Logistics: The Missing Link for the Good Food Movement
The global food system is not values driven. It is not designed to accommodate sustainable farming and local distribution. At its very core, Rozyne says, are three goals: durable food products, year-round supply, and low costs. Trying to supplement the conventional market with goods from local farmers is disruptive and costly to the functioning of this well-oiled global machine. And so hundreds of new businesses and NGOs have decided to by-pass the machine; coordinating their own supply chains and logistics to make fresh, local, sustainable food available to more people. Local Food Plus post.
SNAP incentives prompt 25 percent boost in produce consumption
A USDA pilot project that offered financial incentives to people purchasing certain fruits and vegetables did result in greater consumption, according to a USDA interim report. The program, Healthy Incentives Pilot, involved certain people in Massachusetts who receive benefits under the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps). They received 30 cents on their SNAP electronic benefit transfer (EBT) card for every dollar they spent on targeted fruits and vegetables. They could spend the 30 cents on any SNAP-eligible items. USDA wanted to see how this affected their consumption of fruits and vegetables. As it turns out, they consumed 25% more over the control group. Of that increase, about 60% was vegetables and 40% was fruit. These are preliminary findings based on the first six months of the pilot, which ran from November 2011 to December 2012. From Field to Fork post.
Eight Strategies for efficient and sustainable livestock farming
Eight strategies to make cows, sheep and other cud-chewing, or ruminant, livestock a more sustainable part of the food supply are outlined by Rothamsted Research scientists in a Comment piece in Nature. RuSource 1940
We knew it! Produce snacks/sides affordable, healthful
The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) released a new report July 25 showing that eating healthfully, specifically fruits and vegetables, is not more expensive than eating other snacks and side dishes. This report, “Healthy Bargains: Fruits and Vegetables are Nutritious and Economical,” confirms what PMA research and USDA research shows: Fresh produce is affordable. The CSPI report has a different take on the comparisons: It compares the costs of fruits and vegetables with other commonly eaten snacks (20) and side dishes (19). From the report: “Overall we found that the average price per serving of healthy fruits and vegetables was less than unhealthy options for both snacks and side dishes. The average price per serving of the fruit or vegetable snacks was $0.34, while that of the unhealthy snacks was $0.67. The average price per serving of vegetable side dishes was $0.27, compared to $0.31 for the less healthful side dishes.” From Field to Fork post.
Wishing They All Could Be California Hens
Hens in California are living the good life. Many can now lay their eggs in oversize enclosures roomy enough to stand up, lie down — even extend their wings fully without touching another bird. Hens in most other states don’t have it so good. Their conditions, as the head of California’s egg trade group explained, are “like you sitting in an airplane seat in the economy section all your life.” So if you’re a hen, you want to live in California. Short of that, you want California-size leg room. And that’s precisely what lawmakers in California are demanding of out-of-state farmers who sell eggs in California — setting off a feud over interstate commerce that has spilled over into the farmyard at large. The Missouri attorney general has filed a lawsuit to block the California egg rules, and at least three other states are considering doing the same. New York times story.
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food
Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food (KYF2) is a USDA-wide effort to carry out President Obama’s commitment to strengthening local and regional food systems. A surge in consumer demand for locally-produced food is creating jobs and opportunity throughout rural America. Beginning farmers are finding an entry point into agriculture through local markets. Experienced farmers are diversifying their sales to capture added value through local branding. Small businesses are developing new packing, processing, distribution and retail opportunities. And consumers are learning more about where their food comes from and gaining access to fresh, local foods. Website.
ALUS producers win prestigious award
With an 80 percent native land base Sean picks breeds that fit the land rather than trying to force the land to produce for the cattle. The emphasis on timing of grazing is what they attribute to the success of the ranch. Employing various winter grazing techniques like swath and bale grazing has worked to reduce fuel, time and money. “The change has just been in the management of it… coaxing nature along and letting her do her thing, she can do amazing things if you let her,” said Sean. Alternative Land Use Services post.
Allen Street, City Market, Incu-Bake blossom as local food incubators
Over 50 Michigan-based micro-businesses create their delicious wares at Incu-Bake, and the number increases with every passing year. “We’re still growing!” says owner, Marcy Kates. “We’re not at capacity yet.” The variety of goods produced at Incu-Bake ranges from artisan jams and award winning salsas, to gluten-free breads and traditional Polish golumpkies. While these businesses are based all over the state, they all come to the capital area to produce their products and pursue their dreams. “That’s what I love about this business,” says Kates, “food nourishes our bodies, but creating food together nourishes our souls!” MichiganLive.com story.
Fresh from Finland
Fresh! from Finland is your gateway to culinary adventure to Finland. Whether you want to find out about upcoming events, visiting chefs, or plan a culinary trip to Finland, Fresh! from Finland gives you tools for everything you want to know about Finnish cuisine. It is a multiyear campaign produced by the Consulate General of Finland in New York with the support of Benecol, Valio USA, Iittala and Visit Finland. The campaign consists of Fresh! from Finland website and different events in New York. Website.
American Farmland Trust’s National Conference on Farmland, Food and Livable Communities
Leaders and experts from around the country will gather to focus on the overlapping interests of farmland protection, women and next generation farmers, food systems and creating resilient communities that address food and agriculture. “This is the first time a national conference will bring together these diverse interests to comprehensively address 21st-century challenges,” said McElwaine. Keynote speakers and local and national leaders will showcase innovative approaches, successful strategies and replicable models. Participants will not only learn from best-in-class practices, planning, policy and investment but also craft next steps to advance work in these areas. Details.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Family Farmers + You = A Well Nourished World
Family farmers produce more than just calories. In the new video, Food Tank highlights how family farmers are an essential part of the equation for a sustainable, food secure world. The video depicts family farmers nurturing and building healthy soil—the foundation of food production and improved livelihoods around the world. Family farmers—small and large enhance biodiversity, protect natural resources, and improve local economies. The video highlights how family farmers, small and large, are using innovative agroecological practices to increase yields, improve incomes, and foster environmental sustainability. And Food Tank emphasizes how family farmers are a critical line of defense against economic disparity, water scarcity, deforestation, and extreme weather events. YouTube video from Food Tank.