Locavore News — World


Why We Can’t Shop Our Way to a Better Economy: Stacy Mitchell’s TEDx Talk

In this TEDx talk, delivered on October 20, 2012, ILSR Senior Researcher Stacy Mitchell argues for a new phase in the local economy movement. She notes that there’s been a resurgence of support for small farms, local businesses, and community banks, but argues: “As remarkable as these trends are, they are unlikely to amount to more than an small sideshow on the margins of the mainstream if the only way we can conceive of confronting corporate power and bringing about a new economy is through our buying decisions… What we really need to do is change the underlying policies that shape our economy. We can’t do that through the sum of our individual behavior in the marketplace. We can only do it by exercising our collective power as citizens.” YouTube video.


Local food systems seek to help farmers market crops

The farmer participated in a panel discussion about building a stronger regional farmer to consumer connection in local food systems during the Indiana Rural Summit. Moseley said selling food at the Lafayette and West Lafayette farmers markets has enabled him to concentrate on talking to consumers at the markets who are interested in not only buying produce, but learning about the family farm. Agri News story.


Planning for Food Access

A National Scan and Evaluation of Local Comprehensive and Sustainability Plans. Alongside air, water, and shelter, food is a basic necessity for life. Food plays a role in our health, economy, and culture and is a critical part of a sustainable community. The World Health Organization and the United Nations consider access to safe and nutritious food a basic individual right, however many rural and urban residents have limited access to fresh produce and other healthful foods. Results of this research study have been compiled into a comprehensive policy report, Planning for Food Access and Community-Based Food Systems: A National Scan and Evaluation of Local Comprehensive and Sustainability Plans. American Planning Association post. Report (7MB PDF).


A Guide to Edible Seeds

Edible seeds have been making their way into my smoothies, soups and chili over the past few weeks. The assortment of edible seeds that lines my kitchen cabinets continues to grow as I learn more and more about the incredible health benefits associated with these seeds. Having a Blendtec certainly helps since I’m able to ground up the seeds in a way that I wasn’t able to with my regular blender. Here’s the low down on the edible seeds in my cabinets. Fooducate blog.


Buying and Selling Whole Animals

When my partners and I first started FarmersWeb, an online marketplace, we wanted to tackle some of these challenges that many meat producers face. To begin, we built a system to let farms accept advanced orders along with a deposit from wholesale buyers. The deposit is held in escrow through online credit card processing, which gives the buyer peace of mind that their deposit will only be cashed once the farm delivers the product, and also incentivizes the buyer to follow through on their order. Should the buyer wish to cancel their order and the farm is able to find another customer for that meat, the deposit can be returned. This system provides assurance to the farm that in the event of cancellation, they won’t be left holding the bag, so to speak. Food & Tech Connect post.


Guerrilla Cartographers Put Global Food Stats on the Map

For the past five months, University of California, Berkeley cartography professor Darin Jensen has been collecting maps about food. They fill the walls of his office, each one telling a different story — about meat production in Maryland, about the international almond trade, about taco trucks in Oakland. Some are local, some are regional, some are global, but in a few days they’ll all be bound together between the covers of Food: An Atlas. In just five months — the time it takes to raise an artichoke, he says — Jensen and more than 100 new-found colleagues have built a book. The Salt post. Kickstarted project.


A Review of the Literature and Knowledge of Standards and Certification Systems in Agricultural Production and Farming Systems

Researchers at the Natural Resources Institute (NRI) and the University of Leeds have published a new working paper in the NRI series on sustainable standards. The paper outlines the rise of private standards in agriculture and explores their social, economic and environmental impacts. The study reviews the market demand and supply of certified products, and summarises the impact methodologies, activities of standard bodies, and the findings or evidence to date. It brings together evidence about production and market trends in certification schemes, assesses the extent to which standards are contributing to environmental, social and economic sustainability, and discusses their relationship to other tools, ending with a discussion of public awareness and communication issues. Food Climate Research Network post.


Keep the preservation pipeline flowing

We New Jerseyans are an enthusiastic bunch when it comes to preserving land. Thirteen times since 1961, our residents have voted yes on Green Acres and farmland preservation ballot questions, making us a national leader. Now it’s time for the Garden State to lead again. The Legislature is about to allocate the last of the remaining funds from a $400 million referendum approved in 2009. Once the final votes are taken and Gov. Chris Christie signs off, the preservation funding pipeline will run dry. There will be no money left in state coffers to protect farms, forests, water sources and historic places, no more money for Blue Acres buyouts of flood-pronelands. Without these state funds, county and municipal open space efforts may founder. phillyburbs.com post.


Farmland preservation efforts advance

The Garden State Preservation Trust recently approved a request for $3.6 million to help Monmouth County, several towns and one nonprofit organization preserve farmland across the county as part of New Jersey’s efforts to further farmland preservation, Agriculture Secretary Douglas H. Fisher announced. “Farmland is the foundation for agriculture and for so many of the benefits Monmouth County’s farms have to offer us — everything from opportunities to enjoy fresh, local produce and farm experiences, to rural and open landscapes that keep our communities green and growing,” Fisher said. “The Christie Administration is committed to providing funds that enable New Jersey to continue our partnership efforts to preserve productive farmland and ensure that agriculture remains a vital part of Monmouth County and the Garden State for all time.” Allentown Examiner story.


Webinar: Food Culture 2012 Year in Review, Tuesday, December 18, 2012 1:00 pm

Join Tamara Tamara Barnett, Director, Strategic Insights, Hartman Group, as she recaps the highlights and lowlights of the past year as well as take us through a list of 12 of our favorite concepts compiled from issues of our Hartbeat newsletter in 2012.Registration required.




How Walmart Is Devouring Our Food System (Infographic)

Walmart now captures $1 of every $4 Americans spend on groceries. It’s on track to claim one-third of food sales within five years. Here’s a look at how Walmart has dramatically altered the food system — triggering massive consolidation, driving down prices to farmers, and leaving more families struggling to afford healthy food. Huffington post.

