Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Keeping up With Your Food

While sadly there is no single news source for finding all of the current sustainable food and farming news (I have to visit at least three sites to stay current), the Community Food Security Coalition's listserve called COMFOOD, hosted by Tufts University and part of USDA's Community Food Programs, has over 3,000 food aficionados posting everything from jobs and action alerts, to requests for information. Throughout the day, innumerable interesting topics from "know anyone starting a community kitchen?" to the following listing of the U.S. legal definition of Sustainable Agriculture all come direct to you:

Just in case you're wondering what ‘sustainable agriculture’ really is, The National Agricultural Library gives this definition as well as definitions of almost all of the other alternative approaches as well - www.nal.usda.gov/afsic/pubs/terms/srb9902.shtml#toc2

The site says, that ‘sustainable agriculture’ was addressed by Congress in the 1990 ‘Farm Bill’ [Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990 (FACTA), Public Law 101-624, Title XVI, Subtitle A, Section 1603 (Government Printing Office, Washington, DC, 1990) NAL Call # KF1692.A31 1990]. Under that law, ‘the term sustainable agriculture means an integrated system of plant and animal production practices having a site-specific application that will, over the long term:
• satisfy human food and fiber needs;
• enhance environmental quality and the natural resource base upon which the agricultural economy depends;
• make the most efficient use of nonrenewable resources and on-farm resources and integrate, where appropriate, natural biological cycles and controls;
• sustain the economic viability of farm operations; and
• enhance the quality of life for farmers and society as a whole.’

Click here to sign up for COMFOOD. (You can even choose to receive a daily bundled email to save inbox space.) But back to my original statement that sadly there is no one place for finding all the current sustainable food and farming news – there are just so many special interests within the sustainable food movement that it’s become hard to stay up on all the haps. The Institute for Trade Policy, Grist and the Civil Eats blog are your best bets to stay current (and entertained). But to get private sector news on organic consolidation, food safety, and alerts such as new bans on raw milk, you’ll have to go to Sustainable Food News and glean info from the right hand column and search for the press releases online, or cough up the $300+ yearly membership.

To further information overload and find organizations that might resonate with your “circle of concern” check out the "Resources" section on the Farmer Jane website. It’s current and includes the following categories of resources:
- Farm to School
- Farm Worker Organizations
- Food Policy Councils
- Local Food
- Native Foods & Indigenous Knowledge
- Organizations Promoting Sustainable Food Business Practices
- Seeds, Heirloom Foods & Organizations Against GMOs
- Sustainable Food and Farming Organizations
- Urban Farming & Gardening
- Women Focused Sustainable Food and Farming Organizations
- Young Farmers

What would you, reader, add to the list?

1 comment:

  1. These are all great resources - I definitely enjoy Civil Eats and Grist. I also like the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition
    (http://sustainableagriculture.net) and Cornucopia Institute (http://www.cornucopia.org/) for news and policy information; and I enjoy the Sustainable Table (http://www.sustainabletable.org/home.php) for an abundance of resources, especially for newbies.