Wendell Berry receives humanities medal from Obama
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. “The author of more than 40 books, Mr. Berry has spent his career exploring our relationship with the land and community,” said the citation. Courier Journal Kentucky article.
Save Climate and Double Food Production with Eco-Farming
Eco-farming could double food production in entire regions within 10 years while mitigating climate change, according to a new U.N. report released Tuesday in Geneva. An urgent transformation to ‘eco-farming’ is the only way to end hunger and face the challenges of climate change and rural poverty, said Olivier De Schutter, U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food, following the presentation of his annual report focusing on agro-ecology and the right to food to the U.N. Human Rights Council. “Agro-ecology mimics nature not industrial processes. It replaces the external inputs like fertiliser with knowledge of how a combination of plants, trees and animals can enhance productivity of the land,” De Schutter told IPS, stressing that, “Yields went up 214 percent in 44 projects in 20 countries in sub-Saharan Africa using agro-ecological farming techniques over a period of 3 to 10 years… far more than any GM [genetically modified] crop has ever done.” IPS News story.
Jamie Oliver: One year later, five major announcements
“One year ago, the incomparable Jamie Olive came to TED and made a wish that kids should be taught what healthy food was. That families would start cooking again. And that people everywhere would join the fight against obesity.” Chris Anderson just said these words onstage at TED, to introduce Jamie Oliver. Who comes to TED with news! Just this morning, Jamie Oliver and the American Heart Association (AHA) announced the formation of a partnership to open Food Revolution Kitchens -– community-based centers where people can learn basic cooking skills and how to prepare affordable, nutritious meals. Their goal is to have at least five kitchen centers within the next 18 months, with plans underway for New York, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Baltimore and Dallas. TED blog.
Sizing Food Safety to Fit Small Farms
Most farmers would rather sift through a batch of seeds than a pile of paperwork. Yet selling to the public requires a food safety plan, which means time spent behind the desk in addition to out in the field. Now an innovative program in Washington state aims to create streamlined guidelines for food safety that will allow small farms to profit from the local food movement without getting bogged down in bureaucracy. Like many schools across the country, the Vashon Island School District is replacing ready-made school lunches with more nutritious meals prepared from fresh ingredients. Some of those ingredients will now be even fresher, because they will come from local farmers who have opted to sell fruits and vegetables to the district. Food Safety News story.
Farm Bill 2012: Eaters Deserve a Place at the Table
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. Civil Eats article.
Local Food Marketplace (Oregon)
Local Food Marketplace is a software company that provides software and services for online farmers markets. We believe that eating locally is fundamental in building a more sustainable world. Our aim with Local Food Marketplace is to increase the amount of food purchased and eaten locally by providing an online avenue for farmers to connect with consumers, restaurants, and institutions directly. We are a for-profit, market member-driven corporation that seeks to provide a vehicle for success for local food entrepreneurs while increasing local food purchases. Website.
Maine Town Declares Food ‘Sovereignty’
Following the lead of Sedgwick, Maine to exempt itself from state and federal food safety regulations, three other towns in Hancock County are now poised to adopt similar “food sovereignty” measures. Titled “The Ordinance to Protect the Health and Integrity of the Local Food System,” Sedgwick’s four-page document invokes the town’s right to self-governance, and states that local producers and processors may sell food to consumers without licensing. “We have faith in our citizens’ ability to educate themselves and make informed decisions,” reads the ordinance, which was adopted unanimously March 5 at a meeting of about 100 residents. Food Safety News story.
Micro Dairies Crucial to Local Food Renaissance
If dairy farming is to remain part of Vermont’s agricultural future it must adjust to changing market realities and practice sustainable environmental management. Micro dairy farming offers one viable solution to producing farm fresh milk for local markets. Milk sold directly from the farm can limit production to match demand while, at the same time, allow micro dairy farmers to capture the full value of their milk. An average micro dairy farm of four pasture-grazing and relaxed cows can easily produce 20 gallons of milk a day — enough to supply 60 average families (or 180 people within a typical Vermont neighborhood community). One thousand micro dairy farms throughout the Vermont landscape could each produce 6,000 gallons of local milk per year for the communities where the cows actually live. Farmers selling milk directly from their farms at $7 per gallon would generate $42 million in gross sales for the state. Food Safety News story.
Essex Agricultural and Technical High School
Essex Ag-Tech High School is an independent, state funded, day school serving grades 9 through 12 in the Hathorne section of Danvers, Massachusetts. Founded in 1913, Essex Aggie serves all of Massachusetts, with transportation provided to students within a 20 mile radius of the school. Welcome to Essex Aggie! If you’re looking for an innovative school that caters to your unique learning style and future goals, this is the place to be. Come on in, and find out what makes Essex Aggie a great match for you! Our 166-acres are alive with activity! Choose from a full range of athletics, extracurricular events and clubs, and a unique hands-on curriculum that you won’t find at any other area high school. Website.
Smithefield launches video series on pork production and sustainability
Smithfield Foods, Inc. announced today that it is launching a new, educational series of videos providing an in-depth, behind-the-scenes look at pork production and sustainability practices at the company’s Murphy-Brown hog farms. The seven videos can be viewed on YouTube, SchoolTube and www.murphybrownllc.com. Murphy-Brown LLC is Smithfield’s livestock production subsidiary based in North Carolina. The videos, which run from three to 10 minutes each, were shot at Murphy-Brown facilities across the United States. MeatingPlace.com story.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
10 Key Trends in Food, Nutrition & Health 2011
This is the food and beverage industry’s most important guide to the business trends in nutrition and health. Companies all over the world already use our trends analysis to inform their innovation, R&D and marketing strategies. Whether you are in ingredient supply or consumer foods and beverages, our annual forecast 10 Key Trends provides unrivalled practical insights. 10 Key Trends provides you with broad and deep insights – all backed with supermarket sales data and our trademark to-the-point opinions. Each trend analysis in this report gives a concise bullet-point summary of the trend and of the key factors we believe can contribute to enduring success. Just Food list.