they can.

For decades, doctors have tried to persuade people to quit smoking, exercise more and lose weight. But with mixed success on the exhortation front and facing a rising obesity crisis, British officials are slowly abandoning the health argument and fattening peoples' wallets instead.

The U.K. has tested several programs that pay people to make healthy choices. Although the trials have been small, officials say they have been successful enough to roll them out further. This week, the government announced it will give out five million 50-pound vouchers to families that can be swapped for fruits and vegetables.

College Healthy Eating project launches campaign to increase local consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables+February 7, 2011
A University of Minnesota, Morris-based initiative is launching a campaign to increase access to and consumption of healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables—especially those that are locally grown—and thereby help to improve the health of Morris college students and the region’s population as a whole.

Known as the Morris Healthy Eating Project, the effort has spent the last two years researching the local food environment to determine barriers and assets to improving healthy eating among students and residents in the region. Those findings are detailed in a 95-page community food assessment, which is being made available to community members. The report details a vision for a healthier community and presents a community action plan.

Lyfe Kitchen to enter restaurant mix with healthy eating at its core+February 7, 2011
If you were looking to build the next great restaurant chain, surely you'd start with a burger. Or some delicious, oily chicken. Or deli sandwiches. No one has ever made it big in America with veggie burgers and vegan brownies.

Then again, Americans have never been fatter, nor have the trumpets of moderation ever been sounded so loudly. Movies and books lecture the country about laying off the fat and salt, and packaged-food companies have been changing their recipes in response to consumer requests and to anticipate new government dietary guidelines that call for healthier eating.

Bring in two former McDonald's executives and an Oprah celebrity chef. They are betting that their restaurant concept, Lyfe Kitchen, an acronym for Love Your Food Everyday, will unlock the recipe to successfully selling healthy food to the masses. The restaurants will be a step up from fast food, fitting into the fast-casual segment where food is made to order, like at Panera Bread or Chipotle.

Restaurant Nutrition Draws Focus of First Lady+February 7, 2011
After wrapping her arms around the retail giant Wal-Mart and trying to cajole food makers into producing nutrition labels that are easier to understand, Michelle Obama, the first lady and a healthy-eating advocate, has her sights set on a new target: the nation’s restaurants.

A team of advisers to Mrs. Obama has been holding private talks over the past year with the National Restaurant Association, a trade group, in a bid to get restaurants to adopt her goals of smaller portions and children’s meals that include healthy offerings like carrots, apple slices and milk instead of French fries and soda, according to White House and industry officials.

The discussions are preliminary, and participants say they are nowhere near an agreement like the one Mrs. Obama announced recently with Wal-Mart to lower prices on fruits and vegetables and to reduce the amount of fat, sugar and salt in its foods. But they reveal how assertively she is working to prod the industry to sign on to her agenda.

Droughts, Floods and Food+February 7, 2011
We’re in the midst of a global food crisis — the second in three years. World food prices hit a record in January, driven by huge increases in the prices of wheat, corn, sugar and oils. These soaring prices have had only a modest effect on U.S. inflation, which is still low by historical standards, but they’re having a brutal impact on the world’s poor, who spend much if not most of their income on basic foodstuffs.

Helping Soldiers Trade Their Swords for Plows+February 6, 2011
On an organic farm here in avocado country, a group of young Marines, veterans and Army reservists listened intently to an old hand from the front lines.

“Think of it in military terms,” he told the young recruits, some just back from Iraq or Afghanistan. “It’s a matter of survival, an uphill battle. You have to think everything is against you and hope to stay alive.”

The battle in question was not the typical ground assault, but organic farming — how to identify beneficial insects, for instance, or to prevent stray frogs from clogging an irrigation system. It was Day 2 of a novel boot camp for veterans and active-duty military personnel, including Marines from nearby Camp Pendleton, who might be interested in new careers as farmers.

Raw Milk Cheesemakers Fret Over Possible New Rules+February 5, 2011
Federal regulators are considering whether to tighten food safety rules for cheese made with unpasteurized milk — and the possibility has cheesemakers and foodies worried that the result will be cheese that is less tasty and not much safer.

VIRTUAL Farm Bill Listening Session +February 4, 2011
Join a virtual conversation about priorities for the 2012 Farm Bill with the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) and the National Farm to School Network (NFSN).

On Tuesday, February 22, CFSC and the NFSN will host an interactive webinar to provide an overview of past Farm Bill successes, and to begin dialogue on potential areas of action for the upcoming Farm Bill, including regional policy priorities related to local food infrastructure, urban/community-based agriculture, food access, community food projects, farmers markets, linking SNAP (food stamps) to local and healthy foods, Farm to School, and food policy councils. Following the webinar, participants will be invited to tell us what is most needed in their region of the country via survey.
Small Farms and the Farm Subsidies Scandal +February 4, 2011
According to the Wall Street Journal, between 2005 and 2008, taxpayers provided fossil fuel producers--oil, coal, and gas companies--$72.5 billion dollars in subsidies and tax breaks. During the same period taxpayers subsidized "alternative" fuel producers to the tune of $29 billion dollars--$16 billon of that for ethanol. And while fossil fuel producers had record profits in 2009 and 2010 and with corn prices expected to be over $6 a bushel in 2011, the Republican Party and corn state Democrats still can't see their way to cut the deficit by ending these welfare programs.

Chicken Vanishes, Heartbreak Ensues+February 3, 2011
The chickens of New York City, for the most part, live fairly sheltered lives, securely tucked into private backyards and padlocked community gardens. Our chickens, by contrast, are public figures — their yard faces 20 feet of busy Bedford-Stuyvesant sidewalk. The chickens themselves chose this bustling thoroughfare, decamping there even when they could have settled in our spacious, semiprivate back garden. They wanted to see and be seen — like so many New York transplants, they seemed to feed on the energy of the street.

The admirers came in droves. The neighborhood immortalized by Biggie Smalls and Billy Joel has undergone widespread gentrification, and between the trend-conscious newcomers from suburbia and the nostalgic migrants from the Caribbean and rural South, there’s an awful lot of chicken love in Bed-Stuy these days.

And what’s not to love? There’s something intrinsically happy about a chicken. The name: a little hiccup in the mouth. The shape: a jaunty upswing of feathers, a grin. The ceaseless bobbing, scratching, pecking. It’s nearly impossible to feel melancholy in the company of chickens. They are a balm for the weary urban soul.

Growing Pains: new farmers break the mold+February 3, 2011
Thousands of acres of farmland disappear each year in California -- to make way for suburbs and office parks - when that land is developed, the dreams of a new generation of farmers can disappear. Although the average farmer today is over 55, the high demand for organic produce has inspired a younger group of farmers to start tilling the earth. But these new farmers are struggling to find land they can afford and a business model that works. Reporter Julia Scott has the story.
Gleaning A Harvest For The Needy By Fighting Waste+February 3, 2011
On U.S. farms, gleaning is making a comeback, as a national anti-hunger organization has turned to the ancient practice to help feed the poor. And it also gives farmers a way to use produce that would otherwise be wasted.

In the Old Testament, farmers are told not to pick their fields and vineyards clean, but instead to leave the edges for orphans, widows and travelers. In the modern day, gleaning is more about preventing would-be waste.

A Food Manifesto for the Future+February 3, 2011
For decades, Americans believed that we had the world’s healthiest and safest diet. We worried little about this diet’s effect on the environment or on the lives of the animals (or even the workers) it relies upon. Nor did we worry about its ability to endure — that is, its sustainability.

That didn’t mean all was well. And we’ve come to recognize that our diet is unhealthful and unsafe. Many food production workers labor in difficult, even deplorable, conditions, and animals are produced as if they were widgets. It would be hard to devise a more wasteful, damaging, unsustainable system.

Here are some ideas — frequently discussed, but sadly not yet implemented — that would make the growing, preparation and consumption of food healthier, saner, more productive, less damaging and more enduring.
White House pressured Vilsack to approve GMO alfalfa, media reports suggest +February 3, 2011
As I reported last week, the USDA announced late Thursday it would allow the planting of genetically modified alfalfa, the nation's fourth-largest crop, without restriction.

Was the decision based on a careful weighing of the evidence by the USDA -- or on political consideration emanating from the White House?

Two recent media reports strongly suggest the latter. In The Wall Street Journal, Bill Tomson and Scott Kilman -- two well-connected, veteran ag-policy reporters -- directly tied the decision to the White House.
Poultry Science Association supports 'judicious use' of antibiotics in food animals+February 2, 2011
The Poultry Science Association, in conjunction with the Federation of Animal Science Societies, has released a statement supporting the judicious use of antibiotics in food animals.

“The Federation of Animal Science Societies strongly supports the judicious use of antibiotics in food animal care consistent with the health and welfare of the animals, with preserving the value of antibiotics in protecting human and animal health and with efficient use of the earth’s resources in food production,” said the statement.

Oprah's Vegan Challenge+February 2, 2011
Oprah and some members of her staff recently took on a radical challenge: to go vegan for one week. That meant no meat, no fish, no milk, no eggs—nothing that comes from an animal—for seven full days. The charge was led by New York Times best-selling author Kathy Freston, who has sworn by a vegan lifestyle for seven years now.

