Local Food News — World

How Dingle became a top food destination

“How on earth did this poor, little fishing port evolve to become one of the most important towns in the Irish food world, the inaugural winner of the Restaurant Association of Ireland’s inaugural Food Destination Town, in 2014? Stella Doyle believes it all kicked off with the film, Ryan’s Daughter, filmed in the locality and starring Robert Mitchum. Many more in Dingle and beyond believe it actually kicked off with the arrival of Stella Doyle herself, most especially, when she and her husband, John, opened the now-nationally renowned Doyle’s Seafood Restaurant in 1973. Irish Examiner story.

 

Our best shot at cooling the planet might be right under our feet

Soil is the second biggest reservoir of carbon on the planet, next to the oceans. It holds four times more carbon than all the plants and trees in the world. But human activity like deforestation and industrial farming – with its intensive ploughing, monoculture and heavy use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides – is ruining our soils at breakneck speed, killing the organic materials that they contain. Now 40% of agricultural soil is classed as “degraded” or “seriously degraded”. In fact, industrial farming has so damaged our soils that a third of the world’s farmland has been destroyed in the past four decades. As our soils degrade, they are losing their ability to hold carbon, releasing enormous plumes of CO2 [pdf] into the atmosphere. The Guardian story.

 

Food swap initiative reducing waste for Riverland gardeners

The philosophy behind the food swap is simple: Bring what you have, take what you need. “No-one can eat a whole tree full of fruit so if they can share it with people who have a different tree in their backyard, that will help stop the wastage,” organiser Catherine Langford said. She has been one of the driving forces behind the region’s first food swap, an initiative which has popped up in towns and cities across the globe as green-thumbs exchange excess produce. ABC News story.

 

School greenhouse nearly complete

A barn-raising of sorts has been going on at the Rockport Public Schools as volunteers build a greenhouse between the two buildings on the Jerdens Lane campus. Superintendent Rob Liebow said the greenhouse will form the centerpiece of a new Health, Wellness and Sustainability Center for the schools. “It will provide environmental and healthy living education to all of our students K-12, provide fresh produce for our food service program, the local food pantry and also offer extension programs to the greater Rockport community through the provision for a student-run farmer’s market,” he said. Gloucester Times story.

 

Will This New Bill Level the Playing Field for Urban Farms?

Urban farming received a legitimizing nod last month when Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan) introduced the Urban Agriculture Act of 2016 in hopes of getting it included in the next Farm Bill. In a call with reporters, Stabenow described the act as an important document, “To start the conversation and create the broad support I think we will have in including urban farming as part of the next Farm Bill.” Civil Eats post.

 

Urban Agriculture on the Rise: Leeds Hydro Store Comments

One country which is leading the way when it comes to urban agriculture is Canada, with its largest city Vancouver set to be the greenest city in the entire world by 2020. Home to Canada’s first commercial aeroponics farm Vancouver utilises modern and innovative technology to grow the majority of the produce which is enjoyed in its restaurants and available at its markets. Many countries are already following in Canada’s footsteps also, and it is going to be interesting to see how much this style of growing has taken over in just a few years. Digital Journal press release.

 

Cities of Farmers: Urban Agricultural Practices and Processes

“In Cities of Farmers, Dawson and Morales perform the Herculean task of examining the historical, regulatory, production, and distributional aspects of urban agricultural systems while simultaneously exploring the significant benefits and challenges of urban agriculture. With a healthy mix of new and more established voices, the chapters will interest a range of audiences, providing clear concepts, lessons, and examples that render key messages actionable.” University of Iowa Press book review.

 

A farm bill just for urban agriculture?

Yes, if Sen. Debbie Stabenow has her way. The Michigan Democrat announced The Urban Agriculture Act in Detroit. The Department of Agriculture already offers support for city farmers, but this bill would add to those grants, loans, and education programs. It would also provide $10 million for urban ag research, $5 million for community gardens, incentives for farmers to provision neighbors with fresh food, and resources for composting and cleaning up contaminated soil. Grist briefly.

 

Good Food Business Accelerator’s Third Year Off to Strong Start

Nine competitively selected Fellows are participating in the third year of FamilyFarmed’s Good Food Business Accelerator, and they represent a wide range of exciting entrepreneurial ventures: from unique pies and clean meals to tea-infused energy bites and indigenous wild rice cereal, and from locally sourced juices and sparkling fruit tonics to pickled produce and sippable soups. Good Food on Every Table post.

 

Multifunctional peri-urban agriculture—A review of societal demands and the provision of goods and services by farming

Peri-urban areas around urban agglomerations in Europe and elsewhere have been subject to agricultural and land use research for the past three decades. The manner in which farming responds to urban pressures, socio-economic changes and development opportunities has been the main focus of examination, with urban demand for rural goods and services representing a driving factor to adapt farming activities in a multifunctional way. Working within the peri-urban framework, this review pays particular attention to the relevance of multifunctional agriculture. Science Direct abstract

 

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Amazon just opened a grocery store without a checkout line

Amazon is testing a grocery store in downtown Seattle that lets customers walk in, grab food from the shelves and walk out again, without ever having to stand in a checkout line. Customers tap their cellphones on a turnstile as they walk into the store, which logs them into the store’s network and connects to their Amazon account through an app. The Seattle-based company calls it, “Just walk out technology.” USA Today story.

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Local Food News — World

The Rise of the It Bird

If I had never seen Janet Bonney reënact the mouth-to-beak resuscitation of her hen Number Seven, who had been frozen solid in a nor’easter, then was thawed and nursed back to life—being hand-fed and massaged as she watched doctor shows on TV—I might never have become a chicken person. But a few years ago I happened to watch a documentary called “The Natural History of the Chicken,” which opens with the story of Bonney and Number Seven, and for the first time the thought of owning chickens entered my mind. The New Yorker story.

 

Good Food Nation Bill in Programme for Government

Pete continued, ‘Nourish believes the Good Food Nation Bill will be an excellent opportunity to protect and progress a rights-based approach to food. A statutory duty on Ministers to create a

towards a food system where we all have access to good food that meets our dietary needs with dignity and choice, and that treats the environment and producers fairly – including through access to land.’ Nourish Scotland news release.

 

British film crew documents American Harvest Eatery’s ‘farm to fork’ approach

A Springfield restaurant that specializes in the use and preparation of locally sourced food may soon be more famous across the Atlantic Ocean than it is in the capital city. A crew from the Travel Channel was in the Springfield area Aug. 17-19 to film a program called “Flavours of the USA,” a series that airs primarily in the United Kingdom but can also be seen in Germany and France. The episode featuring Springfield’s American Harvest Eatery and a Chicago restaurant will air in September and will focus on the “farm to fork” philosophy of the establishments. The State Journal-Register story.

