Health advocates and food advocates struggle with ways to make a dent in the obesity epidemic in this country. One thing we know is that there is no one size fits all program or initiative that is going to reduce the number of obese or overweight people. In communities of color–where one in five children are obese or overweight–including nuanced and impactful and resonating messages that work hasn’t been easy.
Recently, musician, and Bay Area food activist AshEl put his concerns about the way we eat to music, in the song Food Fight! He asked filmmaker Ben Zolno, of New Message Media, to help him create a music video for the song. Read More
Arizona State. Bunker Hill Community College. Ole Miss. UPenn. Gonzaga. No, this is not an odd new athletic conference. But, following a recent 200+ student summit in Baltimore, teams on each of these campuses are competing–for the most ambitious campus food policy in the nation. Read More
Today is International Women’s Day – a day to recognize the steps that have been taken to improve gender equality and to acknowledge that much more needs to be done to level the playing field for women in all sectors, including agriculture. Read More
From Bagdad to bacteria? Launchables to Lunchables? That’s one way to sum up the somewhat peculiar career path of Michael Moss, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of the meticulously researched, scathing new exposé, Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us. Read More
As the frequent bearer of bad news about the food industry, I am thrilled to share a positive story. Last month, MOM’s Organic Market, a small retail chain based in the Baltimore area, announced it would stop carrying products featuring children’s cartoon characters. Read More
Practitioners of urban agriculture have a lot to be proud of, including forming part of a “food movement,” which is increasing in size and influence. People are questioning food systems conventions and the dominant forms of food production (industrial farming) and distribution (globalized trade) are being opposed more and more by communities around the globe. Urban agriculturists—with their claim for a viable alternative to the broken food system—seem to have at this moment a certain cultural cachet.
This is reflected in the attention urban farmers have garnered in the New York Times, Washington Post, and many other media outlets. It can be seen in the plethora of food movement documentaries like Food, Inc., Edible City, and Growing Cities. The idea of farming as a viable city activity has been further bolstered by initiatives like the White House garden. The founder of urban farming organization Growing Power, Will Allen, was even given the MacArthur “Genius” Award in 2008, in what some might pinpoint as the point of arrival for urban agriculture as a social force in the United States.
But there is an aspect of urban agriculture (UA) that is often overlooked: Economic and social class dynamics. Read More
As a society, we get upset by food companies processing horsemeat to sell to us in the grocery store. It’s troubling to customers; some don’t like the idea of not knowing what’s in our food.
Could we extend that same concern to the people who grow the food that end up in our refrigerators and cupboards? Could we get as enraged that food companies are looking the other way from land grabs in developing countries as families lose their farms or access to water?
There’s a range of injustices and violations that are often included in food products. Read More
On the heels of his agency’s release of a comprehensive report on climate change and its effects on U.S. agricultural production, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said yesterday that America’s farmers and ranchers are a critical part of the solution and that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) would be there to help them step up to the plate. Read More
“We’ve had so many people come up to us and say, ‘I heard you’re closing,’” says Terry Sawyer, co-owner of Hog Island Oyster Co. “There’s just a lot of misunderstanding about what’s going on.”
Despite the rumors, Hog Island is alive and kicking, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. With more than 100 employees, a thriving Tomales Bay oyster farm, two restaurants and a café, and additional projects in the works, Terry and his partner John Finger have turned what was once a modest dream into a Bay Area institution.
But despite the farm’s success, Terry is worried about the oyster’s future, as are many farmers, marine biologists, ecologists, and bivalve lovers. Read More