U.S. Late to the Party on School Lunch Makeovers [NPR]+February 2, 2011
Includes a slideshow of school lunches around the world.
Government’s Dietary Advice: Eat Less+February 1, 2011
As the nation’s obesity crisis continues unabated, federal regulators on Monday issued their bluntest nutrition advice to date: drink water instead of sugary drinks like soda, fill your plate with fruits and vegetables and cut down on processed foods filled with sodium, fat or sugar.

More important, perhaps, the government told Americans, “Enjoy your food, but eat less.” Many Americans eat too many calories every day, expanding their waistlines and imperiling their health.

While the recommendations may seem obvious, it is nonetheless considered major progress for federal regulators, who have long skirted the issue, wary of the powerful food lobby. (The 112-page report even subtly suggests that people eat less pizza and dessert.)

Students launch campus food pantry for students+February 1, 2011
A fall semester learning community project to look at food assistance needs in the Ames community has evolved into what its planners hope is a long-term program: an on-campus food pantry for students, run by students.

The SHOP (Students Helping Our Peers) opens Feb. 1 in room 2616 in the northeast part of the Food Sciences Building (PDF). Initially, service hours will be 3-6 p.m. on Tuesdays; those could increase depending on need and use.

Taxing Red Meat?+February 1, 2011
A climate tax on meat and milk could reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from European agriculture by about seven percent. If the land freed up by this were to be used to cultivate bioenergy, the emissions reduction could be six times greater. This is shown in an article published in the scientific journal Climatic Change.
Rising Food Prices Can Topple Governments, Too+January 31, 2011
Political unrest has broken out in Tunisia, Yemen, Egypt and other Arab countries. Social media and governmental policies are getting most of the credit for spurring the turmoil, but there's another factor at play.

Many of the people protesting are also angry about dramatic price hikes for basic foodstuffs, such as rice, cereals, cooking oil and sugar.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations says its global food price index is at a record high, above even where it stood during the last food crisis three years ago. In early 2008, rising prices caused riots in dozens of countries — several of which are now seeing uprisings once again.

A Chicken Chain’s Corporate Ethos Is Questioned +January 31, 2011
Nicknamed “Jesus chicken” by jaded secular fans and embraced by Evangelical Christians, Chick-fil-A is among only a handful of large American companies with conservative religion built into its corporate ethos. But recently its ethos has run smack into the gay rights movement. A Pennsylvania outlet’s sponsorship of a February marriage seminar by one of that state’s most outspoken groups against homosexuality lit up gay blogs around the country. Students at some universities have also begun trying to get the chain removed from campuses.

Making Good Food Work+January 30, 2011
Dear Good Food Entrepreneur, Activist, Professional, Researcher, and Policy-Maker,

We are excited to invite you to join us at the Atheneum Hotel in downtown Detroit April 19-21, 2011 for a three-day participatory conference and incubation laboratory designed to develop innovative solutions and document best practices for distributing local and regional food, with a focus on underserved communities.

Participation will be limited to 250 attendees, so be sure to register early to secure your spot.

This website will be updated frequently with new information as we select team leaders, finalize workshops, and announce information about scholarships and prizes, so be sure to check back often.

GMO vs. Non-GMO Foods+January 30, 2011
Good Food Access For Families & Communities: Report+January 29, 2011
Michigan Good Food Work Group Report Series
Team Leaders Sought for Local and Regional Food Distribution Projects+January 29, 2011
This April 19-21, more than 200 entrepreneurs, food industry professionals, non-profit leaders, researchers and policymakers will convene in Detroit to build strategies for more just and efficient local and regional food distribution.

Entrepreneurs, researchers and others active in local food system work are invited to propose local food distribution projects and/or research topics that will be further developed and examined over the course of the conference. We are soliciting applications from individuals and organizations to lead teams. Please consider submitting your new or existing project or issue idea by February 4, 2011.

To apply, decide whether you would like to lead an issue-based team or a project-based team and submit an application to Jess Daniel: by February 4, 2011. Additional questions may be directed to Jess: 714-388-4489.

U.S. Approves Genetically Modified Alfalfa+January 28, 2011
Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Thursday that he would authorize the unrestricted commercial cultivation of genetically modified alfalfa, setting aside a controversial compromise that had generated stiff opposition.

F.D.A and Dairy Industry Spar Over Testing of Milk+January 28, 2011
Each year, federal inspectors find illegal levels of antibiotics in hundreds of older dairy cows bound for the slaughterhouse. Concerned that those antibiotics might also be contaminating the milk Americans drink, the Food and Drug Administration intended to begin tests this month on the milk from farms that had repeatedly sold cows tainted by drug residue.

But the testing plan met with fierce protest from the dairy industry, which said that it could force farmers to needlessly dump millions of gallons of milk while they waited for test results. Industry officials and state regulators said the testing program was poorly conceived and could lead to costly recalls that could be avoided with a better plan for testing.

In response, the F.D.A. postponed the testing, and now the two sides are sparring over how much danger the antibiotics pose and the best way to ensure that the drugs do not end up in the milk supply.

Farming, Cooking and the Rural Experience: Summer 2011 (Sterling College)+January 27, 2011
Vermont's Table is a unique summer culinary program, featuring a fresh, hands-on approach to the study of farm-to-table food systems. Explore the distinctive terroir of Vermont's Green Mountains under the tutelage of expert chefs and farmers at a small liberal arts college, recognized as a leader in environmental studies.

In St. Paul schools, the not-so-sweet life+January 27, 2011
The St. Paul school district will make all public schools "sweet-free zones" by the end of the school year.

UVa Dining/Kellogg Partnership: Share Your Bowl+January 26, 2011
University of Virginia students who sit down to a bowl of cereal for breakfast will help feed hungry families in central Virginia.

The university's dining services is teaming up with Kellogg's Food Away From Home program to help stock cereal at the Blue Ridge Area Food Bank.

For one month, starting Wednesday, the company will donate a bowl of cereal to the food bank for every bowl of cereal a UVA student eats.

Kellogg's estimates it will donate 6,400 servings of cereal.

Food Makers Devise Own Label Plan+January 26, 2011
Starting in the next few months, the front of many food packages will prominently display important nutrition information, including calorie, fat and sugar content. The industrywide program was announced Monday by food makers and grocers.

The executives who made the announcement repeatedly invoked the campaign against obesity initiated by Michelle Obama, the first lady, saying they had developed the voluntary labeling plan after she challenged them to help consumers make more healthful food choices.

But in fact, the industry went its own way after months of talks with the White House and the Food and Drug Administration broke down.

The Obama administration wanted the package-front labels to emphasize nutrients that consumers might want to avoid, like sodium, calories and fat. But manufacturers insisted that they should also be able to use the labels to highlight beneficial nutrients, including vitamins, minerals and protein.

The administration concluded that “in the end, the label was going to be confusing, because those things would be included out of context, and it could make unhealthy foods appear like they had some redeeming quality,” said an official who was not authorized to discuss the talks and spoke on condition of anonymity. For example, the official said, “ice cream would be deemed healthy because it would have calcium in it.”

As a result, the industry’s plan received only tepid approval from Mrs. Obama — a stark contrast to her enthusiastic support last week of a healthful eating initiative from Wal-Mart, which pledged to reformulate its store-brand foods and devise an easy-to-understand label showing which foods were more healthful.

Room For Debate: Can Wal-Mart Make Us Healthier?+January 24, 2011
Wal-Mart, which sells more groceries than any other company in the country, has announced a plan to reduce sodium and and sugar in many of its packaged foods, and to remove all remaining industrially produced trans fats. The retailer also said it would lower prices on fruits and vegetables, cutting into its profits in hopes that the savings for consumers will increase demand for produce.

The changes will roll out over five years, and the company has pledged to pressure some of its big food suppliers, like Kraft, to follow suit. The effort has the vocal approval of Michelle Obama, who attended the company's announcement of the new measures.

What is the significance of Wal-Mart's initiative? What do we know about what works and what doesn't in changing people's eating habits?

Read the discussion.
Local Coverage of Bee Event+January 24, 2011
J-Term and the Food Hub+January 24, 2011
Traceability rule represents big adjustment for food industry+January 24, 2011
In response to a new federal food safety law and growing consumer interest, vast amounts of new data are being generated about the complicated path that food takes from field to supermarket shelf.
Big Ag v. Sustainable Agriculture on Campus: "Field of Discord"+January 22, 2011
From The Chronicle of Higher Education: At public colleges' sustainability centers, farming groups sow influence.
America's 50 Most Powerful People in Food+January 21, 2011
In the food world, the people with power are the ones who affect what and how and where and why we eat — or who can, if they want to. They're the agribusiness moguls who decide what gets grown and how it gets harvested and sold; the representatives of major food processing, distribution concerns, and retail food outlets who create new products and service the demand for edibles old and new. They're the scolds and nannies — and admirable consumer advocates — who tell us what we should and shouldn't eat, sometimes upending whole industries in the process.

Read more:
School gardens revisited in D.C.+January 21, 2011
I love the idea of teaching children to grow plants. For my generation that amounted to sprouting mustard cress in little pots, and that seemed enough at the time, given the general exposure to nature and locally grown vegetables.

So I have tended to attach a healthy skepticism to those pushing school gardens, suspecting that they may know a lot about environmental education but not much about a weed named hairy galinsoga.

My jaundiced views are reinforced when I see books and blogs about starting school gardens where there is lots of advice about lobbying, fundraising and forming committees but little honest talk about the hours required and the skills needed to keep an edible garden humming along.

