USDA grant to help ramp up local foods in school districts
The Michigan Land Use Institute has long been a big backer of the idea that local food should be served in local schools. It seems that the USDA agrees with the organization, as they just gave them a two-year, $100,000 grand to help expand the local Farm to School program. The grant allows MLUI to partner with eight local districts and area farmers to invest in cold storage and processing equipment to scale up local food procurement by the schools. It also allows MLUI to expand the farm to school activities that it currently operates in six schools. Northwest Michigan story.
The Local Food Revolution in Brazil’s Schools
Changes in public sector food procurement in Brazil have improved not just the quality of school meals; they have led to a reduced ecological footprint and a more engaged civil society driving the green economy. In this article, Kei Otsuki explores the processes of decentralization and localization that have taken place in Brazil since 1997 through the lens of food procurement. The case demonstrates how an active civil society can lead to change for better, more sustainable, and locally supportive practices. Solutions Journal post.
Announcing The Local Food Startup Challenge
After months of chatting with Distributors around the world who were getting started, we kept hearing that it was hard getting through the startup phase. Not only did new businesses need the IT infrastructure to help them scale up, but they needed the capital to get started, profile to let their local community know they exist, small business support, and any hints & tips from other people’s experiences to give them the jump start they needed. We decided to launch a Challenge to bring these elements together, to give you the reason to get started or help you get through that difficult first year. Our challenge is open to new local food distributors, and those under one year old. Bucky Box post.
The distance food travels
A typical basket of groceries from the supermarket has “food miles” equivalent to two loops of the globe. “Food miles” measure the distance food travels between production and consumption and the results can be alarming. CHOICE unpacks the concept of food miles and provides tips for eating more sustainably. Choice: The people’s Watchdog post.
Bay Area Hospitals Aggregate Demand to Push the Market for Local and Organic Produce From Family Farmers
A team of San Francisco Bay Area hospitals has something to celebrate. Their combined commitment to local and organic food procurement demonstrates the capacity of the health care sector to move the marketplace toward sustainability. During the summer, three hospitals — the University of California San Francisco Medical Center, John Muir Health, and the San Francisco VA Medical Center — achieved combined purchasing of 721 pounds of local, organic strawberries, 3,830 pounds of local green beans, and 1,440 pounds of local stone fruit, all sourced from family farms. The hospitals are expanding their efforts to include fall and winter crops with the assistance of the Health Care Without Harm Healthy Food in Health Care program. Market Watch story.
Central New York Regional Market adds space for 75 vendors
The Central New York Regional Market is building a $1.5 million structure to house 75 vendors. Executive Director Ben Vitale said the structure should be done by the time the market opens for the season in May. The shed is 80 feet by 280 feet, Vitale said. Syracuse Post Standard story.
Good Food: BBC Worldwide Labs sees its first commercial deal with startup Foodity and Tesco
As for Foodity’s role in the deal, well, it offers an e-commerce toolkit for recipe-publishers to transform ingredients into online shopping baskets, as well as mobile or physical-format shopping lists, so this is designed to make it easier for shoppers to buy ingredients for recipes featured on GoodFood.com. The service is not too-dissimilar to another service we recently covered called Whisk, which also creates shopping lists based on recipes, and lets you buy ingredients directly from the app. The Next Web post.
Green City Market’s certification policy clears consumer confusion
Until this market season, “green” was in the eye of the beholder at Chicago’s Green City Market. Farmers often tossed out terms like “organic,” “virtually organic,” “all-natural” and “sustainable” without any real definitions. But 2012 is different: All farmers at the 2012 Green City Market (GCM) are required to have one of eight independent, third-party certifications, ranging from USDA Organic, Naturally Grown and the Food Alliance to Animal Welfare Approved. These certifications provide information about a farmer’s practices: use of chemical or organic sprays, antibiotics and hormones, genetically modified crops or feed, grassland pastures and/or treatment of animals. Chicago Sun Times story.
Green City Market
Green City Market’s mission is to improve the availability of a diverse range of high quality foods by providing a marketplace for purchasing sustainably grown food and to educate, promote, and connect farmers and local producers directly to chefs, restaurateurs and the greater Chicago community. We also support small family farms and promote a healthier society through education and appreciation for local, fresh, sustainably-raised products.
Urban Farm Magazine Online
Urban Farm promotes the benefits of self-sufficiency and provides the tools with which to do it on any size property. Between the covers, you’ll find how-to projects, backyard-livestock advice, profiles of urban farmers, “green” and innovative products, and of course, recipes for preparing your homegrown vegetables, eggs and other farm bounty. Website.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Is this the future of groceries? Blue Apron raises $3 million for subscription meal kits
There are plenty of reasons busy New Yorkers wish they could cook more often. Schlepping groceries home from the store without a car is the worst, not to mention most of us stay at work long after the stores close and arrive home too hungry and tired to slave away on a home-cooked meal. Oh, and we have an endless supply of fine dining options nearby. Blue Apron’s meal kits, delivered in a cold pack with all the perfectly portioned, ingredients to a healthy dinner, seem like the perfect solution. Pando Daily post.