Locavore News — World


Workshop helps small business owners join the local-food movement

“Things have changed,” said Winifred McGee, organizer of Food for Profit, a workshop designed to help entrepreneurs start their own small-scale food businesses. “It used to be small businesses didn’t have prestige, but now with the local-food movement, that is not as big of a challenge.” McGee and a panel of business and food experts dished up advice for local foodies looking to start their own businesses with the Food for Profit workshop last week at the Adams County Agricultural and Natural Resources Center in Gettysburg. McGee and the Penn State Extension have been hosting the workshop for the past 25 years, and with the growing popularity of the local-food movement, McGee has noticed a big change in both the popularity and style of emerging small-scale. The Evening Sun story.


Campaigner backs festive Shop Local retail call

The Shop Local initiative aims to provide a timely boost for the region’s economy in the countdown to the festive season. Suffolk local food campaigner Lady Caroline Cranbrook has backed the East Anglian Daily Times campaign. She said: “Suffolk is one of the most important food producing areas in England and we are lucky to live here. “Shopping locally has many advantages. There’s an amazing choice of fresh, high-quality food and drink at affordable prices. East Anglian Daily Times story.


USDA Launches First-Ever Round of Farm to School Grants

The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced the recipients of the first-ever round of Farm to School Grants.  The awards span 68 projects in 37 states and the District of Columbia and total $4.5 million in funding. The Farm to School Grant Program provides competitive grants to schools, nonprofits, state and local agencies, agricultural producers and Indian tribal organizations to increase local food procurement for school meal programs and to expand educational agriculture and gardening activities. National Hog Farmer story.


Cooking Local in the Classroom – Local Food Procurement

In this section, you’ll find information on how to procure produce in bulk for your classroom. We’ve included a guide to navigating the farmers’ market and tips on how to store your produce. We encourage you to use the “Ingredient Substitutions” page when produce is out of season or unavailable in your region. Reap Food Group manual.

L.A. school board adopts comprehensive food policy

In line with its previous commitments to balanced nutrition, the Los Angeles school board voted Tuesday to implement one of the largest and most comprehensive food procurement polices of any school district. The policy calls for using the $100 million the Los Angeles School District spends annually on food as leverage to ensure that food service providers comply with fair workers’ rights, provide organic and sustainable farming, and protect animal welfare. Los Angeles Times blog.


Two West Coast Cities Lead the Way in Supporting Local Farmers

As American Meat gears up for traveling to several more states in the nationwide Young Farmer Screening Series, we are pleased to see that two locations on our itinerary are taking remarkable steps to support local farmers. Both Seattle and Los Angeles have recently passed policies moving the cities toward local food sourcing as the norm. Seattle’s Food Action Plan will emphasize farmland preservation, environmental sustainability, regional economic development, and better food access. Mayor Mike McGinn’s office shared this statement: “The action plan creates the path for our City’s food future. 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.” American Meat film post.


Shoppers urged to keep it local

Irish consumers are being asked to put their money where their mouths are in the run-up to Christmas by supporting local artisan producers as part of a campaign launched by a leading independent retailer in the south east. The “Take Ours Back to Yours” initiative aims to encourage more consumers to sample local food and sustain local jobs through in-store tastings and meet-and-greet sessions with local producers. It is the brainchild of Colin Jephson whose family have run the Ardkeen Quality Food Store in Waterford for 45 years. Irish Times story.


Local food initiative conference set for next week

A smorgasbord of local farming topics will be offered next week at the Farm to Table Conference at Blue Ridge Community College in Weyers Cave. The program, titled “Food & Farming at a Profitable & Sustainable Scale,” begins at 9 a.m. both Wednesday and Thursday. “The first day is all about sustainable agriculture…discussing the question how we can grow more food while we take care of our natural resources here in the valley,” said Francie Kennedy, project coordinator for Virginia Cooperative Extension’s Buy Fresh Buy Local initiative. “It will be geared toward mid-level farmers. On the second day, we will be looking at ways entrepreneurs can finance their food as a business.” Northern Virginia Daily story.


The Huffington Post Top 10 Cities for Local Food: Finding It Once You Get There

For the last few years, the Green page on the Huffington Post has put out a ranking of the ten best cities for local food. It’s a good list, but there’s no real criteria given for how they decided on which cities to include. More than that, how do you find great farm-to-table restaurants, farmers’ markets, and other local fare once you get to one of these bastions of the local and artisanal? That’s where FarmPlate, the largest directory of sustainable food businesses on the Web, comes in. FarmPlate blog.


Keep the Preservation Pipeline Flowing

We New Jerseyans are an enthusiastic bunch when it comes to preserving land. Thirteen times since 1961, our state’s residents have voted “yes” on Green Acres and farmland preservation ballot questions, making us a national leader. Now it’s time for the Garden State to lead again. The New Jersey Legislature is about to allocate the last of the remaining funds from the $400 million referendum approved in 2009. New Jersey Today post.





Farmers Apprentice

The Farmers Apprentice is Farmers Weekly’s (UK) response to the challenge of recruiting fresh talent into agriculture and helping young people from across the UK get a foot on the farming ladder. So far, we’ve scoured the country for 10 stand-out farming hopefuls between the ages of 18-25, put them through a week long farming business bootcamp and filmed their every move. Now we are launching a 5-part series, the Farmers Apprentice which will reveal how they got on. The documentary promises a unique examination of what it takes to succeed in farming – head, hands and heart in equal measure. Be sure not to miss it. The person who impressed our judges the most at bootcamp will win £10,000 cash to help kick-start a career in farming. Website.

Locavore News — World


Sainsbury’s puts its sustainability work into spotlight

Sainsbury’s unveiled its 20 by 20 Sustainability Plan last October, a programme that sets out 20 targets for the retailer to achieve by 2020, such as doubling the amount of British food it sells, reducing carbon emissions by 65% compared to 2005 levels and increasing sales of ethical products by GBP1bn. Just-food blog.