As school gardens become wildly popular, the folks who help teachers, parents and environmental groups to create them are pressing home this message.

Aquatic Dead Zones+January 21, 2011
The size and number of marine dead zones—areas where the deep water is so low in dissolved oxygen that sea creatures can’t survive—have grown explosively in the past half-century. Red circles on this map show the location and size of many of our planet’s dead zones. Black dots show where dead zones have been observed, but their size is unknown.
Wal-Mart Promotes Healthy Foods+January 20, 2011
Local beef processing plan advances+January 19, 2011
Investors working to establish a beef processing plant in the Shenandoah Valley say they hope to have a precursor to the full operation on the ground within three months.

Project backers are considering existing industrial spaces in two area localities to establish an industrial kitchen to supply precooked local beef to school systems in Virginia or the Washington, D.C.-area, said Tom Sikes, a project partner and general manager of Waynesboro-based Reo Logistics.

Unity College Receives Jane's Trust Grant to Support Local Food Production and Distribution Networks+January 19, 2011
Unity College, a champion of local food production and programs in Maine, has been awarded a grant from Jane’s Trust, a regional trust that makes grants in education, environment, health and welfare and arts and culture in Northern New England, greater Boston and southwest Florida.

The $75K grant will help the College to build, grow and strengthen existing community-based food production and distribution networks.

“We will use the funds to grow a community food network,” explained Jesse Pyles, Sustainability Coordinator at Unity College.
Dickinson College to raise cattle+January 19, 2011
Dickinson College will use a $13,545 grant from the Capital Resource Conservation and Development Area Council to begin raising beef cattle.

An 18-acre portion of the college farm in South Middleton Township will be turned into pasture for livestock. The ground can support up to 25 cattle.

The college will use the butchered meat in its campus dining hall.

The Main Course: The 2012 Farm Bill+January 18, 2011
Katy Keiffer hosts an incredibly informative conversation on the 2012 Farm Bill with esteemed guest and founder of FGE Food & Nutrition Team, Fern Gale Estrow. Fern explains what challenges come along with trying to create a Farm Bill that looks out for our small farmers while cooperating with the large agricultural systems already in place in our country. Tune in and hear a new perspective on the complicated ideas, policies and politics involved with the Farm Bill. Learn why commodity price support is not always such a bad thing, and how compensating farmers appropriately is not always as easy as it sounds. Also on the show, Susan Hunt Stevens, Steve Pope & Frank Reese. This episode was sponsored by Hearst Ranch, the nations largest single source supplier of grassfed and grass finished beef.
Big Retailers Fill More Aisles With Groceries+January 17, 2011
Ways to encourage sustainability, creativity+January 17, 2011
I was asked to spend a few minutes talking with Mayor Jim Gray's transition team to share my thoughts about his Fresh Start plan.

This is a brief sketch of my presentation to the Quality of Life Committee, which centered on fresh solutions for sustainable development.

The full presentation with links is on our Web site The ideas include:

Read more:
Here’s an Easy One: Farm Subsidies+January 17, 2011
Vows by Congressional Republicans to slash billions from the federal budget at a time when joblessness is high and the economy needs stimulus are reckless. But here is one big-ticket saving that all members of Congress should get behind: cutting the billions of dollars in farm subsidies that distort food prices, encourage overfarming and inflate the price of land.

Sheep thefts in Britain likely connected to rising global food prices+January 17, 2011
The rolling hills of the English Lake District, home to the stories of Peter Rabbit and endless acres of misty farms, seem the last place on Earth for a crime wave. But farmer, beware: Thieves are stalking the puffy white gold of the British countryside.

"They want our sheep," said Andrew Allen, 46, surveying his flock, now thinned after the recent theft of 45 head.

Allen is one of 19 farmers to fall prey to sheep rustlers in the majestic lake region over the past 12 months, with the thefts here only one part of a bizarre surge in rural crime that has seen incidents of sheep rustling skyrocket across Britain.

The culprit? Globalization.

Hospitals Healing with Healthier Food+January 14, 2011
From Couteaux Review: "In 2008, several hospitals in California’s Bay Area cut down on the meat and instead opted for healthier food, such as fresh fruit and vegetables. The results of the test case were so positive that earlier this year, 33 Bay Area hospitals committed themselves to serving food that is organic, locally grown, and that focuses less on meat products. That clean bill of health now extends to the cafeteria, while the hospitals are saving hundreds of thousands of dollars by trimming down on meat....It’s not just California, though. Kaiser Permanente has decided to go the green route. Kaiser hospitals from Hermiston, Oregon to Duluth, Minnesota to Philadelphia are serving hormone and antibiotic-free meat, as well as organic fruits and vegetables."

[And it isn't just Kaiser Permanente. UVA Health Systems' food provider, Morrison, is also on this path toward healthier hospital food.]
USDA calls for dramatic change in school lunches+January 13, 2011
Hold the french fries and salt.

The government is calling for dramatic changes in school meals, including limiting french fries, sodium and calories and offering students more fruits and vegetables.

The proposed rule, being released Thursday by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, will raise the nutrition standards for meals for the first time in 15 years.
Visualizing The Honey Bee Extinction+January 13, 2011
User interface and data visualization design firm FFunction created this infographic to visualize the severe decline of the honey bee population (Colongy Collapse Disorder) over the last 5 years, how it affects us, and why it matters.

The city that grows+January 13, 2011
Chicagoans have been tending gardens and preserving their bounty for the winter since the city started.

But in recent years, a new variety of urban agriculture has sprouted. Dusty vacant lots that might have once grown new condos are now being eyed as sites for agriculture — large growing plots and winter greenhouses aimed at producing food for more than just family and friends.

In an effort to regulate the new crop of urban farms, Mayor Richard Daley last month presented a proposed ordinance to the City Council. City officials say the new rules are aimed at "nourishing urban agriculture," but some of Chicago's top urban farmers believe they will stunt the growth of grass-roots projects.

Egg producers accused of price-fixing+January 12, 2011
Food service giant Sodexo Inc. has filed suit against the nation's largest egg trade group and some leading egg farmers, alleging they perpetrated a decadelong scheme to artificially inflate egg prices.

The civil complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Philadelphia, claims that an egg cartel conspired to limit domestic supply by killing off hens under the guise of treating the remaining animals more humanely by giving them more cage room. The alleged scheme resulted in as much as a 40% increase in U.S. wholesale egg prices in 2008, according to the lawsuit.

A Whiff of Spring+January 11, 2011
Perhaps this is the year to plant oca and yacon. Or maybe pink blueberries, a double row of kohlrabi, and a patch of Galeux d’Eysines pumpkins. Anything is possible in January, when the seed catalogues have nearly all arrived. You can practically smell spring coming in their well-thumbed, dog-eared pages, where every cabbage, every cucumber, is perfectly ripe.

My Hope for Good, Clean and Fair Food for All+January 11, 2011
It’s the time of year for lists and wishes - everyone’s reading and writing about the trends of 2010, what to expect for 2011, and ultimately, what they want to see happen in the upcoming year. While I love the idea of macarons outpacing cupcakes on the trend-o-meter, what I really want to see is a more valiant effort on the part of chefs, farmers, policymakers and citizens to make sustainably produced food a reality for ALL Americans.
Obesity Under Affluence Varies By Welfare Regimes: The Effect of Fast Food, Insecurity, & Inequality +January 11, 2011
Among affluent countries, those with market-liberal welfare regimes (which are also English-speaking) tend to have the highest prevalence of obesity. The impact of cheap, accessible high-energy food is often invoked in explanation. An alternative approach is that overeating is a response to stress, and that competition, uncertainty and inequality make market-liberal societies more stressful. This ecological regression meta-study pools 96 body-weight surveys from 11 countries c. 1994-2004. The fast-food ‘shock’ impact is found to work most strongly in market liberal countries. Economic insecurity, measured in several different ways, was almost twice as powerful, while the impact of inequality was weak, and went in the opposite direction. [A. Offer, R. Pechey & S. Ulijaszek. Accepted for publication in Economics and Human Biology. January 11, 2010]

New York City Regional Foodshed Initiative+January 11, 2011
One part of a new national model, The New York City Regional Foodshed Initiative expands the preliminary analysis of the regional capacity to produce food and involves an in-depth examination of the local food production capacity of the New York City Metropolitan Region.
Kill It, Cook It, Eat It+January 11, 2011
Just in case your meat guilt wasn't powerful enough, here comes Kill It, Cook It, Eat It, a BBC show premiering in America January 11th at 10 p.m. on Current TV. Each episode, volunteers will head out to the farm to meet, care for, and then slaughter and eat a wide variety of tasty creatures.
Subway testing gluten-free options+January 10, 2011
The Subway restaurant chain is currently testing two gluten-free menu items in the Dallas and Tyler, Texas markets. The trial options roll out Jan. 10.

According to, the gluten-free rolls and brownies will come prepackaged and individually wrapped. Sandwich Artists in those two markets will be trained on how to cut the roll with a pre-wrapped knife for one use only.

Also, to further avoid cross-contamination, that same Sandwich Artist will prepare the order from beginning to end, ensuring a 100-percent gluten-free meal.

Subway has long offered items and information for allergen-sensitive customers, and includes a comprehensive chart on its website outlining ideal options for those who stick to a celiac diet.

