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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Report Finds Farmers Markets Face Barriers In Connecting Farmers and Low-income Shoppers

Sweeping yearlong examination of farmers markets nationally finds economic, social and technological roadblocks for SNAP recipients

NEW YORK CITY – (July 15, 2010) – According to a sweeping, independent national study of farmers markets, economic, social and technological barriers prevent many Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) participants from buying fresh and healthy food at farmers markets in their neighborhoods. This lack of access should be considered not only a fundamental health issue for SNAP participants, but a loss of potential income for farmers. Redirecting existing federal funds, as well as instituting changes at the community level, can minimize these barriers.

Developers of the study unveiled its findings today at Brooklyn Borough Hall Greenmarket, a farmers market the researchers consider as a model for community markets selling to SNAP participants.

In “Real Food, Real Choice: Connecting SNAP Recipients with Farmers Markets,” which can be downloaded at or, the Community Food Security Coalition (CFSC) and Farmers Market Coalition (FMC) sought to define and measure the challenges farmers markets face in serving the growing number of SNAP participants nationwide and offer a road...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Declare Your Food Independence!

This year, show your patriotism on July 4 by eating local. For the second year, Kitchen Gardeners International is conducting “Food Independence Day," a petition asking the nation’s elected officials to help declare their food independence next month by eating a locally sourced meal on Independence Day.

With support from the IATP Food and Society Fellows, the goal of the campaign is to educate and encourage consumers to source local and sustainable ingredients for their holiday meals. And, by requesting that their elected officials do the same, locavores are able to show, not just tell, officials why they think policy that supports local food systems is smart, healthy and patriotic.

The petition is accessible via and asks elected officials to “Whet our appetites by publishing your planned menu in advance of the holiday. Share your recipes and the names of the local farmers, fisherfolk and food producers whose ingredients you’ll be using.  And, tell us why local food matters to you.

“As residents of your states and by our signatures below,” the petition continues, “we pledge to join you in this celebration of edible independence by eating healthy and delicious foods from our own local farms, gardens, and communities.”


Friday, July 2, 2010

Anna Lappé Takes on BP

In a recent CNN video, Anna Lappé calls the heartbreaking disaster in the Gulf an "inevitable outcome of a set of corporate policies" on the part of BP. Although her latest book focuses on the connections between agriculture and climate change, it isn't a far stretch to realize that the BP oil spill is a symptom of these much larger issues.

In fact, Diet for a Hot Planet, which was released just before the spill, specifically discusses the power of skilled corporate greenwashing to inoculate against public outrage when something tragic and preventable happens.  As Anna highlights on Grist, BP has long-standing reputation of greenwashing.  Will the public continue to buy it?

For more from Anna, check out this fantastic interview in The Nation.  You can also watch a fascinating discussion with Raj Patal, Anna and Francis Moore Lappé at the Commonwealth Club.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Can the Wisdom of Tuscany be Applied to South Dakota?

Too often, small towns in the Great Plains suffer from a lack of hope. Food and Society Fellow alumni and South Dakota farm boy Thomas Dobbs describes the farms of his youth in eastern South Dakota as hardscrabble and dying. But does this necessarily have to be the case? Are the good times really over for good?

Thomas recently took a trip to Tuscany, and while enjoying the food and culture of that region, pondered that question. He wrote a fascinating commentary in the Dakota Day about the trip and the descriptions of a Tuscan farm in the writings of FerencMáté  in The Wisdom of Tuscany: Simplicity, Security & the Good Life".

The farm has a fairly low level of mechanization that includes one
tractor used for about 150 hours a year. So, there are long hours of
labor on this farm. But Máté says that the Tuscan people use the phrase "Piano
-- piano
" to prescribe how to work, meaning "Slowly -- slowly".
Máté says this does not imply...

Friday, June 25, 2010

Re-thinking Climate Justice

Michelle Mascarenhas-Swan, a 2002-2004 Food and Society Fellow, wrote a thought-provoking piece on re-framing the climate crisis for On the Commons, a network of citizens and organizations exploring new ways to achieve social justice, environmental harmony and democratic participation at all levels of society.

In December, a delegation of racial, economic, and environmental justice organizers went to Copenhagen for the UN Climate Negotiations to help shift the dialog toward "real solutions" for the communities most affected by the climate crisis.  Although the negotiations were widely considered unsuccessful on this front (and most others as well), Michelle argues that "the 'Copenhagen moment' must now rapidly become the 'people’s moment' as activist groups prepare for Mexico City in November 2010 and the larger struggle ahead.

Here's an excerpt from the article, Toward a World of Many Worlds:

Our challenge today is to re-write the story of the kind of victory that we’re fighting for. Our new story needs to be believable, irresistible, and worth fighting for.

The finale of the story of our victory will be a post-globalized world based on local democracies, driven to meet residents needs in an equitable...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fellows Hitting the Magazine Racks

This month, a number of our alumni fellows are featured in major news and consumer magazines.  This Sunday, an adaptation of Paul Greenberg's book, “Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food,” will be featured on the cover of The New York Times Magazine.  You can see a preview here.  