Stewardship in the New Year

Changes to Environmental Stewardship schemes that farmers and landowners need to know about are coming into force from January 1. The changes will affect both the Entry Level Scheme (ELS) and the Higher Level Scheme (HLS). Five new options are being introduced as part of the Making Environmental Stewardship More Effective initiative. These include hedgerow restoration (previously only available as part of UELS) and options to create herb-rich swards and add wild flowers to buffer strips and field corners. nebusiness.co.uk blog.


Germany: “Westphalia produce needs quality hallmark”

If it were up to the NGG, a German union for the Fresh Produce industry, residents of Westphalia will soon be able to choose regional produce. The union, calling upon local government, thinks a ‘Made in Westphalia’ label will assist consumers in their choice. Kale, potatoes, milk: all local produce should have a mark of origin, says Helge Adolphs, Secretary of NGG South-Westphalia. The union has urged government officials, as well as the European Parliament, to raise the issue in local politics. FreshPlaza story.


Book of farm markets promotes local produce

The second edition of “Farm Markets of Central New Jersey” has been released and covers markets in Mercer, Burlington, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset and Ocean counties. First published in 2010, the book promotes support for locally grown foods in central New Jersey and was developed under the direction of the conservation committee of the Garden Club of Princeton. The Times of Trenton story.


‘Farm-to-School’ initiative puts fresh produce in classes

When you hear the popular phrase “farm to table,” it’s often in reference to a restaurant promoting a locally sourced menu, or to a farmers market. Now the “farm to table” philosophy has caught on in education, including the San Marcos Unified School District. With the help of a Southern California farmer, it’s being used there to promote nutrition, encourage healthy eating, and get local produce on cafeteria trays. North County Times.


MLUI Receives Grant to Scale up Local Food in Schools, USDA Awards Two-Year, $100,000 Grant for 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 as the regional site of the national FoodCorps program. A new grant will make it easier for local growers to get their fruits and vegetables on to the school trays of thousands of students in northern Michigan—helping local agriculture while teaching kids the importance of local food and healthy eating habits. Traverse City Chamber of Commerce post.


Enhancing the environment through payment for ecosystem services

The UK Rural Economy and Land Use Programme (RELU) has produced a briefing paper on the potential for payment for ecosystem services (PES) to impact natural resource management, focusing on issues from a UK perspective. Ecosystem services, such as supplies of clean drinking water, pollination services, and the ability of habitat to lock up greenhouse gases, pose a unique problem because they belong to everyone or no one and it is difficult to put a monetary value on these services. PES seems to be offering a route to the better management of natural resources, and sources of untapped investment for the conservation of natural capital. Policy Brief.


LBCC class covers all the food bases

New LBCC sustainability class links agriculture with culinary arts With Thanksgiving tables laying out food spreads that will last many households for a week, Stefan Seiter thought it was a fitting time for his class to visit Linn-Benton Food Share. About 20 Linn-Benton Community College students visited the site near Tangent on Wednesday for a walking tour and a chance to help package items for holiday distribution. Seiter’s class, Sustainable Agriculture and Food Systems, is a perfect venue for learning about the Food Share and groups like the gleaners. But the class itself delves into much more. “It reflects the entire local food movement,” said Seiter, who has been an instructor at LBCC for nine years. “It’s all about farm to table.” Albany Democrat Herald story


Local produce tops menu at Abu Dhabi food show

The largest food exhibition in the region to be held next week in Abu Dhabi will help boost production of local foods, organisers said yesterday. SIAL Middle East, the professional trade exhibition for the food, drink and hospitality industry, will take place at Abu Dhabi National Exhibition centre (Adnec) from November 26-28, event organisers said at press conference. Held in strategic partnership with Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority (ADFCA), the three-day exhibition will occupy all eight halls at the Adnec venue and feature three co-located exhibitions, accommodating in excess of 1,000 food exhibitors from 52 countries. GulfNews.com story.


Dine Out Maine: Gather succeeds in building community around local food

Gather. It’s what we do in November. Friends and family connect over food at Thanksgiving, presaging the parties to come in December. Fun, unpredictable and boisterous at times, many such food-centric get-togethers are a warm and lively antidote to shorter, colder days. The same can be said for Gather, a new restaurant in downtown Yarmouth. It’s been open since mid-September. Gather is a fun place for many ages to hang out; consume very good, well thought-out locally sourced food; and greet a colleague, neighborhood retailer or old friend. Press Herald story.




Who can feed children healthy food?

Government’s No Hungry Kids Act forces schools to feed children healthy lunches, which children throw into the garbage.  This leads us to ask…. Who can feed children healthy food? Join the Food Chain Radio show with Michael Olson hosts chef Jamie Smith and nutritionist Jill Troderman for a conversation about how best to feed children. Topics include why the No Hungry Kids Act is changing the school lunch; how children react to government’s healthy lunches; and who can best feed children– government or parents? Listen live or recorded on your radio, computer or mobile device:Food Chain Radio #796.

Locavore News — World


New San Francisco legislation will jump-start urban farming

Bay Area locavores and caterpillars rejoice: An edible urban jungle is poised to sprout in San Francisco. City supervisors approved legislation Tuesday that will help grassroots farming groups replace barren concrete and forests of weeds on vacant land and rooftops with veggie gardens, chicken coops, and honeybee hives. And the move cements San Francisco’s role as a national leader in urban food production. Grist article.


River of Flowers?

The ‘river’ in River of Flowers is an evocative way of describing the planting of urban meadows in ‘pollination streams’ or ‘green corridors’ in order to help our pollinators, bees, butterflies and other insect pollnators, find forage in the city. It describes the flight path of the pollinators as much as it does the flow of wildflowers. A ‘river’ connects! A River of Flowers not only connects the spaces where wildflowers are growing, it also connects the communities and individuals that have planted them or allowed them to grow naturally and those sympathetic to and supportive of growing wild. An Urban Meadow is an urban space of any size where wildflowers are growing from roofs to roundabouts, pavements to parks, playgrounds to playing fields, and many more. A bee does not distinguish between forage growing on public and private land or choose between the wildflowers that River of Flowers and other groups have planted or what has sprung up naturally so why should we? Website.


The Hell’s Kitchen Farm Serves its First Harvest in the Metro Baptist Church Pantry

Built atop a church roof, the Hell’s Kitchen Farm Project has just celebrated their first home grown harvest. Situated on the edge of the western part of Hell’s Kitchen, Metro Baptist Church is located near the Lincoln Tunnel and Port Authority, in a part of New York that’s about as far removed from the farming life as possible. The kiddie-pool rooftop farm has grown fresh fruits and vegetables that supplies the busy food pantry within the church. Inhabit at New York City post.


Judy Sarkozy wins William R. Wood Locavore of the Year Award

When it came time to pick the winner of this year’s Locavore of the Year award, “the decision was unanimous,” said Paul Stermer, executive director of Fair Food Matters in Kalamazoo. Judy Sarkozy, “Kalamazoo baker, business owner and food icon,” will receive the William R. Wood Locavore of the Year Award at the 3rd Annual Fair Food Food Fair. Michigan Business Review – MLive.com story.


A feast for locavores

Traditional Pensacola Thanksgiving dinner: What does that even mean? Plain ol’ Pilgrim turkey and stuffing? Or the food of our first settlers about 60 years earlier — which would be olives. And goat. And beans. Why not go old school and eat what’s available right now from local farmers and fishermen? That’s how you would do it if you were celebrating your first year on these sunny shores. Local eating means fresher food and a boost to our economy. And local farmers and other providers have a lot to offer — and not just in the summer growing season, said Kiley Bolster, co-owner of The Magnolia. PNJ.com article.


Farmers, homeowners spar over preservation

Residents and farmers in western Howard County sparred Thursday night over whether three farm families should be allowed to reclaim the development rights on their farmland — the first-ever attempt to defect from Maryland’s agricultural land-preservation program. More than 100 people turned out for the hearing at the Howard County fairgrounds in West Friendship on the request by Steve, Mike and Mark Mullinix to withdraw their 490 acres from Maryland’s program, which they had entered 28 years ago. The state paid $450,000 for an easement barring development — though owners who sold development rights before 2004 retain the right to ask out after 25 years if they can show that farming is no longer profitable. Baltimore Sun story.


County libraries to offer ‘Transforming Life After 50’ programs

Just as a locavore wants to eat locally produced food, a library locavore wants to consume local information. That’s just what the Whatcom County Library System will produce through a “Transforming Life After 50” grant awarded by the Washington State Library Council. The grant, centered on the Deming and Ferndale branches, will feature programs concerning topics of local interest developed and presented by local residents. Free “Library Locavore” programs will cover local arts and crafts, outdoor recreation, and farming and sustainability. Bellingham Herald story.


Evaluating the Benefits of Peri-Urban Agriculture

By uniting literature from farmland preservation, growth management, food systems, economics, bioengineering, and environmental studies, this article provides an overview and valuation of the services that farms provide for urban areas. This article first analyzes the mission statements of 130 nationally accredited land trusts to ascertain the criteria used in preserving farmland. Land trusts present uniform preference for parcels that provide ecosystem services, wildlife habitat, viewsheds, local heritage, and agricultural productivity. The list of benefits provided by land trusts was compared to a literature review drawing from farmland amenity, agritourism, farmland preservation, and ecosystems studies to reveal the range of market values for the various benefits of farmland. The market value of farmland services varies from -$37,541 to 124,000 per acre depending on the method of analysis and location of the farm. Journal of Planning Literature abstract.


21 Years of Linking Environment and Farming

LEAF is pleased to present a new book ’21 Years of Linking Environment and Farming: Past reflections, future directions’. The book charts the organisation’s 21 years history and outlines future directions, whilst featuring quotes from some of LEAF’s supporters. eBook.


Understanding the environmental impacts of consuming foods that are produced locally in season

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (UK) has published the results of a study which looked at the environmental impact of consuming foods that are produced locally in season. One of Defra’s current high level environmental behaviour goals is for consumers to eat more food that is locally in season. This research sought to determine whether this behaviour should remain as a high-level goal, based on the available evidence as to its effectiveness in reducing the environmental impacts of current patterns of food consumption. Defra Report FO0412.




Why we buy organic

While 74% of the U.S. population now purchases organic, consumers still find the organic and natural product landscape confusing to navigate. Since 1997, when The Hartman Group first began examining the organic marketplace, we have seen consumers’ approach to organic and natural products grow and evolve. In our new Organic and Natural 2012 report we find that consumers across all segments possess greater knowledge about organics and that this increased knowledge is leading them to ask more questions than ever before. Is this product really organic? Is it truly better for me? How do I know for sure? Hartman Report.

Locavore News — World


Did Farmers of the Past Know More Than We Do?

A couple years ago, I saw a small field of oats growing in northwest Iowa — a 40-acre patch in a sea of genetically modified corn and soybeans. It was an unusual sight. I asked my cousins, who still farm what my dad always called the “home place,” whether someone had added oats to the rotation of crops being planted. The answer was no. The purpose of that patch of oats was manure mitigation. The waste that had been sprayed on that field came from a hog confinement operation, and oats were the only crop that would put such concentrated, nearly toxic manure to nutritional use and do it quickly. New York Times opinion.


Prince Charles Takes on Critics of Sustainable Farming

In a global ecosystem that is, to say the least, under stress, our apparently unbridled demands for energy, land, and water put overwhelming pressure on our food systems. I am not alone in thinking that the current model is simply not durable in the long term. It is not “keeping everything going continuously” and it is, therefore, not sustainable. So what is a “sustainable food production” system? We should be very clear about it, or else we will end up with the same system that we have now, but dipped in “greenwash.” Co.Exist post.


L.A. school board adopts comprehensive food policy

In line with its previous commitments to balanced nutrition, the Los Angeles school board voted Tuesday to implement one of the largest and most comprehensive food procurement polices of any school district. The policy calls for using the $100 million the Los Angeles School District spends annually on food as leverage to ensure that food service providers comply with fair workers’ rights, provide organic and sustainable farming, and protect animal welfare. Los Angeles Times story.