 

Local food products up for awards

Coastal spring lamb and Mash Tun Crackers are both finalists in this year’s New Zealand Food Awards. Coastal Spring Lamb and Coastal Lamb, the brainchild of Turakina farmer Richard Redmayne, is a finalist in four categories – one for chilled foods, one for primary sector products, one for business innovation and one for export innovation. Mash Tun Crackers are one of seven finalists in the Novel Ingredients Award. The awards have been going since 1987, and are organised by Massey University. New Zealand Herald story.

 

Why fresh produce should hit the tourist trail

The report highlights numerous ways in which local communities are developing significant income from food tourism. There are examples such as Tebay and Gloucester motorway service stations that include farm shops selling local produce reflecting the strong local producer networks in those areas. Then there’s the Cornish village of Padstow, which has developed a strong reputation as a local food destination enhanced by celebrity chefs, and Amble in Northumberland, which has a growing food and drink offer that is fully integrated into local economic development plans. Produce Business UK story.

 

The power of local produce

A year on, as well as promoting teamwork and community spirit – with a view to increasing tourism in the area – promoting local producers has been a key focus of Cong Food Village. Mr Keane explains there are countless benefits for local communities of supporting locally produced food. “When I become a chef 20 years ago nobody cared who made my butter or my salt. Now I know who makes my salt personally and I know who makes my butter. “I can trace everything I buy, and it’s the same in the village, we can all trace everything back to source so instead of giving money to a big multinational, you’re encouraging the community by giving money to a farmer or local butcher or a fisherman. Galway Independent story.

 

Farming policy debate intensifies

The debate over the future direction of UK farming policy post-Brexit has intensified, with influential conservation bodies putting forward strong views last month on where they believe Government support for the sector should be targeted. While the National Trust emphasised the need to bolster farming’s green credentials, the Campaign to Protect Rural England’s (CPRE) New Model Farming paper focuses more on its social and health aspects, urging support for small producers including new entrants, nearness to markets and particular support for fresh-produce suppliers, pointing out: “We eat too few fruits and vegetables yet national production has decreased and imports have risen.” Horticulture Week story.

 

How food policy may feature in the White House after November

Food activists may bemoan the low profile given to food in the current campaign but they cannot accuse the outgoing US President of ignoring food issues. Indeed, making the battle against childhood obesity a priority was a defining feature of the Obama presidency, while reform to nutritional labelling and the recent introduction of nationwide GMO labelling legislation reflects the high priority given to food policy during President Obama’s two terms in office. Just Food analysis.

 

First all-Ireland luxury sleeper train begins week-long rail tour

While guests will be dined and entertained on board at night, head chef Alan Woods promises the finest local produce dominates the menus — they include Killarney venison, Donegal turf-smoked salmon and crab cannon, and warm Kildare wild elderberry and plum compote. Irish Examiner story.

 

Humanure: the end of sewage as we know it?

Laura Allen, a 33-year-old teacher from Oakland, California, has a famous toilet. To be honest, it’s actually a box, covered in decorative ceramic tiles, sitting on the cement floor of her bathroom like a throne. No pipes lead to or from it; instead, a bucket full of shavings from a local wood shop rests on the box next to the seat with a note instructing users to add a scoopful after making their “deposit.” Essentially an indoor outhouse, it’s a composting toilet, a sewerless system that Allen uses to collect her household’s excrement and transform it into a rich brown material known to fans as “humanure.” Allen is a founding member of an activist group devoted to the end of sewage as we know it. Her toilet recently made an appearance in the Los Angeles Times—which might explain why she didn’t seem surprised when I emailed her out of the blue to ask if I could use it. The Guardian story.

 

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A ravenous suffix

Locavore has been one of the most popular new food words of the 21st century since its explosion in popularity in 2007 when it was Oxford University Press’ Word of the Year. As eating locally has gone from trend to common practice, locavore boosted the lexical stock of the -vore suffix, spawning new words and reviving older ones. The opportunivore eats anything available: It’s essentially a rebranded dumpster diver. Vegivores are not-quite vegetarians, eating occasional meat or fish: You could also call these flexible eaters flexivores. The Boston Globe story.

Local Food News — World

Why would a city defy convention and run its own farming operation?

The Gut Karlshof farm site is located well within the limits of one of Europe’s fastest growing cities, even though it would violate handfuls of bylaws, regulations and zoning restrictions almost anywhere in Canada. The historic farmyard is located on 273 hectares (675 acres) of prime agricultural land, and it and nine other sites called estates in and around the city add up to 6,300 acres farmed by the municipal government. By German standards, such a farm operation is enormous. Country Guide story.

 

Britain’s meal ticket? Food and drink at heart of referendum debate

It is no coincidence that food and drink is at the heart of so much of the debate about whether we are better off in or out of the EU. Worth £80bn a year and employing 400,000 people, it is our largest manufacturing sector and a big exporter and importer. Moreover, 38% of its workers are foreign-born, placing its demand for cheap labour at the centre of arguments about immigration. The common agriculture policy (CAP) swallows up nearly 40% of the total EU budget; it has reshaped not just farming but our landscape in the decades since Britain joined the European Economic Community in 1973. The free movement of goods, people and capital – enshrined in EU treaties – and EU common policies adopted on trade, fisheries and regional development, as well as agriculture, have been the framework through which the UK has globalised. The Guardian story.

 

This City Is Home to 820 Urban Farms and Quickly Becoming America’s Urban Ag Capital

As Co.Exist reported, Chicago is quietly becoming the country’s urban agriculture capital with 821 growing sites across the city, from small community gardens to multimillion dollar indoor farms, according to the Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project. Even O’Hare’s Terminal 3 is home to the world’s first airport aeroponic garden. EcoWatch post.

 

Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project

Since 2010, the Chicago Urban Agriculture Mapping Project (CUAMP) has sought to collaboratively map and inventory urban agriculture and community gardens in Chicago. The project includes representatives from not-for-profits, community organizations, universities, and practitioners, all of whom agree that collecting information collaboratively will lead to more and better publicly accessible information about urban agriculture in Chicago. Website.

 

Furniture Giant IKEA Wants to Help Restaurants Build Their Own Indoor Farms

The company—which has put further emphasis on becoming more environmentally sustainable—recently introduced “The Farm,” a hydroponic garden that would allow them to grow the food served at their stores directly inside the IKEA restaurants. The in-store cafes—known for their Swedish meatballs, cinnamon rolls and lingonberry everything—are just one small slice of the company’s $2 billion-a-year business. However, IKEA is hoping to use The Farm as a model for restaurants everywhere to take a more holistic, home-grown approach to the food supply chain. Food & Wine story.

