Not everyone can write a food/farming column for the Washington Post or farm oysters in Cape Cod, but Tamar Haspel believes everyone should “come to the table”. Tamar has ideas about divisive food policy issues that she wants to see pursued in constructive conversation. As for government: “I don’t run the zoo..I can’t sit at my desk and tell those who run the zoo what to do…I do have ideas as a starting point” On this Farm To Table Talk she shares her experience and some of those ideas, including the suggestion that one should have lunch with an opponent.
According to the NY Times “Fears about the harmful effects of eating GM foods have proved to be largely without scientific basis.” Oddly the front page headline emphasized a different point: Doubts About A Promised Bounty–Genetically Modified Crops Have Failed to Lift Yields and Ease Pesticide Use. Grist’s Nathaneal Johnson seems to have studied the GMO issues more than any other journalist. On Farm To Table Talk he critiques the NY Times story and paints a picture of what we can learn from this very long GMO journey. Nate also shares his story from a small newspaper in Idaho, to a graduate student of Michael Pollan’s at Berkeley to the Food and Farming editor for Grist, www.grist.org
Should companies that market unhealthy snacks, sweets or sodas be allowed to exhibit at Food and Nutrition Conferences where “influencers” are learning what to recommend to consumers? FNCE, the Food and Nutrition Conference of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics drew criticism in a Time magazine article for allowing participation by “corporations..not aligned with nutrition and public health. FNCE attendee and registered dietitian Lauren Harris-Pincus quickly stepped up in her blog to say “Why I’m OK with soda companies sponsoring nutrition conferences”. This conversation on Farm To Table Talk is about the role of brands and dietitians and healthy or “junk” foods.
Organic is still a very small percentage of the food we consume, yet it is undeniably growing at a very brisk pace. Food Trend Forecaster, Suzy Badaracco of Culinary Trends points out trends from all-day breakfast occasions to Garden(in) Glass Cocktails. When your dream becomes a trend, you may be like Pamela Burns the Chef and Proprietess of Wild Plum Cafe in Monterey and be able to cook with the best ingredients for the pleasure of others.
“Food Hubs” are still a new concept to many of us and we usually guess that they are popping up on either Coast rather than in the MidWestern heart of Corn and Soybean country. Your guess would be wrong; this important part of the food movement is percolating all over America. We talk with a new food hub coordinator who shares what it is all about and how you get the program up and running. In the process, this new Coordinator, East Coast transplant Elaine Vidal, fell in love with Muncie, Indiana.
Whatever is your personal view on GMO’s they are probably here to stay. Future focus will be on safety, transparency and coexistence between farms raising GMO crops and farms not raising GMO crops. So what happens if a herbicide that can be sprayed on a GMO Corn field drifts on to a tomato field? It can destroy the tomato field. This is especially concerning now that weeds are becoming more resistant to Glyphosate (Roundup) and new biotech crops are being used that are resistant to other herbicides, such as Dicamba or 24D, where off-target drift is a bigger risk. The Save Your Crop Coalition and Dow Agro-Sciences are showing that it is possible to work out differences and solve problems of co-existence..
We love to eat great food, grown in the ways we prefer, but what about the 405 of food that is wasted? We talk with Deb of Food Solutions about a new business that addresses food waste, increases farm income, lowers costs to restaurants and still delivers flavor, nutrition and value to consumers. What if Farmers Markets were an incubator for new ‘bricks and mortar’ store front busniess. From Farmers Market Executive Director Nesh Dhillon we learn that they are that and much more, on this episode of Farm To Table Talk.
When you see a New York Times headline that says “Industrial Farms Have Gone Green” it gets your attention. This was the subject of an editorial in the Times by Oklahoma State Ag Economist, Dr. Jayson Lusk. While agreeing that there is much to like about small, local farms and their influence on what we eat, Dr. Lusk says we must look to the 8% of farms that grow 80% of our food if we are to sustainably deal with problems from population growth and climate change.
Improving the global food system is a goal shared by thousands, but realized by few. One of the newer effective voices for this movement is Food Tank. Farm To Table Talk visits with the Food Tank founder Danielle Nierenberg who is “honored” to share the stories of “heroes” of the global food movement. While too modest to claim hero status for Food Tank, she sees heroes among women, youth, local farmer and others all over the world. The experience, inspiration and lessons learned can apply everywhere.
It’s not been fashionable to look to Washington DC for answers, but DC Greens should be an exception. The leaders and team at DC Greens are showing that you can leverage existing infrastructure, resources and talent to build a healthy food system–a model for cities everywhere. With innovations in food education, access, policy and even Dr’s prescribing fruits and vegetables they are determined that zip codes won’t determine life expectancy. People are literally lining up to take advantage of creativity of DC Greens.