USDA Awards First Grants to Increase Local Foods in Eligible Schools 68 Projects Support Nearly 2 Million Students

Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan today announced more than $4.5 million in grants for 68 projects, spanning 37 states and the District of Columbia, to connect school cafeterias with local agricultural producers. “When schools buy food from nearby producers, their purchasing power helps create local jobs and economic benefits, particularly in rural agricultural communities,” Merrigan said. “Evidence also suggests that when kids understand more about where food comes from and how it is produced, they are more likely to make healthy eating choices.” United States Department of Agriculture news release.


The ‘Big Three’ needed for the magnificent seven

Natural England has teamed up with Butterfly Conservation and the farming community across the country to help save some of our most threatened butterflies. Farmland is an important habitat for butterflies and a new project The Farmland Butterfly Initiative (FBI), aims to support farmers in managing their land to help seven of the country’s most endangered butterflies. Surfbirds News post.


Bringing the Culture Back in Agriculture

After the turn of the previous century there was a lot of experimentation with mono cultures. By that is meant growing only one field crop, e.g. corn or wheat. This is a principle that goes against nature, which works with ecosystems based on synergy and complex wholes, whereby plants work together and support one another. Some plants root deeper than others, allowing them to uptake minerals from underneath the topsoil. When these plants die, their rich mineral content in turn fertilizes the soil. This is how nature creates her own cycle. On natural grasslands you will always find clover and herb species. Clover gets its minerals from deep inside the ground and the herbs fulfill a healing role in the ecosystem. Natural news article by Mike Donkers.


Is eating local good for the climate? Thinking beyond food miles

We found that agricultural practices themselves account for around 80 percent of these emissions, but the combined contribution of transport, refrigeration, consumer practices and waste management is growing, as economies develop. In the UK, for example, emissions from agricultural practices are currently about 40 percent of the total food systems emissions. Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security post.


Infographic: Locavorism vs. Globavorism

Are you torn between local lettuce and foreign fennel? Can’t decide on farm-to-table or plane-to-plate? Let MNN clear the air with this beginner’s guide to what being a ‘locavore’ or ‘globavore’ really means. Mother Nature Network post.


These guys want to provide the nation’s capital with a steady source of local food

The maze of greenhouses, warehouses, and office spaces that is home to the Elkwood, Va.-based Blue Ridge Produce could have been custom-built for the company’s unique vision: to aggregate, process, grow, and promote local produce. But it wasn’t. In fact, the company’s founders lucked into finding an existing facility sprawled across 33 acres of land just south of the D.C. suburbs. Blue Ridge Produce threw open the doors to its giant warehouse this growing season to welcome produce from across Virginia, only to have it quickly disseminated to wholesale buyers like Whole Foods and the University of Virginia in nearby Charlottesville. Grist story


Resignations hasten food council demise

Foodies may be a victim of their own success in steering food policy issues to the top of the agenda in Portland. For the past decade, the Food Policy Council, a joint city/county panel, has elevated the profile of community gardens, farmers markets and other food issues in the city, so much so that the advisory panel has been a model for other communities around the nation. But now the Food Policy Council is in limbo, or maybe already dissolved depending on who you talk to. Portland Tribune story.




Let us hay!

Scale replica of Lichfield Cathedral made by farmer out of straw. A team of faithful farmers have built a scale model of Lichfield Cathedral – out of straw. The monument, which stands 50ft tall, 74ft long and 14ft wide, took three weeks to complete before it was unveiled yesterday. Farmer Rob Gray, 50, decided to build the replica of 12th century Lichfield Cathedral which is near his 250-acre sheep farm in Whittington, Staffordshire. Incredibly, the monument is exactly one fifth the size of the original – the only medieval English cathedral with three spires. Mail Online story.

Locavore News — World


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.




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.

Locavore News — World


Independent eateries, grocers rely on local distribution

With use of organics increasing at single-operation restaurants and local grocery stores, the need for local distribution companies is clear. As opposed to conventional produce that’s typically skewed to large retailers, organic offerings are often spread throughout several stores or operations that only need a small amount of each item, with the exception of larger companies such as Whole Foods or similar stores that can handle larger shipments of each commodity. “You have a lot more mom-and-pop traditional retail stores and organic restaurants that need supply,” and there can be challenges in how to get to those stores,” said Jim Roberts, vice president of sales, Naturipe Farms LLC, Naples, Fla. The Packer story.


Homegrown Food: A Family Trend in Southeast Michigan

From home gardens to farmers markets to organic produce, parents and kids are getting in on fresh, local choices, mindful of healthy eating and the environment. Why? Motivated by anxiety over food contamination and the high cost of private-label organic produce, parents are rushing to local farmers markets in droves. And just as the organic movement has changed the way families eat, the local food movement is changing the way we think about where our family’s food comes from – and maybe even whether it’s time to start doing the farming ourselves. Metro-Parent post.


Hawai’i Homegrown Food Network

Our vision is of an abundant and self-sufficient community-based food system for Hawai‘i that promotes health and well-being and is grounded in indigenous wisdom, socio-economic justice, and sustainable agricultural practices.Website.


FoodCorps program continues focus on healthy eating, growing local

FoodCorps began locally in 2011, when Warren County was among eight North Carolina counties selected to participate in the three-year nationwide program, made possible by a $625,000 grant from the Corporation for National and Community Service and the national service agency AmeriCorps. FoodCorps in North Carolina is co-hosted by N.C. 4-H and the Center for Environmental and Farming Systems at North Carolina State University. Warren County FoodCorps is co-sponsored by Warren County Cooperative Extension, the University of North Carolina Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention and local nonprofit Working Landscapes. Celeste Frisbee, Warren County’s FoodCorps service member last year, spent much of her time working with Warren County High School (WCHS) students to upgrade the school’s greenhouse, develop a garden and use the produce students grew in a number of classes. Warren Record story.