Wegmans’ organic farm+January 9, 2011
With more people interested in buying organic food, tucked away on the Canandaigua shoreline sits 50 acres of what Wegmans family calls their great experiment. Wegmans developed a farm that is used as a testing ground to learn more about organic growing and pass on that knowledge to local growers. Wegmans says his stores have seen an increased demand for organic produce in recent years, despite the fact that it’s usually more expensive.

UVa grad students strive to start fishery for city+January 9, 2011
From the Daily Progress:
"Two University of Virginia graduate students are hoping to bring Charlottesville, an area with plenty of community-supported agriculture programs, its first community-supported fishery.

"The idea sprang from an environmental planning class [with Tim Beatley] at UVa, but the students are collaborating with a network of roughly 20 fish farmers to turn it into reality...."
Donald J. Tyson, Food Tycoon, Is Dead at 80+January 7, 2011
Donald J. Tyson, an aggressive and visionary entrepreneur who dropped out of college and built his father’s Arkansas chicken business into the behemoth Tyson Foods, one of the world’s largest producers of poultry, beef and pork, died on Thursday. He was 80 and lived in Fayetteville, Ark. The cause was complications of cancer, Tyson Foods said.

Shrewd, folksy and often likened to fellow Arkansans Sam Walton, the late Wal-Mart tycoon, and former President Bill Clinton, Mr. Tyson was a risk-taking, bare-knuckle businessman who bought out dozens of competitors, skirted the edge of the law and transformed a Depression-era trucking-and-feed venture into a global enterprise with an army of employees and millions of customers in 57 countries.

Does Legal Seafood's Blacklisted Fish Dinner Offer Reel Truth or Mere Press Bait? +January 6, 2011
Looking for information about the sustainability of the fish on your dinner plate? Chances are, you'll seek guidance from a resource like the Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch guide. But Legal Seafood CEO Roger Berkowitz doesn't believe that the organization's list of overfished species is accurate, which is why, he says, he's hosting a $115-per-plate dinner featuring blacklisted seafood.

U.N. Data Notes Sharp Rise in World Food Prices+January 6, 2011
World food prices continued to rise sharply in December, bringing them close to the crisis levels that provoked shortages and riots in poor countries three years ago, according to newly released United Nations data.

Prices are expected to remain high this year, prompting concern that the world may be approaching another crisis, although economists cautioned that many factors, like adequate stockpiles of key grains, could prevent a serious problem.

Farmers’ Markets and Food Security in a Foodie Town+January 5, 2011
Durham’s status as a “foodie town” is, in part, because of its amazing Farmers’ Market. Join Frank Stasio and a panel of local farmers who will discuss why and how they came to farm, their vision for the future and some tales from down on the farm.

Pesticides Threaten Ant-Eating Tradition in Brazil+January 5, 2011
The içás are an obsession for the 6,000 people in Silveiras.

The thunderous spring rains in October and November drive the ants out of the ground, and for a few short weeks Silveiras becomes a frenzy of ant hunting. Residents stock up, cleaning the içás and freezing them in one and two-liter bottles to get through until the next season.

But this year the ant haul was smaller than usual, residents said, and the number of ants has been dwindling. The principal culprits are pesticides used on eucalyptus trees that are planted to produce cellulose for paper and other products, residents and local officials said.

How to Make a Kids’ Menu+January 4, 2011
Why the old strategy just isn’t going to cut it with today’s youngest diners.
Hello 2011! A Civil Eats Round-Up+January 4, 2011
It’s that time of year again when we bid adieu to one year and look ahead to the next. Some of our favorite stories of the year...
Year in Review 2010: The Year in Food+January 4, 2011
Looking back on 2010, many trends from the last decade in food continue—more food safety recalls, ongoing fights about raw milk, the country's ever-expanding waistlines, and the trend towards large farms getting larger and small farms getting smaller.

This year, though, food politics took center stage in Washington D.C. with Michelle Obama's Let's Move campaign and Congressional action on a long-awaited food safety bill. School lunch became a cause célèbre and the subject of some entertaining TV. Across the country, Happy Meals, salt, soda, and alco-speeds all came under fire. 2010 also marks the ascendancy of foraging and food trucks, molecular gastronomy's move to the Academy, and the end of mediocrity (I hope). Here are some of the events worth thinking about—and maybe even revisiting—next year...
Lynchburg Grows - urban farm+January 4, 2011
Albemarle panel debates slaughterhouse rules+January 3, 2011
A divided Albemarle County Planning Commission could not reach consensus earlier this week on whether to relax rules that govern where animal slaughterhouses can be operated.

No slaughterhouses operate in the county today and planning staff recommended changes, in part to satisfy the growing interest in the local food movement. The debate over slaughterhouses is also part of an ongoing review of the zoning ordinance to satisfy a directive from the Board of Supervisors to promote economic development.

Injustice on Our Plates: Immigrant Women in the U.S. Food Industry+January 3, 2011
Southern Poverty Law Center researchers interviewed approximately 150 women who are either currently undocumented or have spent time in the U.S. as undocumented immigrants. The women all have worked in the U.S. food industry in Arkansas, California, Florida, Iowa, New York or North Carolina.
Charter choices: good food, free food, no food+January 3, 2011
At Larchmont Charter School in Los Angeles, a former restaurant chef whips up pasta with fresh vegetable sauce for lunch one day; on another he offers a salad bar with figs grown on campus.

But 500 miles north, in tiny Red Bluff, lunchtime at Sacramento River Discovery Charter School is decidedly different: Students must either bring their own lunches or place orders with parent volunteers who make a daily run to Taco Bell, Burger King or Subway.

Chop, Fry, Boil: Eating for One, or 6 Billion+January 2, 2011
“Revolutionary” diet books flood the market this time of year, promising a life changed permanently and for the better — yes, in just 10 to 30 days! — but, as everyone knows, the key to eating better begins with a diet of real food.

India's farmers say climate changing brew+January 2, 2011
In this humid, lush region where an important part of the world's breakfast is born, the evidence of climate change is - literally - a weak tea.

Growers in tropical Assam state, India's main tea growing region, say rising temperatures have led not only to a drop in production but to subtle, unwelcome changes in the flavor of their brews.

New Nutrition Labeling Rules for Meat a Missed Opportunity, Says CSPI+January 2, 2011
The U.S. Department of Agriculture today released final rules for the labeling of meat and poultry--rules that have been stalled at the agency for 10 years. Unfortunately, the rules provide no new consumer benefit, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

One to Chew On: Experimental Cafes+January 2, 2011
In late 2008, Jon Rubin, an artist and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, took over a vacant Pittsburgh storefront with his students and opened the Waffle Shop, an experimental art project in the guise of a cafe.
College Students Turn to Food Banks+January 2, 2011
As hunger continues to be an increasing problem nationwide, some college campuses are opening food banks to help the growing number of students in need.
Animals Consume Lion's Share of Antibiotics+January 2, 2011
Antibiotics, one of the world's greatest medical discoveries, are slowly losing their effectiveness in fighting bacterial infections and the massive use of the drugs in food animals may be the biggest culprit. The growing threat of antibiotic resistance is largely due to the misuse and overuse of antibiotics in both people and animals, which leads to an increase in "super-bacteria".

However, people use a much smaller portion of antibiotics sold in this country compared to the amount set aside for food animals. In fact, according to new data just released by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), of the antibiotics sold in 2009 for both people and food animals almost 80 percent were reserved for livestock and poultry.
Nutrition labels on cuts of meat to debut in 2012+December 30, 2010
Those familiar nutrition labels found on everything from soda to cereal to mayonnaise will also be required on meats beginning Jan. 1, 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday.
PepsiCo's Latest Challenge: 'Snackify' Some Beverages+December 30, 2010
PepsiCo Inc. is betting that consumers want to "snackify" drinks.

As part of its strategy to tap into the market for more nutritious convenience foods, the company is hoping people will pay a premium for a new pureed fruit product that it considers thick enough to be a snack rather than a beverage.

FoodPress: Ventures Into Food+December 30, 2010
FoodPress will highlight the hottest food-related posts from The new site is a collaboration between and publishing company Federated Media, who will handle the publishing.
Calorie counts appearing on fast-food menus in California+December 30, 2010
State law that goes into effect Saturday requires calorie counts to be displayed at restaurants with 20 or more locations in California. But federal guidelines expected in March will supersede California's.
More farmers' markets sell goods all year+December 30, 2010
A growing number of farmers' markets are extending their operation into and through the winter months — even in cold-weather states such as Massachusetts.

The expansion comes as more farmers are prolonging their growing seasons with greenhouses and other methods. It's also fueled by an increased number of people who aim to eat locally produced food year-round.

