Lessons learned from a month of 100-mile eating
In many places, being a locavore would result in an unbalanced diet, as a harsh climate can limit produce. In sunny Southern California, I experienced the opposite problem. Flush with great vegetables, I ate little meat, not because it wasn’t available, but because the produce was so exciting. More than the vegetables, I loved meeting the people who produced what I ate and I would never trade the connections I made for all the bananas in Central America. Los Angeles Times, Daily Dish post.
How Locavores Are Killing Manhattan’s Food Scene and Stealing Its Chefs
For now the local movement is here to stay—restaurants proudly brandish their local ingredients, local food is becoming synonymous with “better” and people just cannot get enough of it—which is why New York City chefs are leaving for greener, less expensive, and yes, more local pastures. The food world’s version of brain drain is documented by NPR’s Jane Black, who explains that Manhattan’s chef exodus stems from a chefs’ desire for local ingredients. And those local ingredients are cheaper in cities like Austin, Madison, and Chapel Hill. “Those places have the added advantage of being more connected to the farms they buy from—something that is a badge of honor in today’s restaurant world,” Black writes. Atlantic Wire story.
Urban Farming Coming to a North Canton Neighborhood Near You
If all goes as planned, North Canton will have an urban farm by next spring. Jim Sewell, a local resident and CEO of the Northside Locavore Project, introduced the organic initiative in front of the North Canton Planning Commission in March, which voted 5-0 in favor of the plan. Now, it’s just up to City Council to approve the necessary zoning change to allow for the community grow operation. North Canton Patch post.
Broome County adopts better food standards
I welcome a recent report from the Workgroup on Food Procurement for the New York State Council on Food Policy. This report puts forth recommendations for food procurement and higher nutrition standards for state and county institutions. The recommendations from the workgroup demonstrate creating a food procurement policy can provide a framework to ensure that food provides healthy options that promote wellness. PressConnects.com post.
LEAF receives global recognition from ISEAL
Linking Environment And Farming has been accepted as an associate member of the ISEAL Alliance, the global membership association for sustainability standards. Becoming an associate member of ISEAL recognises that LEAF is committed to embracing credible practices, such as transparency and accountability, and improving with like-minded peers in its efforts to deliver sustainable farming on a global scale through the LEAF Marque assurance scheme. LEAF post.
Sainsbury’s steps up British sourcing with commitment to 100% British fresh pork
Sainsbury’s today announced its milestone move to all its fresh pork being 100% British. The commitment comes ten years after the retailer guaranteed all fresh chicken as British and enforces its commitment to British sourcing. Sourcing from more British farmers than ever before, sourcing closer to home will increase Sainsbury’s supply of British pork significantly. Sainsbury news release.
NFU will ‘hold Tesco to account’
NFU president Peter Kendall has pledged to hold Tesco to account when it comes to its promise to source more meat from ‘closer to home’. The promise was made by Tesco chief executive Philip Clarke as he addressed NFU Conference. Farmers Weekly story (UK).
Unpaid environmental work on farms
Farmers considered the efficient Use of land and protecting soil and water as more important either than protecting wildlife or reducing greenhouse gas emissions. However, 45% of holdings were taking voluntary environmental measures and this percentage increased with farm size and was higher on arable farms. The bad weather of 2012/13 meant that many intended environmental measures were not taken in the autumn but the extra overwintered stubbles and field corners which resulted would benefit wildlife. 87% of farmers not implementing voluntary measures did not intend to do so. Summary of Campaign for the Farmed Environment (CFE) – Survey of land managed voluntarily in 2012/13 farming year (England)
Sustainable intensification in agriculture: premises and policies
The goal of sustainable intensification is to increase food production from existing farmland says the article in the journal’s Policy Forum by lead authors Dr Tara Garnett and Professor Charles Godfray from the University of Oxford. They say this would minimise the pressure on the environment in a world in which land, water, and energy are in short supply, highlighting that the environment is often overexploited and used unsustainably. The authors, university researchers and policy-makers from NGOs and the UN, outline a new, more sophisticated account of how ‘sustainable intensification’ should work. They recognise that this policy has attracted criticism in some quarters as being either too narrowly focused on food production or as representing a contradiction in terms. University Of Oxford press release. Science article.
Effects of chemical fertiliser and animal manure on soil health compared
Fertilising crops with cattle manure can lead to better soil quality than when synthetic fertiliser is used, recent research indicates. The use of cattle manure in the study led to greater soil fertility by encouraging higher microbial activity, and the researchers suggest that it could potentially improve soil’s ability to cope with periods of difficult growing conditions. Science for Environment Policy, European commission post.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
16 Ways to Hack the Future of Meat
At its core, the series explores how data, technology and new media can be used to reimagine a more sustainable, profitable and healthy future for meat. Among the meaty submissions, Joanne Wilson of Gotham Gal highlights some of the startups bringing transparency to the food industry, Andrew Gunther of Animal Welfare Approved writes a call to action for expanding the network of conscious consumers and Mark Post of Maastricht University gives us a glimpse at the lab-grown beef of our future. Check out the complete list of meaty responses below. Forbes article.