Avoiding Future Famines

Strengthening the Ecological Foundation of Food Security through Sustainable Food Systems. The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has recently released an innovative new report stressing the importance of maintaining and boosting the underlying ecological foundations that support food production to help ensure food security. Executive Summary. Report. (5MB PDF)


Seattle & L.A. Pass Ordinance in Support of Local Food

In L.A., Mayor Villaraigosa’s office released a statement he made for the press: “Healthy food makes healthy communities. By issuing this Executive Directive to all City departments to adopt the Good Food Purchasing Pledge and its accompanying guidelines, we incentivize other municipalities and institutions to follow our lead, encouraging sustainably produced food, healthy eating habits, respect for workers’ rights and support for the local business economy.” Green Rabbits post.


Seeking a New Startup Idea? Try Farming

In an auditorium last week at the UCLA Anderson School of Management, startup companies sought out investors to help take their ideas to the next level. This wasn’t a tech conference. Venture capitalists were here to check out sustainable farming. “In the next 40 years there’s going to be a 70 percent increase in demand for food worldwide,” said Jason Reed, founder of Seedstock.com, which hosted the event. “There’s not a lot of models for how sustainability can capture that increased demand and those increased pressures.” CNBC story.


Homegrown Food Festival – MIYTV Review

Last Sunday we thought we’d pop over to Northallerton to check out the 1st Homegrown Food Festival on the grounds of Applegarth. A community food festival aiming to celebrate quality local food and drink, there was a great vibe as soon as we arrived thanks to the fields being packed with hungry folk, the sun was shining and the fantastic The Swale Valley Stompers were playing some great live music to a crowd sat on hay bales – all very traditional! And of course the array of food stalls offering their delightful products. Made in Yorkshire post.


Michigan’s ‘Homegrown Food’ authors to appear for book signing

If you put an emphasis on “farm to fork” and like the idea of self sustainability, then you may enjoy meeting the author and dedicated foodie behind “Tasting and Touring Michigan’s Homegrown Food: A Culinary Road Trip.” The book covers a 2,500-mile yearlong journey across the state. From barnyard to dairy to orchard, the reader is shown all of the bounty our state has to offer. Michigan Live post.


Vote for Food

A scorecard on the site ranks congressional members on how they voted for or against policies which, according to the website, have a “bearing on such issues as food safety, hunger, farm subsidies, food labeling, organic food and local food systems.”  It also lists upcoming food policy issues and leads readers to other helpful resources. Forbes story.




What the Contents of a Tower Would Look Like in the Suburbs

Most skyscrapers are designed to incorporate multiple uses, generally stacked on top of one another. Historically, towers included retail on the lower levels and either residential or commercial space above. Today’s tall buildings often host all three. Less than half of the 100 tallest buildings in the world are solely office properties. The footprint of a typical 1.3 million-square-foot mixed-use skyscraper covers 60 percent of the average New York City block. The same amount of mixed-use space spread over a suburban setting of strip malls, quarter-acre building lots, and open parking would sprawl across the equivalent of more than 21 New York City blocks. Wired Magazine graphic.

Locavore News — World


Homegrown Hamptons: Where Farmers and Chefs Rule

In post W.W.II America, cuisine became largely about convenience in the form of packaged ingredients frozen in time and shipped from miles away. This was often as true for restaurants as it was in home kitchens. But the last decade or two has breathed new life into old ways of cooking — reviving the European tradition of eating local. The East End is a center of the burgeoning Slow Food movement. Young farmers have reclaimed the fields, offering more diverse crops than ever and chefs have formed a tight alliance with those growers — ensuring menus are fresh, seasonal and above all … local. The Sag Harbor Express story.


Tesco Tullamore showcasing homegrown foods

Tullamore shoppers are invited to Tesco Extra Tullamore on Friday November 9 to sample some of the best of home-grown Irish meat, poultry and produce. This event is part of the Tesco “Homegrown in Ireland” campaign which was launched earlier this year to highlight to customers the Tesco own label products that are seasonal, fresh and Irish. Offaly Express story.


Homegrown revolution — Gardeners expand to tackle Alaska’s food insecurity

In 1955, 55 percent of the food consumed in Alaska was produced in Alaska. Today, a mere 5 percent of the food Alaskans eat is produced in Alaska. And that, say experts concerned with the health, stability and economy of Alaska, is as bitter a problem as mistaking salt for sugar. “In 1955 we were pretty self-sufficient, but from 1955 to 2010, we have gone from being self-reliant and independent to completely vulnerable, completely dependent on the next plane,” said Danny Consenstein, director of the Alaska Farm Service Agency of the United States Department of Agriculture. The Redoubt Reporter blog.


Homegrown Guide to Locally Made Candy, Just In Time for Halloween

Halloween is the one night of the year you can binge, guiltless, on end, on mini Kit Kats and crinkly packets of M&Ms and cherry ropes of Twizzler and sugary candy corn. And if you’re spending Halloween in Philadelphia, which we hope you are, your options for All Hallows’ Eve treats of the local variety are the perfect excuse for a November 1 candy rush — you’re supporting local business! Philly Homegrown post.


Baddest Patriots Tailgate Mobiles

When it comes to tailgating, Patriots fans know how to have a good time. For native New Englanders, they know it’s all about the sights, sounds and of course, the food. But when it comes down to tailgating, there’s only one way to prove your superiority. If you’re looking for the ultimate tailgate, look no further. Just bring a healthy appetite, because local food doesn’t get any better than this, and be ready to have one really good time with one of the baddest Patriots tailgating mobiles. CBS Boston story.


‘Hamptons & Long Island Homegrown Cookbook’ Author Shares Vision

“Love is the best ingredient, after all,” said author Leeann Lavin, whose book celebrates stories and recipes celebrating the bounty of the East End and Long Island and the intrinsic ties between chef and grower. It’s an intimate experience and I am proud and honored to share the food history and stories that are Long Island.  As I note in the book, the original Paumanok name for Long Island is “Land of Tribute,” and the “Homegrown” book is my tribute to Long Island. Patch.com story.


Food Day touts ‘homegrown’ as best

When it comes to good taste, most folks think homegrown and home-cooked is better – and that good food is as good a reason as any to celebrate. Wednesday was National Food Day, and several groups – including Sustainable Tahlequah, the Tahlequah Area Chamber of Commerce, Farmers’ Market,  Cherokee County Food Policy Council and the Northeastern State University Food, Nutrition and Dietetics Club – got together at Norris Park to give area foodies a chance to learn more about the nationwide movement toward healthier, more affordable and sustainable food. Tahlequah Daily Press story.