 

This New Startup Wants To Be The Airbnb For Local Farm Tourism

Despite the growing popularity of local food—sales more than doubled between 2008 and 2014—most small farms struggle to survive. A new startup called Farmcation is designed to offer a new source of income by connecting farmers with nearby city dwellers who want to visit. At a test event for the startup, now in beta, Bay Area visitors traveled to an organic family farm in the Central Valley, where they met the farmer, got a tour, picked strawberries, and ate a picnic lunch spread out on a long table next to an orchard and cooked by chefs from a San Francisco restaurant. Co.Exist story.

 

Hungry for your next Food Adventure? Explore with Zingerman’s Great American Food Tours!

Zingerman’s Food Tours has used food as a way to connect to the history of a region, the spirit of its people and the regional rhythm of daily life. Zingerman’s Food Tours is your concierge to the best local guides, food, and cultural experiences. Our tours give you the chance to relax while enjoying and experiencing the best our destinations have to offer. We’ve scoured the globe to make connections in the food and travel world. After experiencing one of our tours, you’ll take home some pretty unique souvenirs: a deeper understanding of a unique region, a sense of their place in our increasingly connected lives, fantastic images, tasty memories, recipes to share, and a sense of discovery fulfilled. Taste the Local Difference post.

 

Urban Farm Pot

“Let’s grow our own food inside an urban space, be it living room, balcony or roof top of your home or in an urban park for large scale production. The future pods will have a new form of mediated arboreal culture, to integrate the biological and mechanical elements more closely, to transform the object into one that grows and changes symbiotically. This project sets out a direction for healthy biological exchanges with urban inhabitants, and to contribute to the life of urban ecosystems.” spoga+gafa blog.

 

How Nanotechnology Will Keep Your Bananas and Mangoes From Rotting

A Canadian team has invented a new way to make sure that fruit stays fresh for longer, by spraying them with a nano-scale formula. Jay Subramanian, a professor of tree fruit breeding and biotechnology at the University of Guelph, and his group have developed a treatment that extends the shelf life of fruits like mangoes, blueberries, and bananas, which could have huge implications in the battle against food waste, and help farmers, too. Subramanian’s new formula could change that. Motherboard story.

 

Doing a Little Soul Searching: Keeping It Real

Over the course of the past two decades, we’ve witnessed a profound shift in consumer behaviors toward deeper interest and participation in food culture driven by the desire for quality life experiences and healthier foods, concerns for the environment and the search for higher-quality, fresh food and beverage products. These cultural movements, which in their various ways focus on the recovery of soul, are where the energies that will shape the next cultural era lie. Those businesses that understand and serve these movements will be in the best position to thrive in the coming decades. Hartman Group post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

How to Prepare Your Edible Garden for Summer Storms

The Summer Monsoon season is upon us. The winds howl and the rain pours down with very little warning. Is your edible garden ready for the onslaught of massive amounts of water hitting it in a very short amount of time? Here are a few tips to prepare your edible garden for summer storms. Agriscaping post.

Local Food News — World

3rd-graders learn value of local agriculture

Estes Elementary School third-grade Academically Intellectually Gifted students are working on a Farm Community Awareness Campaign. We want people to know more about farms, but we also want people to realize that farms are not just cows, pigs and other animals that you think of as basically boring. Farms are more interesting than you might think they are. Mountain Xpress post.

 

Year After Year, the Same State Ranks as the Best for Local Food

When a Vermont-based nonprofit that advocates for local food initiatives finds, year after year, that Vermont is the most locavore-friendly state in the country—that is, the state that makes it easiest to eat locally grown food—it may be tempting to write it off. Still, despite Vermont’s coming in first place for the fifth year in a row in the Strolling of the Heifers 2016 Locavore Index, released Monday, the ranking is more than a vanity project—it offers a compelling look at the state of small farms, and the policies that support them, across the country. TakePart story.

 

Localizing Distribution to Make Better Food Accessible to All

As we think about rewiring the food system for the better, we should aspire to collapse the distribution chain instead of adding to it. The solution is to eliminate middlemen, not simply replace them — Community Supported Agriculture (CSAs) and tech companies like Farmigo are already applying just-in-time models to directly connect consumers to farm-fresh food, harvesting only what’s ordered to maximize freshness and reduce waste. Food + Tech Connect guest post by Benzi Ronen, Founder of Farmigo

 

What If The Food Industry Ended Monoculture Farming?

Since 1974, the average number of items in a grocery store has increased from 9,000 to almost 44,000 today. Yet today, 75 percent of the world’s food is generated from only 12 plants and 5 animal species, finds the Food and Agriculture Organization. So while the range of products available has widened, the range of crops grown to produce those products has narrowed over the last 40+ years. This is a food system dominated by monoculture. Food + Tech Connect post.

 

Homegrown edibles trend in county

County residents are investing in more homegrown fruits, vegetables, and chickens, according to three local business officials. Jon Hefley of The Lumberyard in Hillsboro has noticed more people have started to grow potatoes, onions, tomatoes, lettuce, and other common foodstuffs instead of purchasing them at grocery stores. “Homegrown food just tastes so different,” Hefley said. “Prices are going up on a lot of groceries, and with the drop in beef prices, people are scared, too. There is a lot of uncertainty.” The Lumberyard has stocked small chicken coops, some of which look like little red barns, to meet another trend Hefley has noticed. Hillsboro Star-Journal story.

 

There’s something cooking at the Vogelmorn Club

Homegrown food businesses will be able to operate out the Vogelmorn Club’s newly installed kitchen this spring. The kitchen will be rented on an hourly basis so goods can be produced for markets in accordance with food safety laws. The Vogelmorn Community Group came up with the idea after asking Brooklyn people how they’d like to use the old bowling clubrooms on Mornington Road. Many requested a place with a proper hygiene certificate to press, package, and make goods they could sell in markets around Wellington. Stuff.co.nz story.

 

How Small Grocers are Banding Together to Change Food Retail For the Good

So he told Sarah Weiner, who co-founded and runs the awards via the Seedling Projects, that he thought stores like his and other independents needed to pool together as the presenting sponsor of the Good Food Awards. “Through the process of talking through it and testing the idea out with a few people, the idea of the collaborative was born,” Mogannam said. The initial idea was two-fold. They would create a network of independent retailers who could sponsor the Good Food Awards collectively as an entity. They would also help to grow the sale of organic and sustainable products by championing the producers and pushing sales in their stores. Civil Eats story.

 

Beijing’s First Culinary Incubator, Hatchery

Based in Beijing, China, Hatchery is an innovative platform that brings together entrepreneurs, investors, mentors and local communities to develop, test, launch, and enjoy exciting new food and beverage ideas. Since our founding in 2015, we have been working hard to bring more of the world’s unique flavors and cuisines to China. Hatchery is currently headquartered at a multi-purpose space in Tuanjiehu, Beijing. Within the venue is a 250-square-meter dining area with seating for up to 100 diners, fully stocked bar, private dining rooms, and a table-tennis table. The Hatchery kitchen occupies 180 square meters with bakery, large food preparation areas, professional kitchen equipment and food storage facilities. The Beijinger blog.

