Like many kids of her millennial generation, Natalie Tran grew up on fast food meals, fried chicken and hamburgers that her parents lugged home after long work days. Today, she’s rethinking that past while working as a student organizer championing “real food” for the national Real Food Challenge, which is taking hold on campuses nationwide.
Joel Salatin, local food advocate, author and owner of Polyface Farms in Virginia, has spent the last several years telling people what they must do to build local, healthful food networks that support farmers and bring fresh, quality foods to customers. Here he offers a sampling of his philosophy at a Texas appearance.
The EcoVillage at Ithaca is a showcase of sustainable living that demonstrates how humans can live more lightly on the land, clustering buildings together at the heart of a mass of native plantings, vegetable gardens and wildlife-friendly woods and pastures. Our photo tour captures the flavor of this grand experiment in low-carbon living, though we only scratched the surface of this green community marvel in upstate New York.
Many cities struggle to maintain one community garden. The small city of Coppell has two, and they’re thriving. But while the gardens have produced tons of produce for a local food pantry over the past 15 years, it is about so much more than plants.
Permaculturalist Rob Hopkins, the author of The Power of Just Doing Stuff, doesn’t have the swish symbol but he’s spreading the message to “just do it” with gardens, trees, local food, CSAs and shopping closer to home.
Little did they know, when the students of Clarkson University pushed to have a more sustainable campus, they’d be learning to love goat cheese. Even Executive Chef Kyle Mayette admits goat cheese is an acquired taste. But it is a vital component of a delectable chicken sandwich that’s winning over hearts, minds and palates at Clarkson’s new all-local food grill.
Sierra magazine has released its Cool Schools rankings for 2013, revealing that the nation’s campuses are a hotbed of sustainable ideas that are helping cool the planet and set the pace for a new generation ready to confront climate change. We take a look at the Top 10….
WASHINGTON — Farm to Table refers to a movement promoting locally grown food which has been gaining traction in recent years. But not many people know that, before the movement was launched, a touring group was bringing “table to farm” to connect consumers to where their food comes from. It’s still doing that. One culinary adventure also honors local farmers.
Over at the American Farmland Trust, they understand that the way to our hearts is through our stomachs. In their continuing effort to help Americans understand that farms produce food, and that family farms produce local, wholesome food, they’ve come up with a “Dine Out for Farms” week.
Who’s doing the best job satisfying tummies with local food? This summer the American Farmland Trust decided to find out. It asked people to vote for their favorite farmers markets, nationwide.
Today, they announced the winners in the large, medium, small and boutique market categories. And those at the top of their lists are:
Denise Rieger spreads hummus on a whole wheat tortilla, chops up carrots, peppers and cucumber, layers on the vegetables and rolls the tortilla into a wrap. She prepares a fresh fruit salad of strawberries and grapes and puts everything in separate compartments of a lunch box for her daughter, Elle to bring to school. Rieger goes through this time-consuming preparation five days a week because she does not want her daughter eating what is being served for lunch in the school cafeteria.
“I won’t let my kids eat anything in the cafeteria, not one bit of food!” says Rieger.
We don’t really need the federal government to tell us to appreciate Farmer’s Markets. It’s pretty obvious how these markets can help us — bringing the freshest produce to town, supporting local farmers and food artisans, increasing our “food security” and expanding our universe of healthy options.
Brenton Johnson, who hosted a recent local-food gourmet dinner on his organic farm, Johnson’s Backyard Garden, just east of Austin, Texas, represents a new breed of young, organic farmer whose philosophy is to live in harmony with the land and bring back the sustainable ways. Naturally (no pun intended), he advocates buying local food.
In between tending his turnips and perusing the potatoes, Brenton penned this wise, authoritative list, which he agreed to share with us. (We couldn’t write it any better.)
This isn’t just about helping the local farmer, it’s about preserving our planet (and eatin’ better, too!).
But Some Confused About Eco-Choices
By Barbara Kessler
Ever wonder what your neighbors are doing on the green front – what with one fellow dragging four nicely sorted recycling bins to the curb every other week, and another seemingly sitting out the green movement?
So did the Nature Conservancy and the people running the Harris Poll. They collaborated on a poll that found about half of Americans (53 percent) are making green changes, but a significant number (34 percent) said they’ve not made any changes because they are confused about what to do. Another large group (29 percent) said they are not making changes because it won’t make any difference.
Education seemed to play a role in who was confused, fatalistic or moving toward more sustainable practices. Just under half of high school educated respondents (46 percent) said they had made green changes as compared with college educated adults (65 percent).
Of the total 53 percent who had made changes, the poll elicited these responses: