While most of us probably feel that family run farms are a “good thing”, it is sometimes difficult to articulate why we feel this way. Here is a link to a nice page that lays out some reasons in a way that is easily understood (and shared with “non-believers”). Click on Why family farms?
Nice article on one of our UMass student’s projects in Springfield, MA. Pete is working to bring local food to the city. “I think city people, especially young people, should understand where food comes from and how connected our well-being is to what, how, where, and why we eat,” says Merzbacher, “but I also want to provide the means of food production that can feed thousands of people.” Check it out here.
The National Research Council recently published an extensive report on the status of sustainable agriculture claiming the current industrial food system is no longer sustainable without huge subsidies. What used to be called “alternative” agriculture is now rapidly becoming mainstream. According to the report, the Four Goals Of Sustainable Agriculture are:
Satisfy human food, feed, and fiber needs, and contribute to biofuel needs.
Enhance environmental quality and the resource base.
Sustain the economic viability of agriculture
Enhance the quality of life for farmers, farm workers, and society as a whole.
Many individuals have made the decision to try to live more sustainably, but without shifts in public policy substantive change won’t happen. “Eaters” alone won’t change the world, but unless “eaters” do change the necessary shift in public policy is unlikely. Read more here.
If you want to know who’s responsible for decimating the world’s oceans, look no farther than your local supermarket. At the rate we’re going, years from now there really won’t be other fish in the sea. For more, click here.
The USDA announced the launch of Ask the Expert, a knowledge-based search engine that optimizes customer experience while conserving taxpayer dollars. This intuitive tool relies on self-service to deliver reliable and relevant information 24/7, greatly reducing wait time and USDA resources associated with the previous system. For more, click here.