Food Miles and local food
Lately, the idea about how many miles a typical meal has traveled has garnered much attention. The average meal in the United States travels 1,500 miles (Sarah DeWeerdt). That figure probably shocks many people and many local food advocates point at that number as a major strength in their argument for local food. The “food miles” do matter but does not give the entire picture of how environmentally friendly a food is. Sara DeWeerdt, a writer for World Watch Magazine, wrote an illuminating article regarding food miles. Kristin MacQuarrie blog.
Is Local Food Better?
In 1993, a Swedish researcher calculated that the ingredients of a typical Swedish breakfast-apple, bread, butter, cheese, coffee, cream, orange juice, sugar-traveled a distance equal to the circumference of the Earth before reaching the Scandinavian table. In 2005, a researcher in Iowa found that the milk, sugar, and strawberries that go into a carton of strawberry yogurt collectively journeyed 2,211 miles (3,558 kilometers) just to get to the processing plant. As the local-food movement has come of age, this concept of “food miles” (or “-kilometers”)-roughly, the distance food travels from farm to plate-has come to dominate the discussion, particularly in the United States, the United Kingdom, and parts of Western Europe. Sarah DeWeerdt writing for World Watch Magazine.
City food plan revealed
New Haven’s food culture could soon see some improvements. The New Haven Food Policy Council, an organization that develops food policy within the city, unveiled the first draft of its New Haven Food Action Plan earlier this month, which aims to create an overarching vision of New Haven’s food administration. While the food council cannot implement any of the recommendations itself, the plan provides guidance to city and local non-profits in crafting a successful city-wide food policy. Yale Daily news.
Consumers to shape food trends: report
When it comes to major food trends, the next big one could have far more to do with consumers. Innova Market Insights released its ongoing analysis of trends and developments in new food product activity. The market research firm identified 10 top trends. The first trend is called the Aware Shopper. Innova says as shoppers are more informed and knowledgeable about value and health, they will influence the food market. And they’ll be supported by mounting pressure from lobby groups, NGOs and celebrities who are calling more and more for transparency, credibility and accountability for the industry. Food in Canada post.
Main Street bakery opens up, features local produce
Pies, cupcakes, muffins, cinnamon rolls, cakes, breads, coffee cakes, candies — the Kitchen Bakery, a division of Flowers for Less, opened Oct. 17 and is offering many treats to satisfy Monmouth’s sweet tooth. Owner Linda Putnam decided to open the Kitchen Bakery after installing a commercial kitchen and becoming certified to market her own salsa line, which she makes using the hydroponic tomatoes she and her family grow. Putnam understands the economic hardship local farmers endure. That’s why she is trying to make The Kitchen Bakery as sustainable as possible, using produce from local growers like herself. Daily Review Atlas story.
Relay Foods Delivers Local Produce, Artisan Goods, Grocery Staples Despite Storm
Company completes scheduled deliveries while traditional stores struggle with bare shelves Relay Foods, the company that makes shopping online for local and organic foods, gourmet items, artisan baked goods and pantry staples quick and easy, recently expanded its operations from Charlottesville, Virginia into the Baltimore, Philadelphia and Washington, D.C. markets. This week, all areas of the company’s expanded operations were affected by Hurricane Sandy, but the Relay Foods team was able to complete its delivery schedule despite stormy conditions. Sacramento Bee story.
Local Produce, Apsiring Chefs: Spotlight on Cooking up Change Sponsor Cristina Foods
Here at HSC, we love hearing about great farm-to-school programs — including the sizeable farm-to-school program that serves Chicago Public Schools (CPS) here in our own backyard. That’s why we’re thrilled that this year’s group of generous sponsors for Cooking up Change includes Cristina Foods, a distribution partner of Chartwells-Thompson Hospitality, the company that provides food service to CPS. Cristina Foods provides produce — including locally-grown fruits and vegetables — for school meals in Chicago Public Schools, and the company has been a vital part of the expansion of the farm-to-school program in CPS. In fact, last year, CPS served more than $2 million worth of local produce in school meals. Healthy Schools Campaign post.
Toward a healthy food future for Seattle
Seattle has been a national leader in working toward healthy, local, sustainable food systems. On October 24th, National Food Day, we are taking the next step by releasing the Seattle Food Action Plan. “The action plan creates the path for our City’s food future,” said Mayor Mike McGinn. “It will help strengthen our food economy, ensure that more people can grow food locally, and improve access to for everyone in our community to affordable healthy food.” Seattle.gov post.
Libraries help to grow gardening interest
Valley Permaculture provides seeds on loan. The first seed library in the Valley opened in Phoenix last month, part of the nationwide spread of a concept that allows users to find a variety of seeds at no cost. The idea originated in California, and groups have since established dozens of seed libraries nationwide. The idea has spread like wildfire, and a second seed library, in Mesa, opened shortly after the one in Phoenix. Supporters say the concept lets users find seeds ideal for growing in their region and promotes healthy strains of plants. Arizona Central story.
Sour, BFY Top 2013 Food Trend List
Consumers will be interested in making and purchasing sour, tart, acidic and bitter foods, such as fermented cherry juice and sour beer, according to the brand strategy firm Sterling-Rice Group’s list of the top 10 trends for 2013. The group also predicts that chef-made Better for You foods, Asian-inspired American comfort food, and single-serve small plates will be popular next year. Sterling-Rice sees a bright future for produce, expecting chefs to feature vegetables as entrees and to use savory fruit to flavor appetizers, soups and meat dishes. Supermarket News story.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Canned Dreams: A documentary about food
Unlike many documentaries about the origins of the food we eat and the conditions under which they are produced, “Canned Dreams”, which is doing the rounds at film festivals, does not set out to demonise industrial food. Ms Gauriloff seems uninterested in pushing a free-range, vegetarian ideology. There is no omniscient narrator telling viewers what they should believe, nor are the scenes of meat production, though best avoided by the squeamish, needlessly graphic. Instead, the film focuses on the people who produce the ingredients that go into a can of ravioli. The Economist story.