 

Agrihoods: A new housing trend is taking root

“How ya gonna keep ’em down on the farm?” asks the old song. The answer may be: Build them an agrihood. Feeding off the continuing interest in eating fresh, local food, developers are ditching golf courses and designing communities around farms, offering residents a taste of the pastoral life — and tasty produce, too. The latest incarnation of harvest homes is The Cannery, a community designed around a small farm in Davis, about 20 miles west of California’s capital, Sacramento. Press Herald story.

 

The World’s First Floating Urban Dairy Farm Will Be Built In Rotterdam

The Floating Farm will be home to 60 urban dairy cows that will produce local milk, cheese, cream, butter, and yogurt. “Our idea is to create as much food as we can locally,” says Peter van Wingerden, director of Beladon, a building developer that specializes in floating structures and that envisions building fully floating cities in the future. “The long-term idea is to create cities that are completely self-sufficient on essential elements like clean water, energy, food, and waste—to create this inside these cities on oceans,” he says. Fast Company post.

 

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Review: The War on Food

At what point will any of us have the balls to stand up and say ‘you know what, it’s time for a new corporate model, one that is a mod of incorporation’ and be ready to throw tomatoes instead of capsicums, even though we have no tomatoes to throw…and that’ll make sense if and when you see the show. Which you must, because there is a wonderful economy of homegrown talent happening here, and it’s important to foster this produce. Fresh in thought and in fun, ‘The War on Food’ will leave you thinking and hungry for more. And considering the ending, there is more to come from this fantastic mob of passionate young creatives. And that’s a good thing…a very very good thing. OUTinPerth review.

Local Food News — World

The Guerrilla Grafting Movement

There is a group of fruit lovers in San Francisco that practice something known as “guerrilla grafting” –  they graft fruit bearing branches onto fruitless, ornamental trees across the Bay Area city. Having access to free fruit sounds like a wonderful idea, considering the number of homeless people who can rarely afford a decent meal, but guerrilla grafting is actually illegal. Oddity Central post.

 

Yardfarmers follows 6 young Americans as they move back home to farm their parents’ yards

Yardfarmers, which was created by Erik Assadourian, a senior fellow at the Worldwatch Institute and a sustainability researcher and writer, aims to follow six young Americans as they move back in with their parents to grow food in their parents’ yards and/or other neighborhood greenspaces. It’s an intriguing proposition, and one which may help to bring urban farming and backyard farming out from under the Portlandia hipster umbrella and put it back in the forefront of conversations about sustainability and food systems. Treehugger story.

 

New 1LOCAL Index brings transparency to food scene

In 2014, PASA launched its Real Deal Project to understand the concept of “local food.” The project sought to understand how consumers and food purveyors define local, what values are embedded in the concept of local food, and what food businesses are doing to communicate their local practices. This lead to the development of 1LOCAL Index, consisting of an online self-assessment, a customized infographic report and a best-practices toolkit. Farm and Dairy story.

 

Chickens Key to Living Backyard-to-Table

As Americans look to eat more natural, homegrown food, the farm-to-table trend is popping up in backyards. And for families embracing the backyard-to-table movement, chickens are a key element, according to Tractor Supply Company, the nation’s largest rural lifestyle retailer. During its springtime Chick Days event, Tractor Supply serves as a one-stop resource for families who want to get started raising backyard poultry. Through April, baby chicks and ducklings are available at most Tractor Supply stores nationwide. Marketwired press release.

 

OOOOby Taranaki hopes to rebuild local food sources with homegrown goods

A business focused on rebuilding local food sources is looking for homegrown providers. Ooooby Taranaki, Out of our own Backyards, will begin delivering locally-sourced produce to Oakura, Omata and New Plymouth on Wednesday May 25 and if business booms then Ooooby partners Ursula Bil-Tetink and Emma Thorp hope to spread the business throughout the region. Taranaki Daily News story.

 

Food policy conference planned at UC Riverside

There will be a break-out sessions on the following topics: Farming the 21st Century, Securing Capital to Grow Agribusiness, Connecting Local and Health, Resources for Food & Agriculture Production, GIS Mapping to Connect Growers and Landowners, Community Engagement Workshop, Farming on Less than 10 Acres, Ag Land Lease Agreements, Local Food Procurement Policies, and Career Opportunities in Food & Agriculture. University of California post.

 

Sodexo’s “Vermont First” Commitments Bearing Fruit as Local Product Purchases See a Significant Increase

Under the “Vermont First” program, Sodexo works with farmers, distributors, processors, state government, non-profits and supply chain players within the farm to table economy to increase the amount of local food grown and sold in the state and beyond, contributing to growing Vermont’s economy. Sodexo has already completed many of the commitments it pledged to at the launch announcement, including developing a plan to meet the production needs of Vermont farmers and creating a steering committee of Vermont stakeholders to discuss issues of procurement, marketing and meeting cutover demand. CSRwire.com press release.

 

When Whole Foods asked for local produce, more than 100 growers applied

Whole Foods Market announced last month that it was seeking local produce, meat, baked goods, body care goods and more to sell at its first store in the Lehigh Valley, expected to open this fall at the Costco-anchored Hamilton Crossings shopping center in Lower Macungie Township. The high-end grocery store that claims to sell only the healthiest and most natural products received 109 applications from suppliers by the April 6 deadline, spokeswoman Annie Cull said. Allentown Morning Call story.

 

In packaged food, local players beat multinationals in market share

The year 2015 has been a good year for homegrown food brands like Amul, Britannia, Mother Dairy, Parle, among others, as there has been a clear trend amongst consumers preferring Indian brands over their foreign counterparts. In fact, only three international brands (Mondelez, PepsiCo and Nestle) figured in the top ten players by market share across packaged foods, as per data from market research firm Euromonitor. Business Standard story.

 

Sacramento Kings, Legends Hospitality Announce More Local Arena Food Partners

The Sacramento Kings and Legends Hospitality announced three more local restaurant partners joining the food and beverage program at Golden 1 Center – the future home of the Sacramento Kings opening in October. These three restaurants represent the Kings and Legends extended commitment to sourcing local ingredients and supporting the regional economy, all while highlighting the best of Sacramento. NBA.com  story.

 

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America’s most densely-packed restaurant city may surprise you

You can’t swing a lobstah in Providence without knocking over a bowl of chowdah. What’s it like to live in a place where there are more restaurants per capita than anywhere else? “Because of the student population here (Brown University, Rhode Island School of Design, Johnson & Wales University), there are lots of cozy places geared to a tight budget,” says Jamie Coelho, associate editor at Rhode Island Monthly, where she writes and edits the publication’s local food newsletter, The Dish. Yahoo Canada Finance story.

Local Food News — World

A Floating Food Forest Prepares to Sets Sail in New York City

Half public art project, half tourist destination, a floating food forest called Swale is set to launch along the New York City waterfront in June. Unlike the Beacon Food Forest in Seattle, Clifton Park Food Forest in Baltimore, and other similar efforts located in public parks or public land, Swale is built on a barge. Occupying the equivalent of one tenth of an acre, the barge will be planted with mature persimmon and paw-paw trees, gooseberries, autumn olives, chives, artichokes, Swiss chard, tomatoes, and dozens of other varieties of fruits, vegetables, herbs, and nuts that visitors are invited to harvest and eat, free of charge. Swale will dock at six ports along the Hudson River, including Governors Island, Yankee Pier, and Brooklyn Bridge Park, spending at least one month in each. Civil Eats story.

 

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass

Learn about how USDA and our federal partners support local and regional food economies; see communities putting these resources to work; and explore the map to find out what’s happening near you. USDA portal.

 

Funding the Nonprofit Grocery Store: A Variety of Models at Work

As the large chains leave, residents are banding together to explore new methods of maintaining their neighborhood stores, including membership, connecting to other nonprofit or business services, and crowdfunding. In Waco, Texas, Mission Waco has raised thirty-eight percent of the funds it needs to convert a vacant 6,500 square-foot building into a vibrant “Jubilee Food Market.” Its goal is to raise $488,000 to transform the eyesore into a community asset. Many years ago, the building was home to a Safeway, but the grocery store has long abandoned the community. Now, the nonprofit is looking to donors from as far away as Maine to rebuild this essential resource. Nonprofit Quarterly story.

 

In Hudson Valley Schools, a Program Spreads Learning Through Gardening

Few things are more inspiring than seeing a young person create a meaningful place in society from scratch. That’s the case with Ava Bynum, who grew up near our home in Philipstown, N.Y., and — setting aside the idea of college — created a program for local schools, Hudson Valley Seed, built around incorporating basic learning with gardening and nutrition. The program now serves about 1,500 students a week in schools in several Hudson Valley counties. The New York Times story.

 

New Markets, New Opportunities: Strengthening Local Food Systems and Organic Agriculture

A powerful local and regional food movement is growing inside the United States; a movement that directly connects consumers with how, where and by whom their food is grown. It forges new pathways for rural families to stay on the farm and attracts new producers to farming and food-related businesses. It brings about a new appreciation for rural production and entrepreneurship among top chefs, food companies and grocers large and small. It connects schools and our nation’s children with fresher, healthier food to give them the energy they need to be successful into the future. And for all those reasons, it has become one of the four foundational pillars on which the U.S. Department of Agriculture bases its policies and programming. USDA Results, Tom Vilsack post.

 

When we create opportunities for farmers and ranchers, our entire nation reaps the benefit “Over the last four years, I’ve seen a shift. People who have never been on a farm are becoming interested in where their food comes from. Towns and neighborhoods that didn’t have regular access to fresh fruits and vegetables are getting them. Farmers and ranchers are tapping into new markets and keeping more money in their pockets by selling locally. And all across the country, innovative local food businesses are starting up and staffing up. Local food systems work for America: when we create opportunities for farmers and ranchers, our entire nation reaps the benefit.” Barack Obama quoted in Tom Vilsack post.

 

Food and Bike Punks funded project is drawing to a close

Once again Food Punks will be demonstrating their cookery skills, this time to lead cookery demos on local, seasonal food as well as how to reduce food waste. The Bike Punks team will be showing off their trials riding skills in the car park and will be on hand to give practical help with fixing bikes and bike maintenance. This is a great opportunity for the Food and Bike Punks to showcase their skills on a bigger stage and the event has lots of interesting workshops and fun activities as well as delicious food and a fashion show, showcasing clothes that have been up-cycled as a finale. Tweeddale Youth Action post.

 

Care Farming in the UK and Ireland: State of Play 2015

The majority of the estimated 240 care farms in the UK provide services for a range of client groups, including people with learning difficulties, autism spectrum disorders, people with mental illness and excluded young people. Most offer care farming services for 5 days a week for up to 50 clients a week and most users attend care farms between 1 and 3 times a week. Funding is identified as the most significant challenge to care farming services, in addition to securing contracts and recognition of the value of care farms and care farming services. UK care farms currently provide services for an estimated total of 8,400 vulnerable people per week. RuSource Briefing 2374.

 

The kids are all right on climate

If the students exhibiting their projects at Ireland’s first environmental exhibition for schools were the world leaders of today, we might be farther along the road to embracing the solutions to climate change. The mindsets required to reduce, reuse and recycle waste, improve energy efficiency and embrace clean energy technology were on display at Green-Schools Expo 2016, held at the RDS Industries Hall in Ballsbridge, Dublin, late last month. “We should cut down on meat, because one burger is the carbon equivalent of driving a car for a month,” says Craig Griffin. Irish Times story.

 

Seeds & Chips: We bring food and technology together, May 11-14, Milan

Seeds&Chips is the International Summit dedicated to food innovation from farm to fork, where food and technology meet. Hundreds of startups, companies in food and tech, investors, thought leaders and policymakers come together to share content and visions, projects and experiences — innovating the food system is not just an opportunity, it is a challenge that concerns us all. Seeds&Chips is four days of exhibition, conferences/panel discussions, business matching and a hackathon, pitches and awards with the protagonists of Food Tech, Ag Tech and the “Internet of Food.” Website.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

What should I eat to be healthy?

“I’ve been writing about the food system for a very long time,” Michael Pollan tells PBS in his new documentary, “In Defense of Food.” “But what I kept hearing from readers was: Yeah, yeah, yeah, you’ve told me about where the food comes from and how the animals live, but what I want to know is what should I eat?” We make over 200 decisions about food a day, and at least in the developed world, many of us make them badly. Public Broadcasting Service post.

Local Food News — World

Kimbal Musk is Changing the Food System One School Garden at a Time

Kitchen Community’s Learning Gardens, which are made from are made of 18-inch-tall blocks of white recyclable polyethylene, can be configured in different layouts depending on a school’s needs. They have an integrated drip system which means that maintenance is minimal, especially in the summer and over the weekend. Most importantly, they can be built in just two days. There are currently 268 Learning Gardens in Memphis, Chicago, and Denver, with more on the way, and the Kitchen Community team works with public and private funders to raise the $40,000 necessary to build each one. Civil Eats post.

 

Grub’s up! Galway wins European Region of Gastronomy title for 2018

‘Galway – West of Ireland’ and North Brabant in the Netherlands were named as the successful bidders for 2018 at a meeting of International Institute of Gastronomy, Culture, Arts and Tourism (IGCAT) experts in Den Bosch last week. The European Region of Gastronomy Award recognises innovation and integration in gastronomy, culture, tourism and economy. Successful bidders go on to mount a major, year-long programme showcasing their region and its produce. Irish Independent story.