And just in time for peach season, Martha is finally discovering Mas. Mas Masumoto, a 2007-2008 fellow, is featured in a 10 page spread (including two tantalizing pages of peach recipes) in the July 2010 issue of Martha Stewart Living. His latest book, Wisdom of the Last Farmer: Harvesting Legacies from the Land was released last summer.

Finally Bryant Terry (2008-2009) is quoted heavily in "Feeding the Soul," a feature article in the latest Oprah Magazine. You can read a recent interview with Bryant in the Oregonian here, or see him in person...

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Our Final Bite of Sushi?

An adaptation of Paul Greenberg's book, “Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food,” will be featured on the cover of Sunday's New York Times Magazine.  Greenberg, a 2007-2008 Food and Society Fellow, writes prolifically on global fisheries, and his latest book will be published next month by Penguin Press.

Tuna’s End

By Paul Greenberg

On the morning of June 4, in the international waters south of Malta, the Greenpeace vessels Rainbow Warrior and Arctic Sunrise deployed eight inflatable Zodiacs and skiffs into the azure surface of the Mediterranean. Protesters aboard donned helmets and took up DayGlo flags and plywood shields. With the organization’s observation helicopter hovering above, the pilots of the tiny boats hit their throttles, hurtling the fleet forward to stop what they viewed as an egregious environmental crime. It was a high-octane updating of a familiar tableau, one that anyone who has followed Greenpeace’s Save the Whales adventures of the last 35 years would have recognized. But in the waters off Malta there was not a whale to be seen.

What was in the water that day was a congregation of Atlantic bluefin tuna, a fish that when prepared as sushi is one of the...

Friday, June 18, 2010

Yes, Rush Limbaugh, Children Go Hungry in America

By Mark Muller

Originally published on The Huffington Post.

Several years ago, after our country became sharply divided over the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Patriot Act and just about every other policy decision, I made a personal commitment to try and understand different perspectives. I read the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times, and I listened to Rush Limbaugh and Al Franken on talk radio. I read books by commentators from the left and the right.

This exercise did help to nuance my positions on many issues. But perhaps more importantly I developed a better understanding and appreciation for perspectives different than mine.

An appreciation for perspectives, however, doesn't mean that outrageous and dangerous positions shouldn't be called out. And Rush Limbaugh, that beacon of healthy eating, seems to be leading a charge against providing kids with healthy meals with these statements on his show on Wednesday:

"Michelle Obama told us they're all so fat and out of shape and overweight that a summer off from government eating might be just the ticket."

Now railing against "government eating" is a standard conservative perspective. Many people with libertarian leanings would prefer to see small private institutions have a...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

CIW Anti-Slavery Work Recognized by Secretary Clinton

On Monday IATP Food and Society Fellow Sean Sellers and the CIW Modern Slavery Museum parked outside the U.S. State Department for the release of the most recent Trafficking in Persons report, a global evaluation of progress in the global fight against slavery.  The museum was the backdrop for a ceremony hosted by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton in which Laura Germino of the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW) was named a 2010 "Anti-Trafficking Hero" by the U.S. State Department.

As part of the annual report's release, the State Department recognizes people from around the world who have shown extraordinary commitment and leadership in the fight against slavery. The Fort Meyers News-Press notes that Germino, coordinator of the coalition's Anti-Slavery Campaign, is the first U.S.-based recipient of the recognition.

The fact that the State Department included the U.S. in these ratings is significant: An NPR story points out that "by admitting it faces this issue, the U.S. has a powerful diplomatic...

Friday, June 11, 2010

Industrial aquaculture's impact on the Pacific Northwest

"Are we replicating the worst problems of factory farms on land in our marine environment?"

This is the question that Anne Mosness leaves listeners with from her recent interview on public radio. Huge commercial salmon farms have changed the marine ecosystem off of Bainbridge Island in the Puget Sound. The open sided cages do little to confine the pollution and pathogens in the fecal matter of these salmon farms. In fact, the farms have a difficult time even confining the fish.

Anne spent several years as captain of a commercial salmon fishing boat. She and her fishing colleagues continually struggled with the environmental and economic assaults of the fish farming industry. Anne started the "Go Wild Campaign" to educate consumers, media and policy makers about impacts of marine feedlots and how to make health enhancing and environmentally sound seafood decisions.

Anne recently gave a presentation at Western Washington University on these aquaculture issues. In the presentation she describes the social justice impacts of the growing consumption of high trophic level fish like salmon, which require an enormous amount of fish as feed.

Thanks to Anne for reminding us of the importance of what happens unseen below the water's surface.


Meet the Fellows

Nina Kahori Fallenbaum

Nina Kahori Fallenbaum, the food and agriculture editor of Hyphen magazine, uses independent media to engage Asian American communities in local and national food policy.

Ideas in focus

Cultivating Leadership and Equity in the Food Movement

April 2013

The IATP Food and Community Fellows Program is coming to an end, but it's springtime for our work growing equity in the food system and cultivating diverse leadership in the movement.

Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy

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