"Some remarkable changes have taken place in the food and farming landscape since the book was published in 2006. Consider this handful of statistics, each in its own way an artifact of the 'where-does-my-food-come-from' question:
"There are now more than 8,000 farmers markets in America, an increase of 180 percent since 2006. More than 4,000 school districts now have farm-to-school programs, a 430 percent increase since 2006, and the percentage of elementary school with gardens has doubled, to 26 percent. During that period, sales of soda have plummeted, falling 14 percent between 2004 and 2014.The food industry is rushing to reformulate hundreds of products to remove high fructose corn syrup and other processed-food ingredients that consumers have made clear they will no longer tolerate. Sales of organic food have more than doubled since 2006, from $16.7 billion in 2006 to more than $40 billion today."
Excerpted from Michael Pollan's “The Omnivore’s Dilemma 10th Anniversary Edition”. Read the full article here.
"The Free Farm Stand, located in the Mission district of San Francisco, distributes free food through gifting organic fruits, vegetables, and locally made breads every weekend.
"The food is sourced from produce that goes unsold at farmer’s markets, and from neighborhood and community gardens, and also from public and private fruit trees. Additionally, they help grow food on donated land. The Free Farm Stand builds community and provides a meeting place for locals on tight budgets.
"Most learn about the Free Farm Stand by word-of-mouth as there is little to no press and barely enough information online to even deduce the time and place of the weekly event. On distribution days people start arriving around noon and request a number which will be used to admit groups of ten at a time. Many folks picnic or sit in circles on the grass and talk while they wait their turn. There is no sense that this is any sort of hand-out or cattle call, but rather a way to connect to the community, get needed food, and foster a sense of belonging."
Written by Chelsea Rustrum, and excerpted from the book It's a Shareable Life. Read the full article here.
"These Black farmers don’t stop at healthy food. They’re healing trauma, instilling collective values, and changing the way their communities think about the land.
"In 1982, the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights extrapolated the statistics on land loss and predicted the extinction of the Black farmer by the year 2000.
"They were wrong. While the situation is still dire, with Black farmers comprising only about 1 percent of the industry, we have not disappeared. After more than a century of decline, the number of Black farmers is on the rise.
"These farmers are not just growing food, either. The ones you’ll meet here rely on survival strategies inherited from their ancestors, such as collectivism and commitment to social change. They infuse popular education, activism, and collective ownership into their work."
Written by Leah Penniman for YES! Magazine. Read the full article here.
"Charging well-off patrons more allows St. Louis’ MetroMarket to sell groceries to the most food insecure at cost.
“'We’re treating food like medicine because it very much is,' said Jeremy Goss, a Saint Louis University medical student and one of the founders of MetroMarket, along with Washington University graduates Colin Dowling and Tej Azad.
"There’s often the perception that the highly food insecure should settle for eating lower-quality food than those with means—think of the cupboard fruit-cocktail castoff donated to the local food pantry. But no one’s confusing government cheese with aged Irish cheddar. By operating on a sliding pay scale in areas of varying need, MetroMarket is making a quiet but powerful statement with its model: Everyone deserves to eat great food."
Written by Sarah McColl for TakePart. Read the full article here.
"A partnership between a Boston health clinic and a local grocery shows what economic development can do when it makes community health a priority.
"Three years ago, they began to talk: Was there a way they could create jobs, grow their local economy, and reduce blight, all while helping people live longer and healthier?
"The result is a level of community outreach and on-site education built on the expertise of both BNHC and Vicente’s. The health center offers a range of primary care, urgent care, dental, vision, and mental health services, along with teen programs and nutrition counseling. Clinicians write “veggie scripts” for patients as part of efforts to promote heart health and weight reduction. They urge patients to enroll in free nutrition and cooking classes, taking advantage of an on-site demonstration kitchen. Guided supermarket tours help people better understand nutrition labels and make healthy ingredient substitutes. In addition, the store is testing incentive programs that both encourage healthy choices and keep food affordable."
Written by Bob Van Meter for YES! Magazine. Read the full article here.
"At this point in the campaign race, we know the candidates' beliefs on issues like war, immigration and Wall Street. But what about food?
I wrangled all the information I could find--from tweets to votes--to see where the candidates stand on issues of food policy. Keep in mind, I'm not saying who's right or wrong, just pulling together quotes and votes to help us understand how each candidate views the issues."
Written by Eve Turow Paul for HuffPost Politics. Read the full article here.
“When we see healthier eating, we see more disease prevention and less hospital stays, which means less money spent on healthcare,” says Leah Sarris, chef and program director of The Goldring Center for Culinary Medicine at Tulane University, where medical students are learning to cook to better advise the health of their patients. By getting them to approach food preparation with ease and awareness, this next generation of doctors is striving to provide building blocks for long-term health management.
Students also teach free cooking classes to the public. Because medical students are being trained to prescribe healthy eating to their patients, Sarris says, the community classes are essential to their learning.
“The hands-on component gets people to talk about food instead of nutrients. Food is something that unites us and we can all understand,” Sarris says.
Written by Jasleena Grewal for YES! Magazine. Read the full article here.
Read the full poll results here.
"CHESTER — A federal official toured the nation’s only non-profit grocery store Friday morning, calling it a successful example of improving food access to low-income communities.
Fare and Square is a 16,000 square foot non-profit grocery store owned and operated by Philabundance. Constructed in a vacant store at 9th and Trainer streets in Chester, the store has been in operation for about four months with 69 employees, 82 percent of which are Chester residents. Undersecretary of Agriculture Kevin Concannon toured the facility Friday, eager to learn about the store’s operations."
Read the full article on Fare and Square's Website here.
"As I grew to adulthood and began a family of my own, I realized that this little farm was more than just a pastoral dream. It was an antidote to industrial food, climate change, harried living and social injustices. But how was one little grassfed livestock farm high in the mountains going to support two families? I looked to my Appalachian neighbors, who had lived well up here for generations, with little to no cash. If they could do it, so could we. We would simply have to learn to make what we couldn’t buy. I would become the radical homemaker. I thought it was just a sensible choice. I didn’t know it would spark a revolution."
Read more from Shannon Hayes here.
"Eat more when you're stressed? You're not alone. More than a third of the participants in a national survey conducted by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health said they change their diets during stressful times.
And many of us are quick to turn to either sugary foods or highly refined carbohydrates such as bagels or white pasta when the stress hits.
'I think there's a very strong connection between what you eat and your mood,' Hibbeln says."
By: Allison Aubrey, for NPR. Read the full article here.
Each week we post articles, poems, and essays that relate to food sovereignty, health & wellbeing, and eating culture.