 

Why This New York Restaurant Chain Is Buying Its Own Farm

By next year, if you happen to have lunch at Dig Inn—a chain of fast casual restaurants in Manhattan—the kale or Brussels sprouts on your plate might be more than just local. It might have been grown at the chain’s own upstate farm. “But now we’ll establish ourselves in not only understanding what they do, and what their day-to-day looks like in how they provide vegetables for us, but also to be a mover and shaker in changing what the farm-to-table conversation can look like.” The farm will experiment with different varieties of heirloom seeds, rotational and companion planting, and other organic farming methods. Fast Company Exist story.

 

New Food Entrepreneur Coaching Scheme – Scotland

In 2016 Nourish is offering a free mentorship and peer-coaching scheme for both aspiring and established local food entrepreneurs in Scotland, whether in primary and/or secondary production. (Future) veg growers, fruit producers, livestock-keepers, bakers, brewers, butchers etc, all welcome. As part of a small group of participants we’ll match you up with an experienced local food entrepreneur who can support you in getting clearer on how you can make a living from local food, what you still need to learn and where to go from here. Sustainable Food Cities post.

 

Federal government wants farmers to supply local markets

The Rocky Mountain Farmers Union has been chosen for a federal pilot program that puts farmers in contact with markets close to home to meet the growing demand for food grown locally and to encourage more people to become farmers. The program gets $850,000 in federal funds that are added to $2 million in private contributions to hire regional coordinators. The program launched by the U.S. Department of Agriculture is called Leveraging Investment for Network Coordination. Colorado Springs Gazette story.

 

USDA Announces over $90 Million Available to Support Local Food Systems, Specialty Crop Producers

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) today announced the availability of more than $90 million in competitive grants to help strengthen local and regional food systems, develop new market opportunities for producers, and support farmers growing fruits, vegetables, tree nuts, flowers and nursery crops (known collectively as specialty crops). These grants programs are administered by USDA’s Agricultural Marketing Service (AMS) and include the Specialty Crop Block Grant Program, the Farmers Market and Local Food Promotion Program, and the Federal-State Marketing Improvement Program. AgNet West story.

 

Get Ready For A Food Experience | From Foraging to Fine Dining

You may fancy yourself meandering through the beautiful Cork countryside on a Food Lover’s Gourmet Foraging Weekend. In the expert hands of food champion Darina Allen of Ballymaloe Cookery School, and innovative award winning Chef Kevin Aherne of Sage Restaurant, you’ll discover the food you can pick for free, and learn what to do with it in the kitchen. Then you will eat it, of course! Good Food Ireland post.

 

‘Food LINC’ To Boost Farm Sales, Grow Local Foods Sector In Ten Regions

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) officials today joined 15 national and regional philanthropic partners to announce a new initiative to bolster the supply chain for local food systems around ten key U.S. cities. The project, dubbed ‘Food LINC’, will connect demand for local food in ten urban areas with supply from farmers and ranchers, strengthening each region’s local food business sector and also increasing consumer access to healthy, local food. The announcement was made at the Wallace Center’s National Food Hub Conference in Atlanta. PerishableNews story.

 

South Downs National Park food products may be brand protected

Plans to ‘brand’ protect food and drink produced in the South Downs National Park have been a given a boost by Environment Secretary Elizabeth Truss. On a visit to Butser Ancient Farm she learned that the South Downs National Park Authority (SDNPA) is pursuing European Union (EU) protection for local food and drink products. “We want to protect them and their geographical location, by registering them with the EU. “It’s a bit like Champagne, only sparkling wine produced in the Champagne region can be so called. This protection is vital to safeguard local products. Petersfield Today story

 

Grow your indoor garden all year round

This May, IKEA is introducing an indoor gardening series that lets you grow your own tasty lettuce and herbs in water. Developed in collaboration with agricultural scientists in Sweden, KRYDDA/VÄXER series includes everything you need to get sprouting and keep your garden growing – even in the winter! How it works? Just keep an eye on the water level. That’s all. Ikea post.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

Italy to change law to make all supermarkets give unsold food to needy

Italy is set to pass a law that will make supermarkets donate their waste food to charities. It will become the second European country to pass such laws after the French introduced a bill in February which bans supermarket throwing away or spoiling unsold food. The bill has recieved widespread bipartisan support and is expected to pass the lower house of the parliament on Monday before a final vote in the Senate of the Republic. Independent story.

Local Food News — World

Informal Urban Agriculture: The Secret Lives of Guerrilla Gardeners

The book explores how unused and under-used urban spaces – from grass verges, roundabouts, green spaces – have been made more visually interesting and more productive, by informal (and usually illegal) groups known as “guerrilla gardeners”. The book focuses on groups in the English Midlands but the work is set in a broad international context and reveals how and why they undertake this illegal activity. Guerrilla gardening is usually viewed uncritically and promoted as a worthwhile activity: this study provides a more balanced evaluation and focuses on its contribution in terms of local food production. Springer book listing.

 

Communal Meat Lockers Could Help Scale Up Sustainable Meat

When frozen food was first introduced, home freezers were not yet prevalent and shoppers needed a place to store the frozen meat they bought. So butchers and grocers set up chilled rooms adjacent to their shops. These “meat lockers” were filled with individual bins—often complete with their own keys—that consumers rented and could visit whenever they needed to pick up their meat. Today, people who want to buy and store the quantities of meat that many farmers sell directly, through meat-buying clubs, or in community supported agriculture (CSA) meat shares, are in a similar bind. Civil Eats story.

 

At This Supermarket, The Produce Section Grows Its Own Produce

At the end of the produce aisle in the Metro supermarket in Berlin, an indoor farming company is testing the ultimate in local food: Greens and herbs are growing inside the store itself. The greens grow inside glowing modular boxes, in a design that the company behind the project, Infarm, says is so efficient that it can finally make vertical farming affordable on a micro scale. Fast Company story.

 

Asda begins selling ‘wonky veg’ to Scots

A MAJOR supermarket chain yesterday began selling “wonky veg” in almost 30 branches across Scotland in response to customer demand. The family-sized produce box includes nine in-season winter vegetables, all of which have been deemed to have sub-par shapes despite being otherwise edible. Asda trialled the £3.50 offer, aimed at reducing food waste levels and aiding farmers, in the south of England last week, when Scottish shoppers and politicians urged them to expand the scheme north of the border. The National story.

