What if I told you that America’s food system is broken? What would you say?

Would you defend it by pointing out the abundance of choices offered in today’s average supermarket, estimated to be over 45,000 items? Would you cite that per capita spending on food has dropped significantly over the last 50 years, freeing up incomes to improve quality of life? Would you talk about how American innovation is not only feeding our citizens, but is also feeding the world? Or would you quietly ask what a food system is? Read more

School’s out for the summer, but there’s a food fight going on in the cafeteria. In Washington, Congress is turning up the heat on the policies that determine what 30 million children will eat once the lunch bell rings.

Want hormones out of kid’s milk? Pesticides off the tomatoes? Local lettuce in the salad bar? Candy bars and snack cakes to be considered junk food? If you answered yes to any of those questions, then I urge you to step into the lunch room and learn what this food fight is all about. Read more

Around the state of Montana, people are taking action to make a sustainable, local food system a reality. From the legislative level to the grassroots level, volunteers and institutions are demanding Montana-produced food. Montana’s food system, like many others, is largely resource and energy dependent. However, the vision for a community-based food system, one where affordable and consistent access to local, nutritious food is available is coming into clearer focus. Read more

Many of us never meant to become farmers. We had ambitions to enter the world as accountants or lawyers or teachers or some other clean, respectable professional. We never really thought about the origins of our food; we always knew that the supermarket shelves would fill themselves, that food came in boxes or cans ready to serve and that farmers were simply one dimensional photographs in the mix of a hot new marketing campaign. Read more

Over this last year, I’ve noticed a subtle shift in the Indianapolis food scene. New markets and restaurants touting local and seasonal foods, local business, community and economy reminded me that there are cities and towns beyond those on the coasts engaging in the conversation about the food system. I also noticed that these new endeavors are inspiring new generations of Hoosiers to be more conscious of the food they eat. Read more

Just about every Saturday I enjoy a post farmers’ market brunch with two couples, three dogs and a two-year old boy. We gather at Sean and Rachel’s Bernal Heights home after each of us has finished shopping at the Alemany Farmers’ Market— a fixture in San Francisco since 1943 — share in our extra fruits, veg and herbs then create a meal with our odds and ends. These Saturdays bring a special tenor to what would otherwise be a single gal’s weekly errand. Read more

In this time of watching our wallets, our good intentions about eating sustainable food could easily descend into bad habits, cutting corners and disenchantment about the food system.  Instead, I’d like to offer a few ways I’ve been eating good, clean and fair on a reasonable budget: Read more