Europe's Top Chefs Push for Sustainable Seafood+December 27, 2010
Faced with reports that the ocean's major commercial fish species will disappear by 2050 due to overfishing, many seafood-loving gourmets have been wondering if it's time to abandon their penchant for pesce. Governments aren't doing much to assuage those fears, having largely failed to step up with stricter regulations, as coastal nations like France, Spain and Italy lobby for the status quo. But today, a growing number of top chefs aren't waiting for their leaders to change course. "If politicians don't want to take action," says renowned French chef Olivier Roellinger, "it's up to us as chefs and consumers to do what we can to improve things." By scrapping endangered fish from their menus, and cooking up tasty eco-safe species many gastronomes have never heard of, chefs like Roellinger are launching a sustainable seafood movement, one recipe at a time.
Conference: Food and Agriculture Under the Big Sky+December 26, 2010
This is the announcement for the Joint 2011 Annual Meetings of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society (AFHVS), Association for the Study of Food and Society (ASFS), & Society for Anthropology of Food and Nutrition. The conference will be held on June 9 – 12, 2011 at the University of Montana – Missoula. The 2011 theme highlights people, partnerships and policies. Submissions are due February 11, 2011.
Inside the secret world of Trader Joe's+December 26, 2010
It's little wonder that Trader Joe's is one of the hottest retailers in the U.S. It now boasts 344 stores in 25 states and Washington, D.C., and strip-mall operators and consumers alike aggressively lobby the chain, based in Monrovia, Calif., to come to their towns. A Trader Joe's brings with it good jobs, and its presence in your community is like an affirmation that you and your neighbors are worldly and smart.
Food Sleuth Interview with Janet Poppendieck, author, 'Free For All: Fixing School Food in America'+December 26, 2010
KOPN Food Sleuth: Investigative Nutrition with Melinda Hemmelgarn, RD
Diabetes on the March+December 23, 2010
The percentage of adult Americans diagnosed with diabetes has risen steadily for the past 20 years, up to 8 percent of the population in 2008. In some regions of the country, however, the rate is nearly twice that. Since 2004, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have released estimates for each county, and mapping that data reveals that there are clusters in states like Alabama and Mississippi, where around one in seven adults is diabetic.

Organic Processing Industry Structure+December 23, 2010
The development of the USDA National Organic Standard in place of differing state/regional standards was widely predicted to accelerate trends of increasing consolidation in this sector. The first draft of the standard was released in 1997; what changes in ownership and control have since occurred?

Favorite food books of 2010 +December 23, 2010
Here at Grist Food virtual headquarters, we were grappling with the obligatory green-holiday-gift-guide pressure, batting around DIY ideas like fruit-infused vodka, home-made granola ... you know, virtuous hippie stuff. Then, perhaps like you, we procrastinated, both on this feature and our own gift-making. So on the theory that nothing beats the gift of knowledge, we asked some of our friends in the sustainable-food movement to tell us the best food-related books they read this year. And because used books are greener than new (albeit not for starving authors) we said it didn't matter what year the book was published, only that our respondents have discovered them in 2010.

African Farmers Displaced as Investors Move In+December 22, 2010
Across Africa and the developing world, a new global land rush is gobbling up large expanses of arable land. Despite their ageless traditions, stunned villagers are discovering that African governments typically own their land and have been leasing it, often at bargain prices, to private investors and foreign governments for decades to come.

Council recommends task force to find Charlottesville City Market a permanent home+December 22, 2010
At a work session in November, representatives from Market Central, a nonprofit supporting the market, asked Council to create a task force that would research new locations for the market.
Is grass-fed beef better for the environment?+December 21, 2010
Slate revisits grass-fed vs. conventional beef
New Food System Principles Emphasize Health Benefits+December 21, 2010
Efforts to improve the health and sustainability of the food system — from the local to global levels — was bolstered today with the release of the Principles of a Healthy, Sustainable Food System.

The principles were written by a new coalition bringing together the American Planning Association (APA), the American Dietetic Association (ADA), American Nurses Association (ANA), and the American Public Health Association (APHA). For the first time, national leaders in the nursing, nutrition, planning, and public health professions worked collaboratively to create a shared platform for systems-wide food policy change.
Scaling Up Local Food+December 21, 2010
The key challenge facing local food initiatives is how to scale up to the point of transforming (rather than merely
“informing”) the much larger conventional food system.
Agriculture Secretary Vilsack Announces New Steps to Meet the Challenge of Climate Change+December 21, 2010
Calling it "one of the greatest threats facing our planet," Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is taking action to meet the challenge of climate change. Speaking at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, the Secretary said USDA continues to take steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions "by helping farmers, ranchers and forest landowners to be even better conservationists."
School District’s Unique Approach to Farm to School Unifies Students, Staff and the Community+December 21, 2010
Students, teachers and food service workers have taken Farm to School to new heights at Sibley East High School in south central Minnesota, creating a self-perpetuating program that not only provides students with healthy produce, but also exposes them to food production.

When Demand is Not Enough, Challenges are Steep for American Grass-Fed Producers+December 21, 2010
Grass-fed beef has become a household name, but despite unprecedented awareness and demand, many American producers find themselves struggling to make a living, battling against infrastructural flaws brought about by decades of agricultural consolidation.
'Humane' Food Sparks Excitement, Labeling Controversy+December 20, 2010
American shoppers face a dizzying array of labels in the aisles of their groceries, most designed to help them make healthy choices. Soon they'll see yet another label — this one concerning the health of animals in the food chain.
Senate Passes Food-Safety Bill+December 20, 2010
A bill that would overhaul the nation's food-safety laws for the first time since the Great Depression came roaring back to life Sunday as Senate Democrats struck a deal with Republicans that helped overcome a technical mistake made three weeks ago and a filibuster threat that seemed likely to scuttle the legislation.

5 Myths About School Food+December 20, 2010
When President Obama signed the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act on Monday, he joked that if he hadn't been able to get the bill passed he would have been "sleeping on the couch." His wife, Michelle, laughed this off: "Let's just say, it got done so we don't have to go down that road," she told the crowd at a D.C. elementary school for the signing. The bill, which was a priority for the first lady, is designed to improve both access to and quality of school food, and it contains many provisions that will help in Michelle Obama's campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation -- and a few that may actually hurt it. The fight over how and what we feed our kids at school is a complex one; clear thinking about what we need is often hampered by persistent myths.

Food System Infrastructure: Michigan Good Food Work Group Report Series+December 19, 2010
The infrastructure section of the Good Food Charter addresses the particular need of agri-food entrepreneurs for reliable pathways to market. For Michigan to achieve the vision and goals of the charter, its agri-food
entrepreneurs need a well-functioning food system infrastructure of processing, distribution, and other facilities and services.
Leaked Memo Sheds Light on Mysterious Bee Die-Offs and Who's to Blame+December 19, 2010
The culprit may be a pesticide that the EPA has allowed on the market despite the fact that the company which makes the pesticide has failed to prove it is safe.
The Local Food Hub: A Top Ten for 2010+December 18, 2010
December is always full of them: top ten albums, top ten books, top ten movies...even the top 10 tweets! I figured Local Food Hub should get in on the list-making fun, too, so without further ado...
Year of mystery meat: Blogger eats school lunch every day +December 18, 2010
A forgotten lunch one day turned into part of a movement for national reform.
Food Studies Conference: Call for Papers+December 17, 2010
Deadline: January 4, 2011

The 2011 Conference will be held at the University of Nevada Las Vegas, Las Vegas NV, USA from 8-10 December 2011.

The 2011 Food Studies Conference committee invites "prospective participants to submit a presentation proposal for one of the following parallel session options: a 30-minute paper; a 60-minute workshop; a jointly presented 90-minute colloquium session; or a virtual session. We also encourage innovative presentation formats, such as roundtables, staged dialogues, screenings and performances. Parallel sessions are loosely grouped into streams reflecting different perspectives or disciplines. Each stream forms a talking circle, an informal forum for focused discussion of issues and Conference themes."
Governor Paterson Announces Executive Order to Promote Sustainable Local Farms+December 17, 2010
Governor David A. Paterson today announced that he has signed Executive Order No. 39, establishing State policies for the promotion of sustainable local farms and the protection of agricultural lands.
Pigs jammed in crates, abused at farm, Humane Society says+December 17, 2010
The Humane Society of the United States said yesterday that an undercover worker at a farm owned by the world’s largest pork producer saw breeding pigs abused and crammed into small gestation crates.
Project FishMap Finds Restaurants, Markets That Sell Sustainable Seafood +December 17, 2010
The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch iPhone app has long been helpful to consumers searching for sustainable seafood in the grocery store and on restaurant menus. But it's still kind of a hassle to sit down at a restaurant, only to find out that they serve mostly endangered seafood. So the Monterey Bay Aquarium has decided to make things even easier with Project FishMap, a new feature on the app that maps restaurants and markets that offer sustainably sourced seafood.

The Ag Hearings Are Over - Is That All There Is? +December 17, 2010
There was excitement in the sustainable food community and trepidation among at least some Agribusiness CEOs back in 2009 when Attorney General Eric Holder and USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack announced a year-long public look at antitrust issues in farming and food production. Those hearings, or workshops as the agencies called them, came to an end last week in Washington, DC.

Institutional Food Purchasing: Michigan Good Food Work Group Report Series+December 16, 2010
All Michigan residents are touched by institutions and their food purchasing decisions in some way:
our sons and daughters participate in the lunch program at school; members of the next generation
nourish themselves in college and university dining halls; our friends and family members are cared for
at hospitals and healthcare facilities. In 2008, spending on food away from home in the United States
was 48.5 percent ($565 billion) of total food expenditures ($1,165.3 billion).I Schools and colleges
along with eating and drinking places, recreational places, hotels and motels, retail stores and direct
selling, and other establishments are the major categories that the U.S. Department of Agriculture
Economic Research Service uses to determine expenditures on food away from home. K-12 schools
in Michigan, for example, spend about $200 million on food. Michigan State University (MSU) Food
Stores, which supplies food to residential dining halls on campus, spent approximately $22 million on
food and non-food items in fiscal year 2006-2007; $2.1 million, about 10 percent of that budget, was spent on produce.2 With so many meals consumed away from home, we must address institutional food purchasing as we develop a Good Food Charter for Michigan.
Field Report: The Accidental Farmer+December 16, 2010
If you’re supposed to make lemonade when life hands you lemons, what do you do when your divorce, following on the heels of breast cancer and Hurricane Katrina, leaves you with hundreds of your ex’s citrus trees in full fruit?