 

A Ski Town Greenhouse Takes Local Produce to Another Level

The Wyoming soil, iced over for eight months of the year, is not particularly hospitable to heirloom tomatoes, baby basil or lettuce plants. Instead, vegetables are trucked in from California, Mexico and other more fecund parts of the world. Yet starting this spring, Vertical Harvest, a farm in the resort town of Jackson, will begin churning out a projected 100,000 pounds of fresh produce a year. Vertical Harvest uses hydroponic farming methods inside a three-story greenhouse on a 4,500-square-foot downtown lot. It is engaging in a relatively new practice called vertical farming. The New York Times story.

 

Indoor Farms of America Announces Issuance of Patent

Indoor Farms of America, LLC — maker of unique vertical aeroponic indoor farm equipment, is pleased to announce the issuance of their U.S. Patent covering the entire vertical aeroponic farm system, developed to increase indoor farm production and reduce costs of installation and ongoing operational expenses through superior design and function of each area of the farm. Indoor Farms of America news release.

5 Startups at Foodbytes! Brooklyn Highlight Sustainability

This article will focus on five companies that are trying to preserve the planet’s resources. They focus on sustainably-caught fish, vegan fish, the preservation of corn diversity, enabling city folk to connect to the land, and enabling farmers to reduce losses. The Epoch Times story.

 

Food Delivery via Drone Will Soon Be a Reality

Someday very soon, your Chinese takeout or pizza may be dropped at your doorstep by a drone. CNBC reports that food delivery app Foodpanda is testing out drone delivery technology in Singapore. The push towards using unmanned aircraft to feed customers is part of an effort by Foodpanda to improve delivery times and outpace its growing competitor, Deliveroo. Foodpanda has already cut delivery times from an average of 60-70 minutes down to 30 minutes in Hong Kong, and hopes to drop that number even more. “As our deliveries get faster, we notice customers increase their order frequency to multiple orders per week.” Eater story.

 

It’s not demeaning when served with local food-DCE

Mr. Alhassan Mohammed Sorogodoo, the Sangnerigu District Chief Executive (DCE) has appealed to Ghanaians to have strong taste for the local foods, especially, locally-produced rice, at social functions. He said they should not consider it demeaning when served with these, pointing out that, the high preference by many for foreign cuisines had been making it almost impossible for organizers of programmes including state ones, to serve some local dishes, something that was unhelpful to the growth of the economy. Modern Ghana story.

 

USDA Makes Payments Available for Organic Field Border Buffers

Many organic farmers install conservation buffers strips around the edges of their crop fields. These ‘field border’ buffers provide multiple conservation and environmental benefits, and also help farmers meet U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) organic certification requirements, which include protecting soil and water quality and enhancing biodiversity and habitat). In some circumstances, the buffers can also protect organic farms against pesticide or genetic drift from neighboring operations. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) runs a program called the Continuous Sign-up Conservation Reserve Program (CCRP) that provides farmers with rental payments on land set-aside for conservation buffers for a period of 10-15 years. Cost-share payments also made available to help farmers with the financial burden of establishing the buffers. National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition post.

 

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Factory farming divestment: what you need to know

The fast food chain Subway is latest to join the backlash against antibiotic use in the farm sector. It has launched a new chicken sandwich in the US made with meat from animals raised without antibiotics. The move is a sign of the growing consumer and business interest in the welfare and environmental impact of animals reared for meat, dairy and eggs, with most of the blame directed at intensive, factory-style farms. The Guardian story.

Local Food News — World

The Strange, Delightful Renaissance of Moscow Cuisine

One of the unintended consequences of Russia’s self-imposed food sanctions has been a strange and wonderful renaissance in its cuisine—a hipster-driven, artisanal revolution that has transformed Moscow into one of the most interesting culinary capitals of Europe. Locavore cooking—the movement to eat only local food—is popular in many parts of the world, but in just about everywhere except Russia it’s through choice, not necessity. The Russians have made a blessing of it. Newsweek story.

 

‘Locavore’ seminar: Dos and don’ts of processing, preparing venison

Saturday’s program broke down into two parts. The morning session featured instruction from state Department of Conservation wildlife biologists and DEC environmental conservation officers on the proper way process and store wild game. A recently road-killed deer, a domestic duck and a few, recently shot wild gray squirrels were skinned (de-feathered) and processed to slow attendees how to get the most meat from a carcass. Syracuse.com story.

 

Locavore events planned at Montezuma Audubon Center

Richardson said four conservation officers and wildlife biologists will lead the session. In the morning, the center’s auditorium will become a butcher shop as Wayne County Environmental Conservation Officer Kevin Thomas and state Department of Environmental Conservation Lt. Matt Lochner show attendees how to process and store large game, small game or waterfowl, Richardson said. Rochester Democrat and Chronicle story.

 

Demand grows for local food: Locavore index puts Vermont No.1, Mass. No. 5

Vermont ranks first for its commitment to raising and eating local food, followed by Maine, New Hampshire, Oregon and Massachusetts, according to a 2015 Strolling of the Heifers Locavore Index, which relies on U.S. Department of Agriculture and census figures. The rankings are based on the number of farmers markets and CSAs per capita as well as the dollar volume of food sales by farmers directly to the public. Worcester Telegram story.

 

Local Foods College to return to Alexandria

Local Foods College is a series of eight sessions that meet at 6 p.m. on Tuesdays from Jan. 12 to March 1. This is the fifth year for this series, and the 2016 series will provide many options for participants to interact with one another. The webinar format is handy for many participants to access from home or office locations. Topics include soil health, how to grow produce, marketing local foods, healthy food access, food business regulations, animals on your homestead, scaling up for markets and farming in a controlled environment. Alexandria Echo Press story.

 

Land Of Locally Grown

All-America Selections and National Garden Bureau are teaming up for the 2016 AAS Summer Summit, this time taking attendees to beautiful Madison, Wisconsin. The state of Wisconsin is ranked 6th out of 51 states and provinces as most committed to the locavore movement. TakeApart.com ranked Wisconsin 8th in states where it’s easy to eat locally based on the number of farmers markets, CSAs and food hubs. Perishable News story.

Take ‘From Scratch’ classes to cook meals with Maine flavor

Last weekend, home cook Sheri Fistal demonstrated how to make international cuisine local at the University of Maine Cooperative Extension’s Cumberland County campus. “I’ve been making wontons for ages. It’s something you can do fast, and a lot of the ingredients are easily accessible,” the instructor told a small group gathered around the kitchen classroom. Bangor Daily News story.

 

Burlington (Vermont) Urban Agriculture Task Force Report to Burlington City Council

The Task Force identified a series of crosscutting recommendations that apply to many different urban agriculture activities. These include revisions to the zoning code, revisions to the general ordinance, outreach on urban agriculture policies, education on urban agriculture resources, encouraging communities of practice, adopting a mediation mechanism, coordinating with the state Agency of Agriculture, research needed to support future policy and measure progress against goals, incorporating food and agriculture into local planning efforts, adopting a Burlington Food Charter, and supporting access to land. Report.

