Bright Ideas....

City Slicker Farms (California)
Slicker Farms increases food self-sufficiency in West Oakland by creating organic, sustainable, high-yield urban farms and back-yard gardens. These spaces provide healthy, affordable food and improve the environment.   We seek to serve all West Oakland residents, prioritizing people who have least access. Our farms and gardens demonstrate the viability of a local food-production system, serve as community spaces, empower children and adults who want to learn about the connections between ecology, farming and the urban environment, and give West Oakland residents tools for self-reliance. City Slicker Farms

`Virtual water measures'
First there was carbon foot-printing, then food miles, and soon the world's consumers will be told how much water was used to produce their food. Scientists say New Zealand exporters have little to fear from what are known as "virtual water measures", and the low rate of exploitation could be a competitive advantage over other food producers. Otago (New Zealand) Daily Times story.
A Food Miles, of a Different Nature
Diversity is what makes us a great country. And I don't ever want to be a food snob -- I enjoy a hot dog as much (probably more than) the next guy. But clearly our eating habits are killing us. So if you are interested in financing a chain of salad bars along the interstate highway system, I'm your girl. Liz Neumark  article in the Huffington Post.
Connecting buyers and sellers of locally grown food
Farmers and other vendors begin by creating a profile page to promote their produce, as well as listing the quantities and prices of the products they have to sell. Individual and organizational buyers can then search for local food sellers and products in their area—searching by address, ZIP code or via map—and browsing the listings of those near them. Once they've found something they like, buyers can order food for pick-up at farmers' markets or farms. A purchase order is automatically generated and mailed to them for use in picking up the food and paying the seller. Listing, ordering and bidding on items in Local Dirt is free; yearly memberships for more sophisticated features—such as wholesale capabilities—begin at USD 360. Springwise story.
Food Hub: Cultivating a Local Economy
FoodHub is designed to be a user-friendly, one-stop-shop for the chef who needs six dozen artichokes for a menu special, the baker looking for a local source for flour, or the large institutional food buyer whose purchasing power could significantly stabilize a family farm. Local farmers, restaurateurs, and institutional buyers from hospitals, schools, colleges and grocery stores can check out the website to learn more. Portland, Oregon

Smart Choices Food Labeling Program, Under Investigation, Is Voluntarily Suspended
The Smart Choices food labeling program, under investigation by the Food and Drug Administration and state Attorney General Richard Blumenthal, was voluntarily suspended Friday after federal regulators said the program could mislead consumers. Connecticut Hartford Courant story
White House loads policy initiatives into a few hours of fun at Healthy Kids Fair
The autumn sunshine was very bright, the weather unseasonably warm, and there was a party atmosphere at the White House for Wednesday’s Healthy Kids Fair. First Lady Michelle Obama kicked off her shoes and hula hooped, Double Dutch jump roped, and sprinted through an obstacle course on the South Lawn, accompanied by dozens of visiting school children. Meanwhile, White House Chefs, and a few high-profile guest chefs, whipped up recipes at a series of outdoor kitchen stations. That fun side of the Healthy Kids Fair was reported by mainstream media. But the event couldn’t have been more serious. Grist Magazine story.
Why Is There No Fresh Locally Produced Food Served in Our Schools?
The region last school year (2008-2009) included 29 public school districts that were part of the national school lunch program. This report highlights the procurement challenges that school food authorities face as they seek to purchase healthy fresh local food from farmers in the region. Iowa and Cedar Valley Region   School Lunch Program brochure.

The Real Price of Cheap Food
Award-winning food journalist Michael Pollan was invited to speak on October 15 at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo but after pressure from a university donor who is chairman of the Harris Ranch Beef Co., the university changed his speech to a panel discussion. Transcripts of panel discussion on AlterNet.
AND if You Have Time for a chuckle:  Food fight! Revelers run amok in tomatoes
Tens of thousands of revelers pelted each other with ripe tomatoes in a good-natured battle that filled the streets of a Spanish town with rivers of red pulp. MSNBC story.

Fixing our Global Food System: Food Sovereignty and Redistributive Land Reform.  July-August 2009
A brilliant essay from the inimitatable Peter Rosset on the politics of local food production and land redistribution in both developing and highly advanced economies, Food Sovereignty and Redistributive Land Reform is a must read.  click here for the PDF.

European Union Agri-food sector to assess its environmental footprint
An EU sustainable food chain roundtable launched in May, is seeking to develop a methodology for assessing the environmental footprint of individual foods and drinks by 2011. The roundtable brings together farmers and suppliers, food and drink producers, packaging firms and consumer organisations to develop environmental assessment methodologies for products and means for effective consumer communication, and to report on improvements. According to the EU Commission, the food and drink sector contributes to some 23% of global resource use, 18% of greenhouse gas emissions and 31% of acidifying emissions. EU agriculture puts the highest pressure on environment in the food chain lifecycle.  Visit this site for more:    (Source: Locavore News)

Sweden introduces climate labelling for food

Sweden is developing standards to help consumers make conscious choices about the impact of their decisions on global warming. Products with at least 25% greenhouse gas savings will be marked in each food category, starting with plant production, dairy and fish products.   The label is a joint initiative by the Federation of Swedish Farmers, two food labelling organisations and various dairy and meat co-operatives.  Visit these two sites for more:  .     Climate labelling for food website   (Source: Locavore News)

LAPTOP FARMING:  Remote farming: tailor-made, no-fuss vegetable gardens
Italians can reconnect with the origins of their food. Le Verdure Del Mio Orto  ('The Vegetables from my Garden')—lets anyone build an organic garden right from their web browser. Users select a garden size based on the number of people they'd like to feed; 30m2 is sufficient for 1–2 people and costs EUR 850 per year. The virtual gardener can then choose from 40 different types of vegetables, using a highly intuitive interface that includes information on expected yields and harvest times. Optional extras include a photo album of the garden's progress (EUR 49), herb and fruit beds (EUR 50/75), and even a scarecrow with a picture of the customer's own face (EUR 39). Once the garden has been designed and fees paid, planting begins on the farm, which is located between Milan and Turin in northern Italy. As the organic produce grows, it's picked and delivered to the customer's door within 24 hours. More details on the Springwise website.    Le Verdure Del Mio Orto website.   Springwise and its network of 8,000 spotters scan the globe for smart new business ideas, delivering instant inspiration to entrepreneurial minds.   (Source: Locavore News)

Hellman's Eat Real, Eat Local Website.     Hellmans?  Yes Hellmans!  This is a really fantastic website for concrete actions on sourcing and eating local.

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