Sunday, November 15, 2020

Honeybees can inhibit biodiversity

"The Problem with Honeybees," a November 4 article in Scientific American, https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/the-problem-with-honey-bees/ 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. 

https://futureoffood.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/GA_SystemicSolutions-HealthyFoodSystems_GovtGuide_Oct2020.pdf

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

https://futureoffood.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/10/GA_SystemicSolutions-HealthyFoodSystems_CaseStudies_Oct2020.pdf

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 Boston.com

"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: 

https://assets.ctfassets.net/1hf11j69ure4/5PJJnCGV7QIc7KgMiftjlr/51903afb4f82962d02d3665c2a02615e/Wu-Food-Justice-101920.pdf


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.
https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2020/jul/02/agriculture-cattle-us-water-shortages-colorado-river

Sunday, May 24, 2020

A story that tells the tale of our messed up food system

and also reveals how messed up the USDA is.
It's appalling that our local produce aggregator and distributor, FEED Sonoma, with existing relationships with many small-scale farmers, was passed over, and a grant awarded to a personal care products distributor. What?!?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/05/22/trumps-signature-effort-direct-farm-surplus-needy-families-abruptly-withdraws-large-contract-amid-criticism-programs-rollout/
The article also includes a good summary of the situation with the food supply chain nationally, about which I hope to write more soon. Getting my head around anything has been difficult these past ten weeks.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

For future reference

Because really - where are people getting all this extra time?
https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/review/best-food-cooking-movies
There are a few movies here I'd like to see. Some again, but not Chef. I couldn't figure out why people raved about it. I think Big Night is among my most watched movies ever.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Stuck at home?

I don't know about you, but I am finding more than enough things to amuse me. I thought that on house arrest I might have to resort to cleaning, but so far I've only tackled a few deferred chores. There are so many extra opportunities in the knitting community I feel a bit overwhelmed with the choices. I've got food on hand, exchanges on the Bean Club Facebook group are frequent, and I will go out to the community garden to check on a few young things and to harvest the last of the sprouting broccoli and some more over-wintered chard. 
But now there is this: a one hour zoomed learning opportunity each day starting Monday the 23rd. 1 p.m. Eastern, 10 a.m. Pacific.
https://slowfoodusa.org/slow-food-live/