Good morning. We hope you had a terrific weekend.
On the menu today, in no particular order.
In Flint, Michigan, moving the farmers market drew more poor shoppers. Flint, Michigan has been much in the news because of its drinking water crisis. But Flint has also experienced “food deserts.” In this piece for NPR’s The Salt, Tracie McMillan shares information about a study that indicated that moving a farmers market to downtown Flint (close to public transit) improved access for poor residents. The study was conducted by Rick Sadler of Michigan State University. Improved access to healthy, nutritious foods is particularly vital now, given the water crisis: “consuming fruits and vegetables and other nutritious foods high in calcium, iron and Vitamin C can help reduce lead absorption.” A must read.
An outspoken force to give food workers a seat at the table. David Gelles of the New York Times profiles Saru Jayaraman, founder of Restaurant Opportunities Center United. Jayaraman is an outspoken leader in the food labor movement; her work is having a national impact. Jayaraman is on faculty at UC Berkeley. Her book, Forked: A New Standard for American Dining, provides information about how restaurants score for worker pay and benefits. A stellar read. #GlobalFood
It’s our first anniversary. We’re picking some of our favorite pieces to share with you. Here are two we think you’ll enjoy…
Elliott Campbell: research study indicates local food has enormous potential. There was a great deal of buzz last spring when a farmland mapping project by a UC Merced professor indicated that “most areas of the country could feed between 80 percent and 100 percent of their populations with food grown or raised within 50 miles.” That researcher was Elliott Campbell. The study immediately generated comment, including positive accolades from author and influencer Michael Pollan (also a UC professor). Many have noted the importance of the study in filling a research gap about local food. Campbell told us this:
“A really powerful message that seemed obvious to me is that a chunk of the environmental sustainability community has dismissed local food as a distraction, yet leans heavily on the idea that we need to eat more plants. It’s possible that this movement that has been dismissed by some might contain a seed for getting us through a difficult place and closer to sustainability.”
Dr. Preston Maring is nationally known for connecting good food to health through his work at Kaiser Permanente. While his clinical practice was in the field of obstetrics and gynecology, Maring had the opportunity to support other specialties as well. He is most recently known for his passion for connecting local food to institutions. His creative ideas led to a farmers market at the Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center, an idea that spread to more than 50 Kaiser health facilities in seven states. He told us this:
“It is possible that some of the best public health tools we have are a sharp chef’s knife, a cutting board, and a salad spinner.”
We couldn’t agree more. Have a great day.