Meeting Lunch

Allow Me to Introduce Your Food

Link Break 3/8/10 March 8, 2010

Filed under: Links — Natalie Aldern @ 1:22 pm


Brain Food: Food Desert March 6, 2010

Filed under: Food Definitions — Natalie Aldern @ 3:42 pm
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To know your food, sometimes you have to speak the language.

Definition: Food Desert: A district with little or no access to foods needed to maintain a healthy diet but often served by plenty of fast food restaurants.

The concept of ‘access’ may be interpreted in three ways.

  • ‘Physical access’ to shops can be difficult if the shops are distant, the shopper is elderly or infirm, the area has many hills, public transport links are poor, and the consumer has no car. Also, the shop may be across a busy road, difficult to cross with children or with underpasses that some fear to use because of a crime risk. For some, such as the disabled, the inside of the shop may be hard to access physically if there are steps up or the interior is cramped with no room for walking aids. Carrying fresh food home may also be hard for some.
  • ‘Financial access’ is difficult if the consumer lacks the money to buy healthy foods (generally more expensive, calorie for calorie, than less healthy, sugary, and fatty ‘junk foods’) or if the shopper cannot afford the bus fare to remote shops selling fresh foods and instead uses local fast food outlets. Other forms of financial access barriers may be inability to afford storage space for food, or for the very poor, living in temporary accommodation that does not offer good cooking facilities.
  • Mental attitude or food knowledge of the consumer may prevent them accessing fresh vegetables. They may lack cooking knowledge or have the idea that eating a healthy diet isn’t important.


Why it matters: Access to healthy food is not a privilege, it’s a right.  Good food needs to be available to everyone, regardless of income level.  It’s a basic need that is completely out of reach for people living in urban food deserts.

What to look for: Your representatives contact info! This is more a case of “what you need to do” rather than “what you need to look for.” Contact your representative and urge them to support Obama’s Healthy Food Financing Initiative.


Link Break 3/4/10 March 4, 2010

Filed under: Links — Natalie Aldern @ 11:17 am


Link Break 3/1/10 March 1, 2010

Filed under: Links — Natalie Aldern @ 12:40 pm
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  • Crop Mobs attract landless farmers. – NYT
  • FoodNYC has a Blueprint for a Sustainable Food System – FoodNYC
  • Video tips for removing toxins from your kitchen – The Delicious Truth
  • Is the food stamp challenge ingenious or inappropriate? –

Link Break 1/26/10 January 26, 2010

Filed under: Links — Natalie Aldern @ 2:33 pm

  • Target stops selling farmed salmon in favor of sustainable wild-caught fish – PR Newswire
  • School produce stand feed families in Oakland – Civil Eats
  • 18.5% of Americans can’t afford enough food – FRAC
  • Salami recalled after 137 people are sickened by Salmonella – Food Politics

Brain Food: CAFO

Filed under: Food Definitions — Natalie Aldern @ 9:34 am

To know your food, sometimes you have to speak the language.

Definition: CAFO: Abbreviation for “concentrated animal feeding operation.” CAFO is defined as any facility with more than 1000 animal units confined on site, or an AFO (Animal Feeding Operation) of any size that discharges pollutants (e.g. manure, wastewater) into any ditch, stream, or other water conveyance system, whether man-made or natural. Consider these key points:
-Operations with more than 1000 animal units are not considered CAFOs if the animals are housed or fed on areas where crops are produced during the normal growing season
-A facility of any size can be designated as a CAFO if pollutants are discharged into water passing across, through, or adjacent to the facility.
-Any water that comes into contact with animals or manure must be contained on site.

Why it matters: CAFOs are huge contributers of waste and pollution. Animals kept in crowded conditions need large doses of antibiotics to keep them disease-free. The antibiotics then end up in food and in water run off. Animals in CAFOs are also given low quality feed and are prevented from grazing. Some argue that this kind of operation leads to unsafe, low quality meat and is cruel to the animals.

What to look for: The best way to avoid supporting CAFOs is to buy from a small supplier. You can also look for meat that is labeled 100% Grass Fed or Grass Finished. CAFOs use corn as the main ingredient in their feed and cannot make these claims. Be wary of labels that state only “Grass Fed” because ALL beef cattle are grass fed at some point in their lives before being sent to a CAFO.


Cuba’s Green Revolution January 25, 2010

Filed under: Independent Food — Natalie Aldern @ 8:26 pm
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Cuba is quickly becoming a world model for urban gardening. The urban gardening movement grew out of an immediate need to feed the nation’s citizens. Due to cost constraints, the produce HAD to be organic. Urban growers reclaimed abandoned lots and were unable to afford fertilizers and pesticides. The result has been highly nutritious produce that travels directly from garden to consumer. The system creates job, improves the quality of life, and can teach us all about the benefits of using cities to produce healthy food for the community.

[via Grow Organic Food