This 11-year old presented at a TEDx Talk in Asheville, NC. It’s a little bit adorable and a little bit annoying all at once, but I’m happy that any kid would pick organic farmer over NFL player for his “what I want to be when grow up” answer.
Posts Tagged ‘sustainable food’
It’s a good thing I’m reading these two books simultaneously.
I’m (according to Kindle) 41% of the way through Paul Roberts’ The End of Food. It’s a long book, and thus far Paul has walked me through human history from our first meals of nuts and bark to our current astonishing dichotomy of feast and famine where there are as many overweight/obese people as there are starving people in the world; where industrial agricultural yields have soared, but the vital sources of those yields – water, stable weather patterns, and fertile soil – are being lost at alarming rates; where food is a booming global business, but markets are artificially created, manipulated and propped by government and corporate policies that put more food into the mouths of the fat and more money into the hands of shareholders, while hungry people and farmers starve. (more…)
While editing and picking favorite honeymoon pictures, I also caught up on my blog reading (adult onset ADD). Lots of things to make me happy are going on in the world, and I wanted to share a few with you. Who knows what bright ideas might spark the next step in our dream of abundant healthy food?
“Urban edges” can be small-scale farms for city dwellers! Outside of San Francisco, nonprofit Sustainable Agriculture Education, directed by Sibella Kraus, has partnered with the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission to create an 18-acre Agricultural Park where several small-scale farmers lease land and farm – feeding their own small communities or selling food back to markets. The site also serves as an educational center where school children can visit and learn more about where healthy food comes from. Kraus is working on developing such sites in other cities. I would love to see UDC’s new Urban Sustainability program try something like this! What would you grow, if you could run your own small farm?
One of my favorite sustainable food writers, Katherine Gustufson, writes that craft beer is ideologically merging with the sustainable food movement. Craft brewers (defined by the Brewer’s Association as those who brew fewer than 2 million barrels per year) are transforming the American beer landscape. I already knew microbrewers were fighting a battle against archaic distribution laws that favor the mass producers like Budwiser and Michelob – and have been mulling over a post on that subject for a while now, particularly since the Monkey and I have started playing around with simple home brewing lately. Brewers are taking the sustainable food link a step farther by including a Farm-to-Table pavilion alongside the Craft Brewing pavilion at the September 2010 Great American Beer Festival (let’s add that I now know where I want to take vacation next year). It makes sense: craft brewing is, like sustainable farming, an attempt to bring authenticity, quality and community back to the table. Do you love any microbrews? Watch for a post from me soon on my personal craft beer addictions.
Food trucks are becoming a fun link in the chain of replacing cookie-cutter, artery-clogging, earth-burning fast food with real food made by people who care about the food they serve. DC is getting its share with the Fojol Brothers, Sauca, and Curbside Cupcakes (reviews of DC area food trucks on Yelp, for interested locals). While in San Diego, my life was saved by a well-timed food truck outside the Ballast Point Brewery Tasting Room, and I ate two amazing lentil tacos. This Grist.org article highlights food trucks across the country, notably those deliberately serving up grass-fed/organic/local/seasonal goodies. I’d love to see food trucks put Micky D’s outta business! Do you have a local food truck that you love?
This personal food story is comes directly from Civil Eats – I hope you enjoy it and join me in following her new series there, Last Mile Access.
I’ve never told anyone this other than Barry Estabrook: I grew up eating tomatoes planted in soil nourished by my own poop. My family’s zeal for organic gardening was unmatched. No, we did not have a composting toilet. Instead we used a 5 gallon white plastic bucket, filled up regularly, and carefully composted the old-fashioned way—in a steaming heap.
My family was a clan of Boston and Brooklyn-bred urban hipster homesteaders in the 60s, far before the trend. In the 70s, they went whole hog and bought 100 acres of land in the deep South where they could count on the sunshine and knowledge of neighboring farmers to help them carve an existence from the land.
Eco-freaks with art and design pedigrees, my family hated waste and respected art born from the crucible of a closed loop ecosystem. So they recycled cow bones, from the Chicago meat packing plants that supplied McDonald’s, into gorgeous jewelry that graced the pages of Vogue and the halls of the Smithsonian Galleries. (more…)
One thing (of the many) that I liked about the film Food, Inc. was the empowering ending – a very appealing and moving set of suggestions, ways I can change my habits to improve my own food and affect change to the entire food system. One of those recommendations is to eat more locally – buy produce from farmer’s markets. Check.
One thing (of the many) that I liked in the book The Town That Food Saved was the authors description of a healthy food system as a circular system rather than a linear one. (Circular systems feed back into each other: eat food from plants, return food scraps to soil as compost, soil nourishs plants, eat food from plants. Linear systems do not replenish themselves: buy petroleum to fertilize crops, feed crops to animals/drive produce to market, process animals in a plant/sell produce in markets, eat animals/crops, dispose of waste… buy more petroleum). How can I possibly “check” that?
I think I found a way – not necessarily to make a fully circular system, but at least to put a little curve in my personal food chain. Common Good City Farm. Just one neighborhood over from mine, Common Good City Farm is chugging away on its
Mission to grow food, educate, and help low-income DC community members meet their food needs. Our Vision is to serve as a replicable model of a community-based urban food system.
And one awesome way they do that is to run a community composting program. Anyone can (following their guidelines) bring suitable waste to the garden’s composting bins. All the compost they make is used on their garden, which in turn provides fresh fruits and vegetables for the low-income residents of the Shaw area. (You can also volunteer and donate, both of which are great ways to contribute to the health of those most in need of nutritious food and the longevity of programs like this that help provide it.) (more…)
Sometimes when you learn a new word, you suddenly see that word everywhere, as if the universe converged to congratulate you for learning it. I’ve had a similar convergence around the issues of sustainable food. It isn’t really that the word appears everywhere – it was always there, you just never noticed before.
Much like the book I stumbled across in a box of books donated to the school where I work. Until recently I’d have never noticed it. But given what I’ve been learning, I could not possibly have missed it: The Town That Food Saved: How One Rural Community Found Vitality in Local Food. Moreover, it was an advance copy – the uncorrected paperback versions publishers send out to book stores and reviewers in advance of the book’s publication. Turns out my little read only came out last month, so my review here is even timely!
OK, it was not exactly an exclusive interview, but I did ask him a question and he did answer me. PBS’s great POV program (“documentaries with a point of view”) which aired the much-hyped PBS broadcast of Food, Inc. last week. POV hosted an online chat with Kenner on Tuesday, that I happened to find out about just in time to participate. “Viewers” could submit questions (I’m assuming these were moderated, because they were all good questions and no overlap but maybe PBS viewers are just a cut above…)
My “interview” went like this:
[question from Katie W.] Mr. Kenner, what sources would you recommend to stay current on news and changes in sustainable food issues?
[Robert Kenner] Katie, I think there are certain sites you should visit (there are many more but this will get you into the world).