C.D.C. Offers Lower Estimate of Food Poisoning+December 16, 2010
The federal government on Wednesday significantly cut its estimate of how many Americans get sick every year from tainted food.

But that does not mean that food poisoning is declining or that farms and factories are producing safer food. Instead, officials said, the government’s researchers are just getting better at calculating how much foodborne illness is out there.
Freedom, Justice, and Bananas+December 16, 2010
We need cheap food, after all, and traditionally, fruit, food, and international agricultural companies have been among the worst abusers of labor rights, all in the name of cheapness. The ILRF’s list confirms that tradition is in full swing. Here’s the bottom five “Scrooge” companies for 2010:

• Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BGMEA)
• Chiquita
• Dole
• Del Monte
• R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company

McDonald's Plans Major Expansion in China +December 15, 2010
McDonald's Corp. is planning its biggest ever expansion in China as it faces mounting challenges from competitors and higher food costs amid rising inflation.
Vertical Farming: Does it Really Stack Up?+December 14, 2010
Growing crops in vertical farms in the heart of cities is said to be a greener way to produce food. But the idea is still unproven.
Economic Impact of Localizing Detroit's Food System+December 13, 2010
What would be the economic impact of encouraging residents in and around Detroit to purchase more local food and beverages? In a word – major.

This report by Michael Shuman demonstrates how just in the city of Detroit, shifting 20% of food spending would increase annual output by nearly half a billion dollars.

Happy Terra Madre Day: A Message from Slow Food Founder Carlo Petrini+December 10, 2010
A message from Slow Food President Carlo Petrini (in Italian with English subtitles).
The Beekeeper Next Door+December 10, 2010
Nationwide, hives are being tucked into small backyards and set alongside driveways; even the White House has installed some. Beekeeping classes are filling up quickly, and new beekeeping clubs are forming at the same time that established ones are reporting large jumps in membership.

Slow Food Members Head to DC to Level The Farming Field+December 10, 2010
Yesterday, hundreds of people descended on Washington DC for the Department of Justice and the Department of Agriculture’s joint public workshops to explore how corporate monopolies affect food and farming in the U.S. Although we came from different sectors of the food system for the fifth and final of these year-long hearings, we all spoke out in our shared role—the consumer.

Food Alliance Links Fresno County Food Chain+December 10, 2010
Fresno County growers, environmentalists and government officials are coming together in hopes of giving the poor greater access to healthy food and keeping farmers in business.
The 10 Biggest Food Stories of 2010+December 8, 2010
2010 was a big year for food policy—particularly because our country's diet became the focus of two major pieces of legislation: one to keep our meals safe from pathogens like Salmonella, the other to feed America's children more and better food. But alongside these twin pillars of food news stand a host of other developments and trends. Here, as part of The Atlantic's end-of-year round-up, we present you with the 10 biggest food stories of 2010: the stuff we just couldn't stop talking about, thinking about, or eating.

Hard Cider's Popularity on Upswing in Virginia+December 8, 2010
Once upon a time, apple cider was America's beverage of choice.

Of course, there weren't a lot of choices in Colonial America.

The water was iffy, and growing grapes was tricky.

"If you take the consumption of Pepsi-Cola and CocaCola today, you could equate that with . . . the consumption per capita for cider at that time," said Tom Burford, nurseryman, orchard designer and apple historian from Lynchburg. "It was the drink."

Much to Burford's delight -- and partly due to his efforts -- cider and the largely forgotten varieties of apples used to make it are enjoying a comeback.
Why Free-Range Meat Isn't Much Better Than Factory-Farmed+December 8, 2010
We believe animals deserve living under conditions that allow them the chance to seek happiness (which is not to say they won't become another animal's lunch).
New Group to Focus on Iowa’s Food and Farms+December 8, 2010
The Iowa Food Systems Council is an emerging non-profit organization whose mission is to develop and recommend policy, program and research initiatives for a food system which supports healthier Iowans, families, farms and communities.

Drink Tax: Why We Should Tax Soda +December 7, 2010
It has been argued that unlike tobacco, soda is food. But can something that contains no nutritive benefit and provides no feeling of satiety really be categorized as food? Let's call it what it is -- high fructose corn syrup processed with artificial ingredients and water -- the very opposite of food. This nonfood has hidden subsidies that keep it the cheapest thing in the market basket. Are fresh vegetables subsidized? Are fruits? Tax soda, and no one loses except Big Food, Big Pharma and Big Weight Loss.

Press Release: NY State Council Food Policy Issues Report [History, Vision and Actions: New York State Food Policy Recommendations] To Governor Paterson+December 7, 2010
Report: Highlights History and Vision of Food Policy in New York State

"The overall health of our state will improve if we can make our eating habits healthier. The creation of the New York State Council on Food Policy demonstrates that government can work in partnership with communities and food producers to insure that all New Yorkers, particularly senior citizens, children, and those who struggle to afford healthy foods are aware of and have easy access to a nutritious, balanced diet."

Long Islanders Get a Taste of Hunger in America+December 6, 2010
For seven years, Daniel Grinberg worked to help feed Long Island's hungry. He and his family worked in soup kitchens. They collected food and distributed it to the needy. He volunteered his time as a board member of Island Harvest, a hunger relief organization.

But - as Grinberg and his family would volunteer to find out - it is one thing to help the hungry. It's another to feel some tiny measure of what thousands of Long Islanders have no choice but to endure almost daily.

Red Tape Tangles Chicago Chefs Wanting to Improve School Lunch+December 6, 2010
Chefs find barriers to school food change but vow to keep stirring the pot.
Congratulations to the Buford Schoolyard Garden!+December 3, 2010
Big Meat vs. Michael Pollan+December 3, 2010
A beef industry group crusades to stop the Pollan-ation of America's college students.

Global Experts: Warming Could Double Food Prices+December 2, 2010
Even if we stopped spewing global warming gases today, the world would face a steady rise in food prices this century. But on our current emissions path, climate change becomes the "threat multiplier" that could double grain prices by 2050 and leave millions more children malnourished, global food experts reported Wednesday.
Our Unsustainable Table – Another Global Food Crisis?+November 30, 2010
Fifty-seven-million Americans don’t get enough to eat, and massive amounts of food go to waste. At the same time much of the world depends on American agri-business. Is going local a better way?
Big Food, Big Agra, and the Research University+November 30, 2010
Food scientist Marion Nestle talks with Academe about conflicts of interest between food companies and academics, the difference between food products and food, and the problem with pomegranates.

100-Mile Thanksgiving Feast Relies on Regional Food Sources+November 30, 2010
It was food and fellowship with a local flavor one week early at the annual "100-mile Thanksgiving" potluck dinner.

Welcome to Farm School+November 30, 2010
A new generation of farmers is digging into books before they go out in the field.

Instead of a CSA, How About Agriculture-Supported Community?+November 30, 2010
If the CSA members are sustaining the farm financially, the farm is also sustaining its members by providing them with sustenance. This is how it’s always been: farms and gardens are the foundation, the very pre-requisites, of any civilization. So shouldn’t we also be talking about agriculture-supported communities?

Sustainable Dining Brings Local, Organic Food to Virginia Tech+November 29, 2010
They say you are what you eat, but very few of us stop to consider where our food comes from and how it is produced.

Virginia Tech Dining Services has joined the movement to increase sustainability with the Farms and Fields Project.
Charlottesville Moms Take on Big Fast Food+November 29, 2010
Moms fight back, the first line of defense against clowns with bad intentions.
A Stale Food Fight+November 29, 2010
The best opportunity in a generation to improve the safety of the American food supply will come as early as Monday night, when the Senate is scheduled to vote on the F.D.A. Food Safety Modernization bill.
One Penny More +November 29, 2010
Help make fair food a reality in the supermarket industry. Take action at

USDA Funds the Farmer-Veteran Coalition to Transition Veterans into Agriculture Careers+November 29, 2010
Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has announced that The Farmer-Veteran Coalition (FVC) will receive a grant from the USDA’s Risk Management Agency (RMA) to assist the transition of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars into careers in farming.