 

Signature food options help airlines stand out in busy markets

Japan’s love affair with destination-specific, locally produced and limited-time food is longstanding — witness the delicious ekiben bento boxes on sale at railway stations nationwide and the eye-catching black hamburger bun craze of 2014 — and its airlines make the most of this trend. ANA’s three year old Tastes of Japan programme is currently offering food, no fewer than ten specialty local sakes, sweets and movie tie-ins from Saga, Kyoto and Aomori — from Japan’s southwest to the northern tip of Honshu. Runway Girl Network story.

 

California Safe Soil Raises $5.9m in Equity Capital to Construct ‘Fork-to-Farm’ Facility

California Safe Soil (CSS), the startup using food waste to make fertilizer, has raised $5.9 million in equity capital, bringing to a close the fundraising campaign that started on AgFunder last year. CSS will use the funding to move beyond its pilot phase of development; it announced earlier this week that it’s constructing a new manufacturing facility at McClellan Business Park in Sacramento. At this facility, it will be able to recycle up to 32,000 tons of food waste each year, to produce its Harvest to Harvest (H2H) fertilizer. AgFunder News post.

 

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Denmark opens first food waste supermarket selling surplus produce

“Many people see this as a positive and politically correct way to approach the issue.” Wefood have deal with Føtex (one of the biggest supermarket chains in Denmark) for bread and other products. The surplus store also has agreements with an importers of citrus fruits, a butchers, and a producer of organic fruit and nut bars. Volunteers pick up the produce from the suppliers. Independent story.

Local Food News — World

Ode to Food: Tourism NI wants you to get creative about your love of food and drink

This month, the Northern Ireland Year of Food and Drink 2016 is celebrating all things local and Tourism Northern Ireland is asking everyone in NI to take things one step further, by writing a fun poem inspired by our local food and drink. Derry Journal story.

 

Food on the Edge – A taste of Ireland’s unique food culture

Some of the top chefs from across the world came to Galway last year to speak at Food on the Edge 2015 – a two day symposium for chefs and food enthusiasts. The speakers were chosen for their passion, drive and ability to inspire chefs around the world. While they were here they shared their journey with us along part of Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way where they had the opportunity to meet with local producers and see for themselves how Ireland’s landscape and local food producers are working hand in glove with local chefs and restaurants to produce a unique and compelling food experience for visitors. Failte Ireland story.

 

Strategy to put Limerick food produce on the map

What hasn’t seemed to happen is the creation of a cohesive foodie community and a telling of the Limerick food story. All this is now changing and a new blueprint has been developed to strengthen Limerick’s efforts to achieve food destination status over the next three years. Launched on Monday, the ‘Limerick City & County Council Food Strategy for Limerick 2016-2018’ is targeting 6% additional growth for the local food tourism sector and 10% additional sales growth for producers. With a strong focus on the food sector and new commercial activity, it is projected that up to 86 new jobs will be created by the end of 2018. Limerick Leader story.

 

New Food Programme Aims to Get Students Interested in Artisan Food

Bord Bia and The TASTE Council of Ireland have launched “The Future is Food” – an initiative to engage Transition Year students with Ireland’s artisan food industry. The bodies were joined by the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney to launch ‘The Future is Food’, in which more than 4,000 students from 200 schools across Ireland will participate. Students will broaden their knowledge and understanding of the local, artisanal and speciality food sectors and will partner with a local food producer to develop a new product or work with them on an existing project. Hospitality Ireland post.

 

Food NI Briefs Industry Leaders on Year of Food & Drink

The briefing was held as part of Breakfast Month, the first theme in the extensive promotional and marketing campaign for Northern Ireland’s biggest manufacturing industry. It also coincided with Breakfast Week organised by the Home Grown Cereals Authority in Britain. The First Minister said: “I am thrilled to be able to support this fantastic initiative which presents an exciting opportunity for us to celebrate all that is great about Northern Ireland food and drink. FFT.ie story

 

Cork Govt MEP says Rural Pubs are crucial to culture and tourism

Fine Gael Ireland South MEP and member of the EU Tourism Taskforce, Deirdre Clune, has described our rural pubs as the jewel in the crown of Irish tourism and welcomed tentative signs of a recovery in the rural pub trade. Speaking as the CSO retail sales index showed a year on year increase in bar sales of over 5% Clune said that our rural pubs are what visitors to Ireland want to see. TheCork.ie. story.

 

Tiny Farms Raises Seed Round from a Zuckerberg as Cricket Farming Heats Up

There are cricket farms also popping up to serve this growing consumer demand; and things are heating up, according to Daniel Imrie-Situnayake, CEO of Tiny Farms. The startup, which is currently building a pilot cricket farm in an old Dodge car factory in San Leandro, California, has just closed a seed funding round but does not want to disclose financial details about it, namely the amount of investment it raised. AgFunder story.

 

New allotments for Edinburgh in healthy food push

A CAMPAIGN to convert swathes of public land into allotments is gathering pace as part of a bid to grow enough vegetables to help combat food poverty. The Edible Edinburgh drive aims to unlock thousands of acres for green-fingered residents to grow their own fruit and vegetables. They say there are 234.93 hectares of vacant or derelict land in Edinburgh city. Herald Scotland story.

 

European Gastronomy bid to be submitted next month

Galway’s hunger to be designated an official European Region of Gastronomy 2018 will come to a head next month with the presentation of the Bid Book to an international jury of experts. It is hoped that if Galway achieves the distinction it will give international visibility to the quality food on offer in the region. The European Region of Gastronomy (EROG) is not just a culinary award; the programme is designed to link food, hospitality, tourism and culture. Other key areas for the gastronomy project include educating for better health and sustainability. Connacht Tribune Group story.

 

What do Food Regulations Mean for the Future of Good Food?

Elaine speaks firstly about the number of food allergens now required to be listed on menus, and how this vastly reduces the ability to react quickly to seasonal availability of ingredients. According to this experienced restaurant manageress this regulation means that chefs now have to go through the ingredients of a proposed new dish for allergens, before they can add it to the menu, which can rule it out of being offered at all. She also talks about how restaurants are ‘less willing to offer’ gluten free options because of strict regulations regarding dedicated gluten free kitchens. Outdoor dining also comes under fire, with the cost of licensing for outdoor tables putting it wide of the budget for many business owners, thus taking away its instant appeal and feel-good factor for a business. Good Food Ireland blog.

 

AND IF YOU HAVE TIME

 

France to force big supermarkets to give unsold food to charities

French supermarkets will be banned from throwing away or destroying unsold food and must instead donate it to charities or for animal feed, under a law set to crack down on food waste. The French national assembly voted unanimously to pass the legislation as France battles an epidemic of wasted food that has highlighted the divide between giant food firms and people who are struggling to eat. The Guardian story.