Category Archives: Local Foods
Food As Medicine: Rethinking Hunger Relief As Health Care
Check out this report from Rachel Zimmerman:
According to Gulf FINFO, “red snapper (Fig.1, Lutjanus campechanus) is also known as American red snapper, American reds, Caribbean red snapper, genuine red snapper, Mexican snapper, Northern red snapper, and snapper.” This fish species is sought by avid recreational fishermen and commercial fishing businesses in the Gulf of Mexico States. The Gulf red snapper fisheries […]
October is National Farm to School Month and communities across the country are celebrating the importance of farm to school programs. These programs, implemented in more than 42,500 schools in the United States, can help improve child nutrition, stimulate local economies, and educate children about where their food comes from and how to make informed food choices.
This year’s theme, One Small Step highlights the simple ways that, students, parents, teachers, nutrition professionals, food producers, and activists can make a difference by learning more about farm field trips, cooking lessons, and taste testing. The National Farm to School Network provides several resources including a toolkit on how to start and develop local farm to school programs, tips on how to ensure the sustainability of a school garden, and an overview of current and pending farm to school-related state and national policies. In addition, National Farm to School Month will highlight the different aspects of farm to school programs by focusing on a new theme every week: education, healthy school meals, farmers and producers, and the next generation.
Farm to school programs have engaged over 23.6 million students and have been shown to provide a multitude of benefits. According to the National Farm to School Network, students in farm to school programs demonstrate increased fruit and vegetable consumption, are more willing to try new foods, and exhibit improved academic outcomes. Christina Plyman, a student volunteer at Boyle County High School’s school garden in Kentucky, says“I’ve seen kids in the cafeteria eat healthier foods because their friends grew it, and they know the garden it was grown in.” Boyle County High School student garden volunteer, Trinity Sinkhorn, also praises the program, explaining “I’m taking on new leadership in our farm to school program and I’m interested in learning new approaches and finding ways to grow our activities.”
In addition to providing learning and leadership opportunities to students, farm to school programs benefit schools and the community. According to areport by UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, participating schools have reported an average increase of 9 percent in school meal participation and have increased local procurement of foods, with some schools sourcing up to 50 percent of their total purchases locally. Meanwhile, local farmers have experienced average income rises and increased market diversification. Upstream Public Health, a public health-focused nonprofit, found that for every US$1 spent on farm to school, US$2.16 is generated in economic activity benefiting the local community.
Farm to school programs may differ from school to school, but all enrich our local communities by changing food purchasing, education, and eating practices at schools and other education sites. Matthew Raiford, Executive Chef of The Farmer & The Larder in Brunswick, Georgia and a sixth generation farmer, addressed the importance of a collective effort to create strong and just local food systems at the 8th National Farm to Cafeteria Conference in June 2016. According to Raiford, “It takes more than a village. It takes villages to build better systems.” Food Tank invites you to join us and the many schools, farms, communities, and organizations around the country in celebrating National Farm to School Month this October.
Food Tank highlights a few outstanding farm to school programs happening around the country. Look who made the list!
Good Food for Oxford Schools, Mississippi: Good Food for Oxford Schools, an initiative of the Oxford School District in Oxford, Mississippi, aims to improve school meal offerings and provide nutrition education to students and their families. The program has increased the amount of local fruits and vegetables in school cafeterias and implemented nutrition education lessons in the classroom, emphasizing the importance of a healthy, nutritious diet. Outside of the classroom, Good Food for Oxford Schools offers cooking classes and educational grocery shopping trips for families.
The Mississippi Food Policy Council invites everyone to attend our quarterly meeting set for October 14 from 11 am – 2 pm. The meeting will be held at the MSU CAVS Center in Canton.
We will host three presentations:
Chance McDavid, Mississippi State University – Statewide Local Food Meetups
Keith Benson, Founder and Director of the Alliance for Sustainable Ag Production – New Food Safety certification for small to medium size producers in partnership with MSU
Dorothy Grady Scarbrough, co-lead for MS Farm to School Network – highlights and updates on healthier food for students statewide.
Lunch will be provided for a small donation.
Please RSVP to Henry Fuller at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Local & Regional Foods: Connecting Regional Efforts” The South has seen significant activity around local and regional foods systems in the recent months. As a result, a team of Extension and research professionals have come together to create a process for connecting these efforts and growing the work across states and disciplines. Come see what […]
Calling all Agricultural Professionals: the Farm to Table Experience offers several opportunities to hone your skills and learn about new trends in the farm to table industry! Several sessions offered for agricultural professionals at all levels. Sign up for a session today:
- Plenary – “New Markets, New Opportunities: USDA’s Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Initiative” presented by Sara Eckhouse, Senior Advisor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Agriculture
- Friday, 8/19 from 8:30-9:30AM
- Breakout Session – “Producer to Consumer and All in Between – A Look at Grassfed Beef” presented by Chef Stephen Blaser, Centerplate; Shannon Gonsoulin, Gonsoulin Land and Cattle; and Simone Reggie, Simone’s Market
- Thursday, 8/18 from 9:45-10:45AM
- Breakout Session – “Beyond Farmer’s Markets: Producing for Retail” presented by Alan Lewis, Natural Grocers
- Thursday, 8/18 from 11AM-12PM
- Breakout Session – “Aquaponics – Building Local Food Systems through Innovation and Entrepreneurship” presented by Rebecca Nelson, Nelson and Pade, Inc.
- Thursday, 8/18 from 2:30-3:30PM
- Plenary – “Food Safety Modernization Act: Redefining Farm to Table Food Safety” presented by Dr. Achyut Adhikari, LSU AgCenter; Chef Richard Jones, Green Door Gourmet; and Baylen Linnekin, George Mason University Law School
- Thursday, 8/18 from 3:45-4:45PM
F2Te is hosted by the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center and the National Farm to Table Alliance.
The National Farm to Table Alliance is a collection of organizations interested in the production, use and benefits of sustainable local farm fresh seasonal products and supports the important exchange between Practitioners, Policy Makers and Consumers while promoting food safety.