Street Food Global Network

The Street Food Global Network was created in 2012 with the aim to link people and organizations who are interested in cultural, social, economic, political, and bio-medical issues related to street food around the world. By connecting to the SFGN, members can access our Documents Archive to download and upload articles, documents, datasets, maps, images about street food (almost 200 documents uploaded so far!), and participate to Forums and Mailing lists, to share information and ideas with all the other members of the network.Website.


Foundation Farm to help local farmers

Goodwill Community Foundation is giving new meaning to the well-known phrase “you reap what you sow.” Armed with their goal to improve the quality of life for people in this area, Goodwill Community Foundation envisioned a dedicated farm to not only produce food for local food banks, but to also provide a place for volunteers to serve in a group setting. Rocky Mount Telegram story.


Farming Grows Up: The World’s First Commercial Vertical Farm Opens In Singapore

Enter vertical farming. A company called Sky Greens Farms has just built the world’s first commercial vertical farm in Singapore. So what is vertical farming? It works like this: instead of planting vegetables in the ground, you grow them in planters, installed into vertical towers made out of metal. Right now, the Sky Greens Farms facility produces 0.5 tonnes of vegetables each day. They’re hoping to attract investors so that they can upgrade and add enough towers to produce a full two tonnes a day. CBC News story.




Baxter Black: Barnyard Best Sellers by Cowboy Stories

A trip to Barnes and Noble these days can be overwhelming…almost too much to choose from. But when it comes to “barnyard best sellers”, leave it to Baxter Black to come up with the list. He joins us now from his Arizona ranch.Video.

Locavore News — World


‘Glastonbury for growers’ gives us food for thought

The fact that we had such an incredible turnout in the height of the worst recession we’ve ever had points, I think, to the strength of the programme and the interest in how homegrown food can transform our health and help us to live more sustainably. This year we brought seven overseas speakers to Ireland for the Gathering and it brought a new edge to the proceedings. Irish Independent story.


Maggie Beer criticises supermarket duopoly

Well respected cook, food manufacturer and restaurateur, Maggie Beer has entered into the supermarket duopoly argument calling on Australians to support homegrown produce and support local farmers. According to SMH, Beer was speaking after the International Year of the Co-operatives conference in Port Macquarie, when she urged Australians to consider more than the price when they do their grocery shopping. Australian Hospitality Magazine story.


Despite drawbacks, locavorism a worthy effort

A Madison guy with an imperfect understanding of city ordinances plants six fruit trees in his terrace — “just because,” he says later, “I enjoy fruit.” Fast forward 15 years and the trees are mature, the ordinances still deem them illegal, city streets workers complain they are interfering with their work and the city decides they must go. Before you know it, the Madison Area Permaculture Guild has gathered 400 signatures to save the man’s trees and the city’s getting ripped for its attempts to kill a fresh, local, nutritious food source. Wisconsin State Journal story.


For locavores, Grange offers meal grown within 50 miles of home

“You’ve heard of 100-mile dinners? Chef Brandon Johns of Ann Arbor’s Grange Kitchen & Bar (118 W. Liberty) is planning a 52-mile dinner Nov. 7, in which he’ll prepare courses based on ingredients sourced from no more than 52 miles away.” ConcentrateMedia post.


Ohio farming’s new cash crop: agritourism

If you’ve ever picked your own apples or bumped along on a hayride, you’ve taken part in agritourism. But the concept has grown up as more people want to learn about their food. That’s led to local-food meals served in the middle of sunflower fields and classes on making cheese from goat milk. It’s about relationships, said Rob Leeds, an Ohio State University Extension educator and pumpkin farmer who offers activities such as horse-drawn hayrides at his farm in Ostrander. Canton Repository story.


Farmers Market Management Software

Located in Portland, Oregon, managemymarket.com offers a proven solution that eliminates paperwork, streamlines all your management tasks, and includes unique features for helping to grow and sustain your market. Website.


Mercat de la Llibertat – Go local – go locavore

One of the best things about renting an apartment for a city break is being able to go food shopping at local markets and create something wonderful with the produce we’ve bought. For a fraction of the price we might pay at a restaurant we’re able to sample local delights and experiment with taste, texture and colour combinations. Barcelona has some of the best food markets in Europe. Spotted by Locals post.


Community, city efforts slowly move urban agriculture forward

The City of Durham and local food advocates are pushing for reform that will allow for more lenient rules on growing food within city limits. Last night, Durham community members gathered at 801 Gilbert St. for a public information session provided by the Durham City-County Planning Department and community group Durham Food Prosperity Council. As agriculture spreads throughout developing and revitalized American cities, Durham is among the leaders in urban food movements. Current zoning regulations, however, restrict how food can be grown and distributed within city limits. Independent Weekly blog.


Top 10 Menu trends for 2013: SRG

Consulting firm Sterling-Rice Group (SRG) has identified what is sees as the top ten food trends in food to be served on restaurant menus and line the supermarket shelves across the United States in 2013. MeatingPlace story.


Edible Communities Says Yes on Proposition 37

At Edible Communities, we believe that every person has the right to affordable, fresh, healthful food on a daily basis and that knowing where our food comes from is a powerful thing. Our publications help educate our neighbors, friends, and community leaders about the importance of eating seasonally and help to bring local family farmers, chefs, and food artisans together to promote a more sustainable food system. That is why Edible Communities is joining over 1000 chefs (Chefs’ Petition In Support of Prop 37), over 1 million California residents (Yes on Prop 37) and over 3500 organizations (CA Right to Know Endorsements) in supporting Yes on Proposition 37: Right to Know. Edible Communities post.




New GRCC Culinary Amphitheater

Secchia Institute for Culinary Education at Grand Rapids Community College is home to the new Pietro and Regina Amphitheater. The new kitchen amphitheater seats 54 people to an up close and personal view of food preparation and lessons on using state of the art kitchen appliances and tools.  Jaye Beeler, author of “Tasting and Touring Michigan’s Homegrown Food: A Culinary Roadtrip” will be one of the first local culinarians to demonstrate in the amphitheater, which is also fitted with state-of-the-art appliances. WZZM story & video.