Restaurants Share Food With Needy+November 29, 2010
Behind the scenes, a sophisticated logistics network connects some of the country’s biggest restaurant brands — KFC, Pizza Hut, the Cheesecake Factory, Panera Bread, Chipotle Mexican Grill and Darden Restaurants — with nonprofits, charities and other groups that need prepared food.
The new front in the culture wars: food+November 28, 2010
For the good-food revolution to have a chance, people have to make finding and preparing fresh food a priority at a time when everything about our modern food system urges us not to bother.
Junking Junk Food+November 28, 2010
Nearly 40% of the total calories consumed by 2-18 year olds are in the form of empty calories.
New York City Council's Food Works Report+November 24, 2010
Fascinating, comprehensive, historically-rich report; divides food system into five components:
agricultural productionprocessing
A Terroir-ist's Manifesto for Eating in Place, Gary Nabhan+November 23, 2010
On behalf of Renewing America's Food Traditions (RAFT).
Council to Report on New York’s Food Industry, From Seed to Compost+November 23, 2010
City Council Analyzes New York's Food Industry
Divided We Eat: What Food Says About Class in America+November 23, 2010
As more of us indulge our passion for local, organic delicacies, a growing number of Americans don't have enough nutritious food to eat. How we can bridge the gap.
USDA Publishes National Farmers Market Directory Online+November 23, 2010
The U.S. Department of Agriculture today announced a series of enhancements to the USDA National Farmers Market Directory, including a mapping feature and reformatted data sets. The data sets and widget are also available on in support of the USDA’s Open Gov efforts.
First Lady Michelle Obama Cites Salad Bars as Tools for Better Child Nutrition +November 23, 2010
Let's move salad bars to schools.
'Real Food' Collective Opens for Business Next to Berkeley Campus+November 22, 2010
Berkeley students' store offers sustainable, local fare on Bancroft Way
Small Cheesemake Defies F.D.A. Over Recall+November 22, 2010
Kelli Estrella, a farmer and award-winning cheesemaker, has become a symbol in a national debate over how much the government should regulate small farmers.
Hook Cover Story - Coop de Grass: Charlottesville Eggsellent Adventure+November 18, 2010
Children's Junk Food Ads "Made For Adults"+November 17, 2010
Advertisers are bypassing rules aimed at curbing junk food marketing to children by claiming their ads are targeting adults, an analysis claims.

Walgreens Tackles 'Food Deserts'+November 14, 2010
Among students of the contemporary metropolis, “food deserts” have become a widely known problem. The term is generally used to describe urban neighborhoods where there are few grocers selling fresh produce, but a cornucopia of fast-food places and convenience stores selling salty snacks (though, strictly speaking, the term can be applied to rural or suburban areas, too). Often the problem afflicts low-income areas abandoned or shunned by food businesses that focus on better-off consumers; the residents of food deserts, apparently, are not providing enough profit to be offered more healthful grub. These are places where the market for nutritious sustenance has essentially failed.

Perhaps the marketplace can reverse its own failure, but a little prodding from other entities may be required. One example emerged this summer in Chicago when Walgreens, the drugstore chain founded in that city more than 100 years ago, started selling an expanded selection of food, including fresh fruits and vegetables, at 10 locations selected because they were in food deserts. The experiment in creating these “food oases” is intriguing because it involves a well-known retail brand not typically associated with groceries — and, really, because it involves a well-known retail brand at all...
"Urban Farmer Michael Beauchamp," an episode of The Bob Edwards Show [podcast]+November 12, 2010
A brief [~10 minute] conversation with Michael Beauchamp, "a pharmacist and community gardener who lives across the street from The Hollygrove Market and Farm [in New Orleans]. He grows flowers and vegetables in several raised beds." This is a small food-related selection from a seven-part series on post-Katrina and mid-Oil Spill New Orleans called No Place Like Home.
Vegetables Are The New Meat+November 10, 2010
At serious restaurants all over town, carrots, peas, and the like are no longer just the supporting cast—they’re the stars. Move over locavores, here come the vegivores.
+November 10, 2010
"Back to the Farm," an episode of To the Best of Our Knowledge [podcast]+November 10, 2010
This (free) podcast from Wisconsin Public Radio brings familiar and new voices to the conversation on local food and sustainable agriculture. The one-hour program includes these segments:

In Defense of Food - Michael Pollan
Tomatoes & Honey - Farmer's Market
Raising Goats - Brad Kessler
Cherries & Cheese - Farmer's Market
Off the Grid - Lynda Barry
Boutique Farming - Michael Perry

Also see here for the web-link to the audio file if you have trouble opening the *.rm file above.
Real Food into University Cafeterias: a Billion Dollar Challenge+November 9, 2010
The Real Food Challenge unites students for just and sustainable food. Harnessing the power of university purchasing budgets, RFC leaders across the country are working with universities and food service companies to shift $1 billion of existing purchases to "real food" by 2020 and are setting new standards for transparency and accountability. By convening, connecting, training and supporting young leaders, the RFC is growing a youth movement for food justice. In just a few short years, students on over 350 campuses have connected to the RFC network, while 17 universities have "taken the challenge" and committed over $30 million toward their "real food" spending goal.

In this webinar you will learn the history and evolution of the RFC, the dramatic impact this young organization has already had, as well as how universities are creating innovation and collaboration with students on creating sustainable food services. The presentation will introduce you to the Real Food Calculator, a tool created by RFC, which provides in-depth definitions of "real food" and a tracking system for institutional purchasing. You will hear from two co-founders of the Real Food Challenge as well as three different and inspiring stories of major purchasing changes – presented by a student, UCSB's Assistant Dining director and Pacific Northwest President for NACUFS, and an alumna who has gone on to pursue food system work after graduation.

The Politics of Cheese+November 8, 2010
While Warning About Fat, U.S. Pushes Cheese Sales
Mitchell.This Little Piggy Went to Market (Maisonneuve)+November 3, 2010
An story based on this prompt: "As more consumers demand ethically-produced meat, can boutique butchers really feed a population?"

"While the heightened profile of factory farming has prompted unease among conscientious consumers, upscale options like organic produce and niche-market butchers remain inaccessible to most families. Industrial food production—ten-thousand-sow confinement operations that have made raising pigs a uniform process, just like putting together a Model-T—makes one-dollar pork chops possible. There’s just one problem: this system can’t last."
San Francisco bans Happy Meals+November 3, 2010
"Linking Farmers to Restaurants" ( 21, 2010
Here's a local news story about Fresh Link, a business serving Virginia and North Carolina that aggregates and delivers "fresh, local food to area restaurants, providing a sustainable business for small farmers."
Grist's "Feeding the City" Series on Urban Agriculture+October 21, 2010
This 20-part series (as of October 21, 2010) explores "the many alternative food systems taking root in major cities around the country, with profiles of New Orleans, Baltimore, Detroit, Oakland, Philadelphia, and Seattle. [It introduces] agtivists such as Annie Novak, who’s farming a rooftop in Brooklyn (above), and Gene Fredericks, who’s got a wildly ambitious plan for abandoned big-box retail stores in blighted urban neighborhoods. [And it shows] you painless ways to compost, even if you live in a studio apartment, and some of the ingenious places that urbanites have found to grow food."

It also addresses "food justice" issues and discusses the limits of "agricultural urbanism."
Howard. Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Seed Industry: 1996–2008 (Sustainability)+October 21, 2010
This graphic accompanies Philip Howard's article on Seed Consolidation since 1996, offering a visual tool relevant for discussions of the economic and business context of agriculture and speaking to corporate dynamics of the commercial seed industry. As the abstract says: "The commercial seed industry has undergone tremendous consolidation in the last 40 years as transnational corporations entered this agricultural sector, and acquired or merged with competing firms. This trend is associated with impacts that constrain the opportunities for renewable agriculture, such as reductions in seed lines and a declining prevalence of seed saving. To better characterize the current structure of the industry, ownership changes from 1996 to 2008 are represented visually with information graphics. Since the commercialization of transgenic crops in the mid-1990s, the sale of seeds has become dominated globally by Monsanto, DuPont and Syngenta. In addition, the largest firms are increasingly networked through agreements to cross-license transgenic seed traits."

Full article citation is:
Howard, P. H. 2009. Visualizing Consolidation in the Global Seed Industry: 1996–2008. Sustainability, 1(4), 1266-1287
"Tiers of the Food System: A new way of thinking about local and regional food"+October 18, 2010
UW-Madison's Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems is twenty years old and part of the Wisconsin Institute for Sustainable Agriculture (try here ). They publish working papers from their research group that are useful and insightful for students, policy-makers, and researchers. A recent one, "Tiers of the Food System," offers a framework identifying five different levels of relationships between food producers and consumers. The link above goes to a pdf of that report.
Wal-Mart Goes Local?+October 14, 2010
"What's On Your Plate?" FORUM on Thursday 10/7+October 6, 2010
The UVa Food Collaborative presents "What's On Your Plate: A Public Forum on Local Food and the Media", on Thursday, October 7th, from 4 to 6pm at the new LEED-certified Jefferson Scholars Foundation building at 112 Clarke Court.

This free panel will feature three of today's pre-eminent food writers and thinkers: Marian Burros, food columnist, New York Times and Flavor Magazine; Tom Philpott, food editor,; and James McWilliams, author, Just Food: Where Locavores Get it Wrong and How We Can Truly Eat Responsibly. The panel will be moderated by Benjamin Cohen, historian, agrarian studies scholar, and Food Collaborative coordinator. Be a part of the discussion on alternative agriculture and the media forces that are shaping our perceptions of the sustainable food movement.

