In one way or another, most of us are part of the Food Movement. Now if we only were sure what that means. Michael Dimock, the President of Roots of Change is a respected leader of the movement with a good handle on what it is, where it stands and where it is heading. He sees a movement that is like hundreds of streams flowing into a river that is covering the United States and much of the world. This is truly a grassroots movement rather than the traditional top down dictates, and now focusing one policy matters more than ever.
Accepting that the world will have 8 billion people by 2030, consuming 50% more energy and demanding 40% more water, what’s the answer? Maybe there’s not a single answer, but thousands of ‘right’ answers. The world leading Agriculture & Natural Resource system at the University of California is connecting those dots from global back to local communities. Dr. Glenda Humiston, Vice President of the University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources shares how research, extension and education will be in every bite we take.
Food Delivery 2.0 is a good way to describe the new era in food delivery, from farm to table. “Convenience, Convenience, Convenience” is the demand driver that has caused billions of dollars being invested to make it easier to get the food you want, when you want it. Rabo Bank Research Analysts have studied this emerging frontier in 1) Online grocery 2) Delivery Apps 3) Meal Kits and Ready Meals. Dr. Roland Fumasi of Rabo Bank helps us explore this new world. Farmers Markets, CSA’s and stores aren’t the only way consumers will satisfy their demand for local, heirloom, artisan, ethnic etc meals or ingredients.
Farmers Markets are the best places today to connect with your community, meet your farmers and find delicious options to bring home. Your favorite chef is probably there too, rounding up fresh surprises for tonights menu. Nothing beats a bustling Farmers Market and here you will catch the energy and sounds as we talk to a shopping couple who shares their family recipe for Pesto, the justifiably proud Market Manager and a Chef chasing purple cauliflower and other surprises for their menu that changes daily to match the fresh offerings at the Farmers Markets.
Some view Farm to Table as a luxury for the rich and others are working to see that this isn’t the case. Gus Schumacher, a co-founder of Wholesome Wave and former USDA UnderSecretary believes that affordable, healthy, local foods should be available to everyone and that even poverty need not be an obstacle to eating fruits and vegetables. He also sees leadership coming from hospitals and other health focused organizations that literally prescribe fruits and vegetables as an effective measure to the growing diet/disease crisis. Government agencies and even private companies are helping reduce costs for these new “prescriptions” for improved health.
Have both major political parties turned protectionist and against free trade? Do the leading Presidential candidates know what is in the controversial “Trans-Pacific Partnership”? Whether it’s foreign food for domestic tables or local food for foreign tables, it’s an important issue that will have an impact on what farmers grow and what we eat. Josh Rolfe, Manager of Federal Policy for the California Farm Bureau explains what’s at stake when trade is sacrificed to politics.
Farmer’s Markets are being celebrated for unprecedented growth and contribution to revitalizing communities in a foundational role as part of the new American food system. Administrator of the USDA’s Ag Marketing Service, Elanor Starmer. Shares the success to date and paints a picture of invigoration that includes Know Your Farmer Know your Food, Farm To School, Urban Agriculture and a wide spectrum of programs and citizen initiatives that is reaching millions.
Garlic fans make annual pilgrimages to Gilroy California for the world famous Gilroy Garlic Festival to enjoy entertainment, artisans and delicious cuisine made with garlic. This visit to the Festival for the free garlic ice cream and other treats is topped off with a conversation with two types of garlic farmers, a certified organic farmer who sells to Farmers Markets and a larger scale conventional farmer growing garlic for processors and national fresh market distribution.
When there are important issues about the environment and food, it’s a safe bet that the Environmental Working Group is involved. The founder and President of the EWG, Ken Cook joins our Farm to Table Talk for a conversation that ranges from GMO Labeling to Subsidies and their annual “Dirty Dozen” list. And Ken shares reasons to be optimistic about a future that all sides should welcome. Listen to the podcast and you can read the interview here https://podcasttexts.com/Farm-to-Table-Talk-KenCook.html
Prior to the Senate and House passing a mandatory labeling law that pre-empts the Vermont GMO labeling law, an editorial in the Wall Street Journal said that a sticker on genetically modified groceries may debunk irrational fears. The authors, economists Rich Sexton of UC Davis and Steven Sexton of Dukesay that with the recent release of another exhaustive report by the National Academies of Sciences attesting to the safety of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, “it is time for the food industry and advocates of genetically engineered crops to stand up for their products and put a label on them….This could be the best way to make consumers confront their irrational fears, to stamp out public ignorance and to save an important technology…”