To market we go. Public food markets have been a central part of American life in the past. In recent years they’ve enjoyed a resurgence, fueled by consumer interest in all things local. Proponents claim they help revitalize urban areas, can improve public health and foster diversity. They are also vital to the concept of placemaking. But how can these efforts strike a balance between what some might consider elite food interests and more basic community food needs? In a simply splendid piece using the Boston Public Market as something of a case study, Corby Kummer explores this question…and delivers some thoughtful observations. #goodread from The New Republic.
Opinion. “…I knew the colors of nature and understood taste and the flavor of peaches…” Organic farmer/writer David Mas Matsumoto writes an important perspective piece on the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Arts, linking food, agriculture, place and heritage. He writes about how photography and the arts are legitimizing Central Valley stories about the drought. Rich, lyrical, essential reading. In The Sacramento Bee. Bruce Friedrich, director of policy for Farm Sanctuary, asks why the USDA won’t enforce the Humane Slaughter Act. Slaughterhouse of Horrors appears in the Los Angeles Times. Hook for LA residents? Reference to “Dodger Dogs.”
#FoodWaste. Feeding Farms with Supermarket Food Waste tells the story of California Safe Soil, a company that has “developed a process that transforms truckloads of supermarket food waste into farm-ready fertilizer…” The company may be in the position to help California supermarkets comply with a new waste law due to take effect in 2016. In addition to diverting food waste, the resulting product may reduce the need for synthetic nitrogen fertilizer. Kristine Wong wrote this piece for Civil Eats. ICYMI: What a World War I poster can teach us about food waste.
“Land sparing, or land sharing?” Nathanael Johnson explores how the “oyster wars” in the San Francisco Bay Area have shed light on a bigger debate. In this piece for Grist, Johnson also discusses a recent book by Summer Brennan: The Oyster War: The True Story of a Small Farm, Big Politics, and the Future of Wilderness in America. Sounds like a terrific read.
A new landscape appears in the West. The 2015 fire season in the American West is shaping up as one for the books. The fire management policies of the last hundred years – which stress suppression – have shaped a new landscape. With climate change, tree death and other factors, experts are trying to determine what the future might hold. John Schwartz for The New York Times.
#FarmAid30. UC Food Observer Rose Hayden-Smith shares some thoughts on the 30th anniversary of Farm Aid.