Friday, June 17, 2022

Monday, June 13, 2022

California's small farms and water laws in a time of drought

We've heard a lot about the unequitable application of groundwater laws at the Sonoma County Food System Alliance. A recent article in Civil Eats has a lot to say about it. 

From the article: 

"[Annie]Main [of Good Humus Farm in Yolo County] also learned that one reason small farmers may have fallen through the cracks since the SGMA passed in 2014 was that while the law requires all who depend on groundwater, including domestic well users and cities, to be considered when making plans, all agricultural interests were lumped into a single group as one large, uniform beneficiary. This is the case despite the vast difference between a small, diversified farm and a massive monocrop operation."

Find the introduction and link to the full report which inspired the article here. 

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Updated Sites of Note List

 But I still need to add a number of sites related to food recovery and reducing food waste. Stay tuned. 

Sunday, November 15, 2020

Honeybees can inhibit biodiversity

"The Problem with Honeybees," a November 4 article in Scientific American, points this out, and names the critters for what they are, a "massively distributed livestock animal."

I'm mostly stashing this link here in case I want to follow up on it later. 

Friday, October 30, 2020

The Global Alliance for the Future of Food, a group of philanthropic organizations, has published a guide for government action on improving food systems.

It's supported by a collection of case studies from around the globe:

In the government guide the lenses through which issues are seen are those of health: human health, ecological health, animal health. Recommendations in this document are cross-referenced to insights from the stories in the case study document. A table documents which case studies reflect which recommendations. 

In the case study document little ikons show which of the recommendations are illustrated by each study. This strikes me as a very useful model for presenting information about food system change. Some people learn best from lists and tables, others need stories and visuals. Many reports would be improved by saying a little less but presenting in several forms and with differing approaches. 

Unlike in many international documents advocating for food system change, this one requires a bit of drill down to find the word agroecology. Also, none of the recommendations touch on access to land. 

Here's the short list of the recommendations:

  1. Take an integrated and inclusive approach 
  2. Set health-based goals and targets 
  3. Implement mandatory health impact assessment on food policies
  4. Use multiple, diverse policies 
  5. Leverage agricultural subsidies 
  6. Facilitate affordability of health-promoting foods 
  7. Run health and food safety assessments of international trade agreements and policies
  8. Support local and small entities 
  9. Develop sustainable dietary guidelines (FBSDGs) and ensure public food procurement standards align with them
  10. Foster ecological, food, and health literacy 
  11. Invest in public health research and innovation  
  12. Put the precautionary principle at the heart of the research and innovation agenda
  13. Promote dialogue and collaboration
  14. Support and commit to international action frameworks

W.K. Kellogg Foundation seems to be a central player in the Alliance. The other principle funder of this report was Fondazione Cariplo, associated with a commercial bank in Milan. 

Thursday, October 29, 2020

Leading with food policy

How many politicians make the first policy roll out of their campaigns about food? Michelle Wu, angling for the office of Mayor of the City of Boston (election in 2021) has released a white paper on food policy. Wu sees food system change as integral to city planning, as well as a key to the road back from the Covid19 pandemic. She is quoted in an October 20 story on

"It’s clear that food justice could lead our recovery from this pandemic, and it will be critical to making sure that we are addressing the needs in this moment but with the goal of transforming systems that already weren’t working prior to COVID-19.” 

I found the full report here:

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Beef: It's what for (a planet destroying) dinner

Just filing this link here and promising to rev up this blog again after six weeks away with a long reflection soon.