Locavore News — World


Pumpkin Chipotle Cream Pasta Sauce

Despite the temptation, October cannot be spent existing solely on spooky treats. We’d all be psychotic by Halloween or suffering a sucrose coma in the least.  Admittedly I’m having trouble letting the whimsy of the holiday go, wanting to eke out every last moment until November 1. I challenged myself this week to consider making something with pumpkin that felt festive to the season but not baked or soup. I don’t know that I’ve ever used pumpkin outside those two food genres. Somehow incorporating it into pasta piqued my curiosity and I set out to whip up a spicy rendition of a pasta cream sauce staying true to the fall flavors. Boulder Locavore post.


Local food still rules

When it comes to consumer food trends, local still rules. Half of consumers polled in August said they have purchased locally sourced food in the past month, compared with 40% who say they have bought organic food, according to research conducted by Datassential on behalf of Charleston Orwig, a communications and marketing conpany in Hartland, Wis. The research was presented by Datassential Director Maeve Webster in September at Charleston Orwig’s third-annual “thought leadership event” in Milwaukee, according to Jenell Loschke, account supervisor, for Charleston Orwig. “Locally sourced is perceived as a driver of sustainability,” Loschke said. “It is the only ‘sustainable’ descriptor driving retail (64%) and foodservice (50%) purchases among consumers.”  (emphasis added – ed.) The Packer story.


Study suggests ways to improve local food economy

A study released this October showed that $3.6 billion has crept out of the Northwest Ohio economy because the local food system isn’t being fully utilized. “The region has much to gain by doing so: our analysis of the region’s farm and food economy shows that $3.6 billion leaks out of Northwest Ohio each year as residents farm and eat, since farmers farm at narrow margins to produce commodities for export, while consumers eat food imported from far away,” according to “Finding Food in Northwest Ohio,” a study conducted by Ken Meter. Meter is president of the Crossroads Resource Center, a nonprofit in Minneapolis. Toledo Free Press story.


Alabamians’ hunger for homegrown food outpaces farmers’ supply

Eating locally grown foods has long been a lifestyle for many Alabamians, dating back to the state’s agrarian roots. But for others, it’s become the chic thing to do in recent years, a trend spurred on by a desire to eat healthy and know exactly where their food comes from. As a result, the popularity of farmers markets has exploded. Over the last dozen years, the number of farmers markets in Alabama has grown more than 700 percent, from just 17 in 1999 to 140 today. Al.com story.


Local Food Hub Hosts 2nd Annual Community Food Awards

A food-focused group celebrated some Charlottesville grown produce Wednesday.  The Local Food Hub hosted its second annual Community Food Awards. Farmers, businesses and community members gathered to honor those that have made an impact on the Charlottesville food system. Several awards were given to people who continue to make the food system thrive: NBC 29 News story.


Trade homemade, homegrown & foraged eats at Sunday’s Food Swap

One of the latest trends in the local food movement is food swaps, and this Sunday the public is invited to take part in one in Portland. You don’t need any cash, all you need is some food ripe for the swapping. This could be your homemade pickles or canned tomatoes, the squash or cabbage from your garden or the wild mushrooms or seaweed you foraged. The event is being organized by Anna Sommo, who hosted a successful food swap at her home this summer. Because the event was so well-received, it inspired her to open it up to a wider group of food swappers. Portland Press Herald story.


Locavore Q & A: Simon Helgeson

This post is part of the guest series “Locavore Q & A“.  Whether a beginning cook in the kitchen or a seasoned local farmer, we all have different motivations for choosing a locavore lifestyle. Each post highlights a different perspective on local food. Today’s post was written by Simon Helgeson, a friend of the kitchen partner and I who also writes at 20Food.net. Simon is one of my favorite people to cook/dine with. He has great stories about cooking, growing, and traveling in the United States and in South America. So glad he’s able to answer some locavore questions for us! Minnesota Locavore post.


Agriculture is in good hands at the Milton Lynch Primary School.

The school was one of many which recognised World Food Day with activities yesterday. However, the major difference between them and others was that they celebrate food every day of the year. There was a wide array of dishes, including golden apple pie, cassava hat, gooseberry syrup, and many juices on display yesterday and they were all produced with ingredients grown in the school’s back yard. Barbados Today story.


USDA Inspected Mobile Processing of Large Animals For Small Scale Producers

The meat processing industry has become more consolidated in recent years, resulting in the closure of many small processing plants across the country.  Small family farmers who wish to market their livestock directly to consumers, restaurants and local stores often do not have USDA inspected processing facilities available within a practical distance.  A group of farmers in San Juan County, WA set out to address this problem. The solution was the first mobile USDA Inspected field slaughter unit. Since the first unit started operation in 2002 TriVan Truck Body has built a number of MSU trailers, like our basic 36 ft unit pictured here. These units incorporate the changes and improvements made to our prototype. Website.


Fishing for Orioles

It isn’t often that one goes fishing and catches a baby oriole. Somehow, I managed it. This afternoon I drove over to a local reservoir to see about catching some catfish. Once my cat rigs were set up in the water I set up a light bass rig to pass the time with. I was a little bit sloppy with the back-hand part of my cast and my lure smacked into a low-hanging branch behind me. Something dropped out of the tree and a couple of birds began mercilessly haranguing me. It took me a good ten or fifteen seconds to realize that I had bumped into a birds nest and the young had fallen out. The Locavore Hunter post.




Super size, super waste: What whopping portions do to the planet

In 1955, McDonald’s introduced a new product line — french fries. The original portion weighed 2.4 ounces (and had 210 calories). Today, that product is known as a small order of french fries, and is normally overlooked for the super size, at 7.1 ounces (and 610 calories). What’s more, the largest order of french fries in the United States is a whopping 37 percent larger than the largest size available in the United Kingdom. That’s a lot of fried potato. Grist article.