A locally sourced reception, highlighting produce from Charlottesville area farms, will immediately follow the forum. The UTS Blue Route and Trolley route both stop directly in front of the building. These are the recommended access points for the event as parking is extremely limited at the Foundation building.
Food Justice+October 3, 2010
A new book (2010) by Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi from MIT Press: "In today's food system, farm workers face difficult and hazardous conditions, low-income neighborhoods lack supermarkets but abound in fast-food restaurants and liquor stores, food products emphasize convenience rather than wholesomeness, and the international reach of American fast-food franchises has been a major contributor to an epidemic of 'globesity.' To combat these inequities and excesses, a movement for food justice has emerged in recent years seeking to transform the food system from seed to table. In Food Justice, Robert Gottlieb and Anupama Joshi tell the story of this emerging movement....The first comprehensive inquiry into this emerging movement, Food Justice addresses the increasing disconnect between food and culture that has resulted from our highly industrialized food system."
Berkeley's New School Food Study: A Victory for Alice Waters+September 25, 2010
A brief commentary over at The Atlantic on some scientific support for this: Children who grow their own food (and prepare and eat it too) make healthier food choices.
Doctor's Orders: Eat Well to Be Well+September 24, 2010
This article explores how eating right should be at the center of tackling many of our health care and health problems in the nation.
Local Food System Assessment for Northern Virginia+September 22, 2010
An assessment focusing on the successes and challenges of local food in the Piedmont Region of Northern Virginia, co-authored by UVA grad Megan Bucknum (and as noted by Carla Jones in the member blogs page). The report covers 13 counties, from No. Va. south to UVA's home in Albemarle County.
Cultivating the Web+September 9, 2010
A good resource that brings together local food and on-line technology. "Cultivating the Web shares success stories from folks who’ve harnessed the power of the web to further the sustainable food movement and includes quotes from Joan Gussow, Marion Nestle, Bill McKibben, Tom Philpott, Bonnie Powell, Kerry Trueman, Anya Fernald and Fritz Haeg. The book also includes a comprehensive list of web resources for all sorts of good food fighters, from farmers to foodies to activists." (As found here.)
Commercial Organic Farms Have Better Fruit and Soil, Lower Environmental Impact, Study Finds+September 6, 2010
Side-by-side comparisons of organic and conventional strawberry farms and their fruit found the organic farms produced more flavorful and nutritious berries while leaving the soil healthier and more genetically diverse. This, from a report by researchers at Washington State University summarized in the above link at Science Daily, as found in the original article in PLoS, "Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry Agroecosystems".

Our call for presentations has been extended to September 10th, and we urge you to consider participating as a speaker or as a participant. The World Town Planning Day International Online Conference is an inexpensive way to earn CM and a great opportunity to network with your international peers!

This year's conference theme is Healthy Places, Healthy People, Healthy Planet: Integrating Food Systems into the Planning Process. This is a great opportunity to gain valuable CM credits while learning about global issues and networking with international planners.

Do you have an interesting experience in planning food systems planning to share? Proposals for conference sessions are now open (click here to download a proposal information sheet).

The APA International Division has partnered with planning organisations around the world - from Europe to the South Pacific - to focus on Integrating Food Systems into the Planning. Visit the conference website at for more details!

Beth Offenbacker
Waterford, Inc.
Public Involvement Consultants to the Public and Private Sectors
T -- 703.261.4276
C -- 703.623.4811

Chair, International Division of the American Planning Association, serving planners in the U.S. and 21 countries
Co-founder, APA Public Engagement Interest Group
Life Member, International Association for Public Participation
Member, National Coalition for Dialogue and Deliberation
Math Lessons for Locavores+September 5, 2010
In this NYT op-ed, the author blogger, Stephen Budiansky of Leesburg, VA, makes the provocative point that the energy equation of local food is not as straightforward as some of his friends (?) might have it.
Nature's Matrix: Linking Agriculture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty+September 5, 2010
This book argues that biodiversity and sustainable agriculture need each other. The authors, Ivette Perfecto, John Vandermeer and Angus Wright , argue that recent advances in ecological research make the major trends of some large conservation organizations that emphasize targeted land purchases of protected areas anachronistic. Combining alternative agroecological techniques with rural social movements, the authors call instead for solidarity with the small farmers around the world who are currently struggling to attain food sovereignty.
Economic Research Report No. (ERR-97) from the USDA (May 2010)+August 18, 2010
This comprehensive overview of local food systems explores alternative definitions of local food, estimates market size and reach, describes the characteristics of local consumers and producers, and examines early indications of the economic and health impacts of local food systems. There is no consensus on a definition of local or local food systems in terms of the geographic distance between production and consumption. But defining local based on marketing arrangements, such as farmers selling directly to consumers at regional farmers markets or to schools, is well recognized. Statistics suggest that local food markets account for a small, but growing, share of U.S. agricultural production. For smaller farms, direct marketing to consumers accounts for a higher percentage of their sales than for larger farms. Findings are mixed on the impact of local food systems on local economic development and better nutrition levels among consumers, and sparse literature is so far inconclusive about whether localization reduces energy use or greenhouse gas emissions.
What are we eating? What the average American consumes in a year+August 18, 2010
Beyond illustrating a few surprising stats, the graphic lets you see how far from the norm each of you might be. Amidst the stats of average consumption per year are these: 29 lbs. of french fries, 23 lbs. of pizza, 24 lbs. of artificial sweeteners
Smart city governments grow produce for the people+August 6, 2010
There's a new breed of urban agriculture germinating throughout the country, one whose seeds come from an unlikely source.

Local government officials from Baltimore, Md., to Bainbridge Island, Wash. are plowing under the ubiquitous hydrangeas, petunias, daylilies, and turf grass around public buildings, and planting fruits and vegetables instead -- as well as in underutilized spaces in our parks, plazas, street medians, and even parking lots. The new attitude at forward-thinking city halls seems to be, in a tough economy, why expend precious resources growing ornamental plants, when you can grow edible ones? And the bounty from these municipal gardens -- call it public produce -- not only promotes healthy eating, it bolsters food security simply by providing passersby with ready access to low- or no-cost fresh fruits and vegetables.
Robin. Seeds of Suicide (Guernica)+June 27, 2010
Baertlein. U.S. schools add fresh food without busting budgets (Reuters)+June 18, 2010
Brown. For Urban Farming Wisdom, Look to Japan (The Atlantic)+June 18, 2010
Leyden. A Weekend at Farm Camp, With Lessons in the Earthy Side of Food (NYT)+June 18, 2010
Neuman and Pollack. Farmers Cope With Roundup-Resistant Weeds (NYT)+June 18, 2010
Prine.Vilsack confident farm programs will help Pennsylvania (Pittsburgh Tribune-Review)+June 18, 2010
Rastogi. A Rind Is a Terrible Thing To Waste (Slate)+June 18, 2010
Hayes. Meet the Radical Homemakers. (Yes Magazine)+June 14, 2010
Huffstutter. Backyard gardens become income generators in lean times (LA Times)+June 7, 2010
Cannon. Chew On It [UVA J-Term Food Politics Course] (UVA Today)+June 3, 2010
Cohn. Baltimore names its first food czar (Baltimore Sun)+June 1, 2010
Arieff. Agriculture is the New Golf. (Good Magazine)+May 30, 2010
Pollan. The Food Movement, Rising (The New York Review of Books)+May 27, 2010
Cunningham. Food Fighter: Tom Philpott. (CJR)+May 21, 2010
[Infographic.] Food spending in the biggest U.S. cities. ( 21, 2010
Tubbs. UVA Planning Students Audit Area Food Systems (Cville Tomorrow)+May 18, 2010
Ford. For Benjamin Chrisinger, Sustainability is a Widely Encompassing Field. (UVA Today)+May 11, 2010
Bittman. The Future of Food (Yale Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity)+May 7, 2010
Field. Distributors Slow To Embrace Local Food Movement. (NPR)+May 3, 2010
Bernstein. It’s a sad day for Happy Meals in Santa Clara County. (LA Times)+April 29, 2010
Muhlke. Fresh Direction: A Farm-To-Table Restaurant (NYT Magazine)+April 29, 2010
Pasternack. A Landshare Grapevine Linking Gardeners With Gardens. (TreeHugger)+April 29, 2010
Kummer. The Great Grocery Smackdown (The Atlantic)+April 23, 2010
Woody. Selling Agriculture 2.0 to Silicon Valley. (NYT).+April 23, 2010
Twilley. United States of Food (Edible Geography)+April 11, 2010
Fabricant. Heirloom Apple Crops Increase. (NYT)+April 9, 2010
Fairfield. Factory Food. (NYT)+April 9, 2010
Fairfield. Factory Food. (NYT): Packaged v. Fresh Infographic+April 9, 2010
[Infographic.] Everything You Need to Know about Fast Food. (Online Schools)+April 9, 2010
Dodd. Giant Greenhouses Mean Flavorful Tomatoes All Year (NYT)+April 4, 2010
Homegrown Revolution. Urban Homestead Gardens (You Tube)+April 4, 2010
Wilson. The Last Bite: Is the world's food system collapsing? (The New Yorker)+March 19, 2010
Wise. The True Cost of Cheap Food (Resurgence)+March 19, 2010
Bittman. What's wrong with what we eat (TED)+March 18, 2010
Cooper. "Renegade Lunch Lady"" (TED)"+March 18, 2010
Food Security and Health Disparities (Unnatural Causes - PBS)+March 18, 2010
Fowler. One seed at a time, protecting the future of food (TED)+March 18, 2010
Oliver. Teach every child about food (TED)+March 18, 2010
Pollan. Plant's-eye view (TED)+March 18, 2010
Steel. How food shapes our cities (TED)+March 18, 2010
Waters. The Morality of Food (Washington Post)+March 18, 2010
Ornstein. The Femivore's Dilemma (NYTimes)+March 15, 2010



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