Monday, August 24, 2009

tomatoes, herbs, winter squash

TIME to get on the foodcentric bandwagon

The cover article in Time magazine (August 31) seems to be an attempt to cash in on the popularity of food system news. You probably don't need to read it, but here is the link anyway:,8599,1917458,00.html

There's a lack of clarity here about the difference between sustainable and organic. The comparison of feedlot and open range beef on page 5 ignores the fact that both produce gaseous wastes, not just the solid stuff. And there's a general superficiality to this piece.

What I found really amusing, though, were all the links to other food and agriculture stories, video clips and photo galleries. Suggestions and live links kept cropping up that had no relationship to the paragraph that preceded them. A kind of topical randomness. Do they do this in case you are bored by the article, and need a break? I was amused, though, by the photos of the Oakland urban farmer and her little goats, and by the video of the organic garden center in Austin, TX. If you haven't seen the Hungry Planet photos, there is also a link to some of them.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A Reminder to Myself

I seem to have lost track of my summer task, to review as many food-themed films I haven't seen and visit some others as I can.

Julie and Julia really isn't on my list, as I found the book way too all-about-me on the part of the author, and I wonder why I need to see yet another person do a Julia Child imitation, no matter how good an actor Streep is. It's still an imitation.

I note that my local PBS station is celebrating J.C.'s birthday with a two hour fund-raising retrospective. I may watch it, but it's my birthday, too, so actually cooking something good might be a better use of time.

Back to movies: the LA Times came up with a reminder list of foodie friendly films from the past. I'd add some and subtract a few, but here they are, a nice mix:,0,3280677.story

Monday, August 10, 2009

UK update

Seems to me the Brits are doing a better job of addressing food issues systemically - and getting the word out about it - than we are. And of course, they don't spend time proposing GM solutions to the looming global food crisis, but look at lower tech solutions to increasing productivity with less fossil fuel dependency and less water.

Here's a place to start with the latest from the BBC - with good links to earlier related items.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Community Garden legislation

was introduced in Congress last month.

One was a bill to make August National Community Garden Awareness Month. With lots of whereases - primarily from a food security standpoint - it seems to have gotten stuck in committee. Let's celebrate it anyway.

HR3225 is in the House Committee on Agriculture, and actually proposes grant support for community gardens. You can read the whole thing on Thomas. I'm most interested in the first reason it gives for community gardening - the environmental impact one, with health second, and educating around and about community gardens third.

My congressmember is a co-sponsor of the bill, but after three weeks no one in her office has called me back. One of my fellow Food System Working Group members here is trying to get a visit when she and her staff are at home this month.

It also seems that the agriculture appropriations bill for 2010 was amended (by Sanders, VT) to include funds for school community gardens, but I must admit to being a bit rusty at following all this bill history.