Posted in Uncategorized, tagged access, amy davis, baltimore, farm bill, farmers market, food desert, fresh food, fruits, glenn yoder, health, marion nestle, market, nancy shute, nourishing, nutritious, processed food, Shirley and Ewald Augus, vegetables, walmart, windsor mill on February 12, 2012 |
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Like most Americans, I don’t know much about the multibillion-dollar Farm Bill, which is up for renewal this year. NYU professor Marion Nestle talks about its enormous complexity in the Boston Globe.
“I’d like to bring agricultural policy in line with health policy. Health policy tells us that we ought to be making fruits and vegetables inexpensive.” Her biggest concern is that those who produce and sell processed foods benefit most from current policy, which has had the effect of lowering prices for processed food and increasing the prices for the fresh fruits and vegetables people really need.
I have blogged before about the related problem of “food deserts,” localities where there is no reasonably priced market and people end up eating too much junk food. (Check out this post and this one.)
Today I would also like to point you to a National Public Radio story by Nancy Shute.
“Increasingly, metropolitan areas are creating or bolstering their food policies, recognizing the need to ensure that healthful and affordable foodstuffs are available for residents. Baltimore fashioned a food policy initiative in 2009 which involves multiple city departments and an advisory group of over 30 organizations. Priorities included the reduction of ‘food deserts’ and the support of projects that allow low-income residents to order groceries online and pick them up at the local library. New York and San Francisco have also created their own food policy initiatives, and mayors across the U.S. have met to launch a food policy task force.”
“In the summer, Shirley and Ewald August grow blueberries at their Windsor Mill, Md., farm and sell at Baltimore farmers markets.” Photograph: Amy Davis/MCT/Landov
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged ample harvest, ampleharvest, boston, boston globe, community garden, downturn, farm, farmer, financial collapse, food access, food desert, food pantry, garden, gary oppenheimer, hardship, harvest, homeless, homelessness, low-income, poor, poverty, produce, rosie's place, Sandra M. Kelly, shelter, vegetables, west milford on September 19, 2011 |
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Check out this story in the Boston Globe. It seems especially timely given the increasing numbers of people growing their own food and the concerns about many others who are struggling.
“Every summer, 40 million backyard farmers produce more food than they can use, while people in their communities go hungry. If only they could link up. Enter Gary Oppenheimer, 59, of West Milford, N.J. He was directing a community garden a couple of years ago when inspiration struck. In May 2009, AmpleHarvest.org hit the Internet, connecting food pantries and gardeners. In just 150 days, Rosie’s Place in Boston became the 1,000th pantry on the site, and the growth has continued. As of Labor Day, 4,188 pantries were listed, in all states. Oppenheimer says the nonprofit organization is actively seeking grant funding to sustain what has sprung up.” Read more here.
If you have extra produce from your garden, you can go to AmpleHarvest to find a food pantry near you.
Photographs: Sandra M. Kelly
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged backyard birds, berries, concord, flowers, food, Frank Scimone Farm, fruit, hutchins farm, massachusetts, milldam, pete & jen's, produce, vegetables, verrill farm, yellow watermelon on September 10, 2011 |
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Concord’s main business street, sometimes called the Milldam because it was built over a dam, got blocked to traffic this morning, and farmers set up booths. Concord doesn’t do this often because most farmers around town have their own stands. I bought a small yellow watermelon, corn, lettuce, green beans, and a tomato. Because I was on foot I resisted buying more, but the raspberries looked wonderful as did some seasoned salt, pots of flowers, dried hydrangeas, and homemade soaps.
Among the farms represented were Verrill Farm (where we went for Mothers Day brunch this year), Pete & Jen’s Backyard Birds, Frank Scimone Farm, and Hutchins Farm (pictured).
Last year we attended the Concord farms’ annual Stone Soup dinner, a benefit organized by the town’s Agricultural Committee – quite elaborate and delicious. A scholarship was awarded that night to a young local farmer as part of the campaign to encourage the next generation to pursue or stay in agriculture. I was surprised to learn that there are 18 farms in Concord. Read more here.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged childhood, food desert, fridge, fruits, mark menjivar, menjivar, michelle obama, nourishing, nutrition, obesity, photo essay, photographer, photography, refrigerator, rural, supervalu, urban, vegetables, wal-mart, walgreens on July 26, 2011 |
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I have been reading about Michelle Obama’s latest efforts to encourage good nutrition in childhood.
“Executives from Wal-Mart, Walgreens, SuperValu and other stores joined Michelle Obama at the White House on [July 21] to announce a pledge to open or expand a combined 1,500 stores in communities that have limited access to nutritious food and are designated as ‘food deserts.’
“With the pledges, secured by the Partnership for a Healthier America, which is part of Mrs. Obama’s campaign to reduce childhood obesity, the stores aim to reach 9.5 million of the 23.5 million Americans who live in areas where finding affordable healthy foods can be difficult. In those areas, many people turn to fast food restaurants or convenience stores.” Read the New York Times article here.
On a related note, John sent me a really interesting link from photographer Mark Menjivar, who documents the insides of people’s refrigerators. He includes a one-line insight into the person whose food he is photographing. Unsurprisingly, the fridge with the least food in it belongs to a “street advertiser” who lives on a $432 fixed monthly income.
See the fascinating photo essay here.
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