The Open Food Foundation: Free Software for Better Food Systems
The Open Food Foundation has been established to accumulate and protect a commons of open source knowledge, code, applications and platforms to support the proliferation of fair and sustainable food systems in Australia and beyond. In this interview founders Kirsten Larsen and Serenity Hill explain how they’re applying the principles of open access and peer to peer networks to create resilient food systems of the future. Shareable post.
Homegrown idea mushrooms into prize-winning business
A husband-and-wife team who started growing mushrooms at home because they couldn’t buy good ones anywhere have scooped one of the top awards of the Irish Food Writers’ Guild. Rose Oyster, Lion’s Mane Pom Pom and Velvet Pioppino are among the exotic varieties of mushrooms being produced by Lucy Creegan and Mark Cribben of Ballyhoura Mountain Mushrooms in Co Cork. Irish Independent story.
Maine cookbook author defines what ‘local’ means to her
Where I grew up in suburban New York in the 1970s, we used the word “local” all the time. As in, “Where d’ya get that corned beef sandwich?” “At the local deli, where else?” Or, “Can you stop at the local grocery store in town to pick up milk?” In those days “local” meant neighborhood; it referred to convenience, not to where the food was grown. If the television series “Mad Men” took place today, Don Draper and his cronies would sell cars, tobacco and airlines as being “local products you can trust.” Local has a very different meaning today, at least when it comes to food. Press Herald story.
Growing local economies through food
If Iowa’s food producers, processors and preparers are looking for a recipe to improve agritourism they must: provide visitors with something interesting to eat; teach visitors something interesting about local Iowa culture and food and send visitors home with something unique about Iowa. According to Rebecca LeHuep, the keynote speaker at the March 27 Iowa Culinary Summit, in Ankeny, the first ingredient is the most important. Fort Dodge Messenger story.
Denver may OK front-yard sales of home-grown produce, eggs, honey
Citizens of Denver could sell their homegrown produce and some homemade food items under a proposed change to the city’s zoning code. The amendment would allow residents to sell from their homes uncut fruits and vegetables, whole eggs, and home-prepared food products such as jellies, jams, honey, teas, herbs, spices and some baked goods. Amending the zoning code would put Denver in conformance with the Colorado Cottage Foods Act, a bill passed by the state legislature in 2012. The legislation allowed commercial sales of food prepared in home kitchens. Previously, those foods had to be made in commercial kitchens. The Denver Post story.
Where’s the beef? ‘Buy local’ food movement takes hold
A growing number of beef cattle farms have sprung up in the region, including Saratoga County, as the “buy local” food movement has taken hold. Some are located on former dairies, whose owners switched to beef because the animals require much less work. A new business, Adirondack Meat Company, is promoting such trends and improving market access for all types of meat producers including sheep, goats and pork. “Hopefully it encourages more dairy farmers to get into beef production,” owner Peter Ward said. “You don’t have to milk these steers three times per day.” The Saratogian story.
7 Standout News Sites for Sustainable Agriculture
In honor of National Agriculture Day (better late than never – our website had a bug yesterday) we’ve pulled together a list of incredible publications, websites and blogs that are working to transform the agriculture industry. Through news and analysis, these 7 companies are helping to inform the public and create a better future for farmers, eaters and the planet. Food + Tech Connect post
Real Food for CSU Campaign Heats up at Long Beach Trustee Meeting
The California State University system may be the largest state school system in the world with 23 campuses and over 400,000 students. And right now, we students in California sit at an incredible turning point. This past week, we students from Humboldt State, San Francisco State, CSU Long Beach, CSU Pomona, CSU Northridge, and UC Santa Cruz met in Long Beach to attend a Board of Trustees meeting at the Office of the Chancellor. We came to raise our voices in support of a sustainable food section in a pending sustainability policy, which could affect over $100 million in university food purchases. Real Food Challenge post.
While few seem to be aware of it, a massive shift is under way in the northern plains, with ramifications for the quality of our water and food, and, more fundamentally, the long-term viability of our farms. A study published in February 2013 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that between 2006 and 2011, farmers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska, and Iowa—the Western Corn Belt—had plowed up 1.3 million acres of native grassland in order to plant corn and soybeans. “People had been talking about the land conversion,” says Chris Wright, an assistant research professor at South Dakota State University and a co-author of the report, “but there weren’t any recent numbers.” American Prospect article.
GrubHub Soars in Market Debut; Other New Listings Rise, Too
Over the last few days, GrubHub raised the price range for its initial public offering, increased the number of shares it planned to sell and, finally, priced its stock sale above expectations. And yet investors still can’t get enough of the online food delivery service. Shares in GrubHub opened at $40 in their market debut on Friday, rising nearly 54 percent above their I.P.O. price. New York Times blog.
AND IF YOU HAVE TIME
Floating hydroponic unit enables coastal veg farming
The SEALEAF solution to this problem relies on the one resource that is abundant in these coastal cities and is cheaper to rent than land — the water surrounding them. The project’s hydroponic units work much like those currently used on land, except that they’re powered by the sun and use natural rainwater to irrigate the plants inside. The devices can be placed in modular clusters in areas outside of shipping lanes and can be easily accessed by boat. Yahoo Small business Advisor post.