Locally Grown Foods Becoming More Popular, Mainstream

Thursday, July 17th, 2014
Local Food 6

A growing network of companies and organizations is delivering food directly from local farms to major institutions like Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in downtown Philadelphia, eliminating scores of middlemen from farm to fork. Along the way, they’re increasing profits and recognition for smaller farms and bringing consumers healthier, fresher foods.

Over the past five years, with more than $25 million in federal aid, these so-called food hubs have helped transform locally grown foods into a bigger business, supplying hospitals, schools, restaurant chains and grocery stores as consumer demand grows.

Faces And Visions Of The Food Movement: Farmer Michael Foley

Monday, July 14th, 2014

Michael Foley is a Mendocino County, California-based farmer dedicated to helping young farmers find access to land and education. He wears many hats, including: farmers’ market manager, Vice President of the association behind that farmers’ market (MCFARM), and President of the Little Lake Grange. A former professor of politics at the Catholic University of America, Foley is also one the founders of the Grange Farm School and a mentor farmer at Brookside Farm, an innovative teaching farm. As you might expect, his focus is on the needs of the small farmer.

The Open Food Network

Monday, July 14th, 2014
Open Food

Today looks like a good day to do a shout out and promo for our dear friends Kirsten and Serenity in Melbourne, Oz, who were responsible for the impeccable organization of the tour of Australia Nicole and I did in  2012. So we have living proof that they know how to organize something once they pour their hearts into it, which bodes well for the new project they’re busy setting up.

We Spent A Day In The Vermont Woods To See Why Foraging Is The Next Frontier In Fine Dining

Saturday, July 12th, 2014

“Organic.” “Grass-fed.” “Hand-picked.” Once considered rare, these markers of the farm-to-table trend have become so commonplace on restaurant menus that customers hardly notice them anymore.

Major Study: Monsanto GMO Corn Can Cause Damage To Liver And Kidneys, Severe Hormonal Disruption

Friday, July 11th, 2014
GMO Grenade

A scientific study that identified serious health impacts on rats fed on ‘Roundup ready’ GMO maize has been republished following its controversial retraction under strong commercial pressure. Now regulators must respond and review GMO and agro-chemical licenses, and licensing procedures.

The Weird And Wonderful World Of Indoor Farming

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

“Green Sense Farms is the largest commercial indoor vertical farm in the U.S,” explains Robert Colangelo, the company’s founding farmer. “We’re also the largest user of LED grow lights. We specialize in growing fresh, nutritious leafy greens — lettuces, microgreens, herbs, and vegetables — and we distribute those locally in a five state area: Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.” The farm shows a new type of agricultural experimentation: Taking plants out of their volatile outdoor environments and moving them inside, to a controlled situation where farmers can assure they’re growing the best produce in the most sustainable way possible, beyond the grasps of crop disease, drought, and extreme weather.

From Developing GMOs To Breeding Organic Seeds: A Scientist Makes The Switch

Thursday, July 10th, 2014
It’s rare when a plant breeder goes from developing genetically modified crops at a major biotechnology company to breeding varieties for organic and non-GMO farmers. Jane Dever, associate professor at Texas A&M’s AgriLife Research and Extension Center, is unique in having done just that. As global cotton breeding manager for Bayer CropScience, Dever put genetically modified or (GM) traits into cotton plants. Now she focuses on keeping GM traits out of organic cotton varieties.

Ways To Support The Local Foods Movement

Wednesday, July 9th, 2014

Eating locally is a vitally important way each of us can contribute to a more sustainable community and food shed. Based on the Permaculture Zone Principles, charted in a bull’s eye pattern, each circle represents sustainable ways to access food in our own communities. According to these principles, it is best to grow our own food in our own backyard first. What we can’t grow ourselves, we can acquire at local community gardens and small farms or by supporting local farmers markets. We can then support area businesses which are purveyors of local foods. Finally, only when we simply have utilized all of our local resources, then we visit the chain supermarket to complete our food needs. This mindset offers a creative insight into how our thoughts about food need to shift a little in order to truly be invested in the local foods movement.

The Future Of Food: Field Studies

Tuesday, July 8th, 2014
Veggies Beets

A few early-summer visits to the local farmer’s market are usually all it takes to turn us into cheerleaders for the American farm. But if you really want to know about the current state of farming in the U.S.A. (as  opposed to merely knowing the current state of this summer’s heirloom tomatoes), you’ll need some real, hard facts. For that, you’ll want to turn to the latest Census of Agriculture  (COA). Chances are you’ve never heard of it, but this comprehensive report, released every five years by the USDA, tracks the trendlines and  changes affecting our farms and farmers, issuing a 700-page data set that offers a snapshot of American agriculture in a given year. Here,
then, are six discussion-worthy—and perhaps surprising—facts about our nation’s farms, taken from the most recent COA, released in May.

The Assault On Organics

Saturday, July 5th, 2014
Organic Food Label

The Koch brothers are the conservative billionaire co-owners of a conglomerate of chemical and oil companies, including Koch Ag & Energy Solutions. They and other biotechnology/chemical companies have a lot to lose from the explosive growth of pesticide-free organic foods.