Sunday, November 27, 2016

Not glamorous, perhaps, but extremely important

Here is a great example of the difference simple improvements in small scale sustainable agriculture can make. It's also a wonderful story of selective seed saving, and how it can make a difference in a few generations locally, without benefit of a research lab and expensive technologies.

This link came in an Oxfam newsletter.

Meanwhile, I've used a chunk of time this weekend to catch up with following many links on food waste, a current topic of great interest here in Sonoma County. I plan to post some of them with notes and/or reflections during Advent.

What did you do with your Thanksgiving leftovers? How do you plan to prevent or repurpose holiday excess this Advent and Christmas?

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Someone's spamming

with comments - appearing to be ads when I translate them - about some water related technology in Riyadh. I have no idea how to stop this except to report them as spam. I have now reported five such in a matter of minutes, and I expect there to be more when I check my email again.

If I knew how to say "Stop the spammy comments!" in Arabic I would.

If anyone reads this and has any bright ideas, post a comment and I will read it and post it if it is helpful.

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Rural food deserts

So much attention gets paid to urban core food deserts, but this series from Utah Public Radio points up the tragedy of a broken food system on the Navajo reservation.

Check out both segments of the story.

One thing I didn't see here: to what extent did the former commodity food program contribute to the breakdown of old ways of producing food?

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

We need more focus on domestic fair trade.

Here is one group working on it:
food justice certified logo

And  here's a bill wending its way through the California legislature.

AB2757, which addresses the differing standards for overtime in agricultural work, has passed the assembly Labor and Employment Committee.

Federal Fair Labor Standards exclude farmworkers. So once again California is taking the lead toward more just practices.

From the press release:

Over four years, the “Phase-In Overtime for Agricultural Workers Act of 2016” – known as Assembly Bill 2757 – would gradually phase in standards for farmworker overtime lowering the current 10-hour day level to the standard 8-hour day, and establishing for the first time a 40-hour standard workweek. The phase-in would be by annual half-hour-per-day increments until reaching eight hours, and annual five-hour-per-week increments until reaching 40 hours. Both final standards would be achieved in 2020.
Assembly Labor Committee Chairman Roger Hern├índez (D-West Covina) and Assemblymembers Kansen Chu (D-San Jose), Kevin McCarty (D-Sacramento), Tony Thurmond (D-Richmond) and Patrick O’Donnell (D-Long Beach) voted for AB 2757 in committee. Assemblymembers Jim Patterson (R-Fresno) and Eric Linder (R-Corona) voted against the bill.

Friday, April 1, 2016

This is fun

Ten very short ones from Real Food Films:
One person one vote for your favorite.
I'm going to use one of these in my theological reflection class tomorrow. Not sure which yet.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Did you know?

From the Pulse Pledge Challenge:

To produce one pound of meat requires roughly 800 - 1800 gallons of water, but to produce one pound of pulses takes only 43 gallons of water.

I can confirm that, roughly, from experience, having grown two and a half pounds of Christmas limas on one teepee the first year of this drought.

Think about it - it's not just the global warming contribution of that hamburger, but the water use.

To produce 1 lb. of meat requires roughly 800-1,800 gallons of water, but to produce 1 lb. of pulses only takes 43 gallons of water!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

It's the methane folks

Often we think about food waste in terms of the people who could be fed with what we don't eat. "There are starving children in (insert country depending on your generation)!
The statistic given in the linked article is that we waste about 1200 calories per person per day. If you add in the amount we overeat (the majority of us sustaining overweight or obese bodies) you have to include that we could support a whole country of another 300 million people.
Of course, some of these wasted calories cannot be recovered or distributed. What they do is contribute to methane released from our landfills, which impacts climate and consequently agriculture around the world.
Here's a story about a new government initiative to encourage food recovery by religious congregations:

Friday, January 15, 2016


It's the International Year of Pulses. I get excited about beans anyway, so imagine what this is doing to me!
Thanks to the Slow Foods e-news I just learned that the American Pulse Association has a great website.
But I must say that taking the pulse of local grocery stores yesterday was disappointing. I wanted some decent red beans, preferably Rancho Gordo's. (I recommend liking RG's page on Facebook for the latest news and recipes.) All I could find at Oliver's and Sonoma Market and Whole Foods was kidney beans. So unimaginative. So I'm going to make red beans and rice with Santa Maria Pinquitos from RG, and plan a trip to Napa soon to get a better selection at the source. Sangre de Toros, here I come.