LaDonna Redmond is at the forefront of the food justice movement. She currently leads an Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy (IATP) project that focuses on health, justice and the food system. The project centers on health disparities resulting from the food system, from the farm to consumers—particularly as they affect low‐income populations and communities of color. It also entails creating universal Food Justice Principles. Our Kitchen Table attended IATP’s Food + Justice =Democracy conference September 2012 and took part in the co‐creation of these food justice principles.
As a next step, local collective gatherings across the nation are reviewing the draft principles. Redmond will lead part 4 of the Grand Rapids area Convening, hosted by OKT, on April 27. Parts 1 and 2 will take place 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday March 30 at Madison Square Church, 1441 Madison SE. All are free and open to all community members. Part 3 will take place April 20.
A speaker, radio host and former Food and Society Policy Fellow, Redmond was one of 25 citizen and business leaders named a Responsibility Pioneer by Time Magazine. She successfully worked to get Chicago Public Schools to evaluate junk food, launched urban agriculture projects, started a community grocery store and worked on federal farm policy to expand access to healthy food in low‐income communities.
“We have a food system that has largely been built on the backs of people who don’t have a lot of rights and access to our public policy infrastructure,” said Redmond. “We need to collectively better understand the inequities in the food system and make sure we include people who have faced these inequities in finding solutions.”
Here is a video of Redmond presenting at TEDxTC
Reposted from GRIID.org–The Center for Science in the Public Interest has created a new campaign to expose the soda industry’s impact on public health that includes this video that pokes fun at Coke’s iconic Polar Bears while presenting the unhappy reality of soda consumption.
The campaign also features other great online resources as part of their “Truth” campaign, where they juxtapose solid scientific and public health information with statements and claims from companies like Coca Cola
Winter is the worst time to let good nutrition slip. After all, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables helps your body fight off colds, flu and even asthma attacks. If the market where you shop doesn’t offer fresh produce, frozen alternatives can offer you nearly the same nutritional value. The deeper the color of the vegetable, the more nutrition, so you may want to concentrate on vegetables like broccoli, greens such as spinach, carrots and green beans.
If your family won’t eat them as sides, add them—or hide them—in main dishes, whether made from scratch or out of a can. Carrots and chopped greens are great additions to chili and soups. You can also hide chopped greens in hamburger patties, meatballs and meat loaf.
Next time you make mac and cheese, substitute some cauliflower for a portion of the macaroni elbows. Making sloppy Joes with canned mix? Brown onion along with the ground beef and then add carrots or other chopped vegetables for rave reviews.
Another way you can boost winter nutrition is buy choosing 100% whole grain breads, buns and pastas. This is no easy task. A lot of bread labeled “Wheat” or “Whole Grain” is really unhealthy white bread with a little caramel coloring added. Look for a label that says “100%” to be sure you get what you paying for.
While these kinds of foods may come at a higher price, you will save in healthcare costs over the long run—and you’ll feel a lot better in the here and now. You may even find you are more satisfied with eating less.
Reposted from Generation Alpha
Check out this short video from a Korean artist about her storage solution for vegetables. If we do it right, this is what our future will look like: low cost, low tech, low material input, but very smart solutions to everyday needs. Understand nature and work with her, instead of against her.
This post is based on a press release from MIFMA
Though the growing season is over and snow will be falling soon, many farmers markets in Michigan are still open throughout the winter. Sixteen of these markets accept food assistance benefits, like Bridge Cards, to help get fresh food onto the tables of the families who need it most.
“In Michigan, 1.8 million residents now receives food assistance benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), and farmers markets all across Michigan are rising to the challenge to meet that need with fresh, local food,” said Amanda Shreve, Manager of Programs and Partnerships at the Michigan Farmers Market Association (MIFMA).
During the summer 2012, clients could use their cards on qualifying foods, like fresh fruits and vegetables, baked goods and meats at 103 farmers markets, 34% of the more than 300 farmers markets operating in the state. Most of the farmers markets accepting SNAP benefits also participate in other food assistance programs, like Double Up Food Bucks, Market FRESH and WIC Project FRESH.
Buying locally at farmers markets helps circulate money here in Michigan, which is good for the economy and local communities. According to the Food Bank Council of Michigan, for every dollar spent through SNAP in Michigan, $1.80 of local economic activity is generated.
The following West Michigan farmers markets are open throughout the winter and accept SNAP benefits:
- Fulton Street Farmers Market in Grand Rapids
- Holland Farmers Market in Holland
- Muskegon Farmers Market in Muskegon
- Sweetwater Local Foods Market in Muskegon
Reposted from Eco-watch
Walmart now captures $1 of every $4 Americans spend on groceries. It’s on track to claim one-third of food sales within five years. Here’s a look at how Walmart has dramatically altered the food system—triggering massive consolidation, driving down prices to farmers and leaving more families struggling to afford healthy food.
Southeast Area Farmers’ Market partners met Monday to review the 2012 market season and plan for 2013. Jill Myers, Kent County Health Department (KCHD), and Cynthia Price, Grand Rapids Food Systems Council (GGRFSC), sat down with the Our Kitchen Table (OKT) market staff for the discussion.
Challenges cited during 2012 were issues with the State-mandated iDevices used for Bridge card transactions; procuring enough vendors for Friday’s market; and road construction that necessitated moving the Garfield Park Saturday market to Gerald R Ford Middle School.
Successes included community engagement; great special events; being designated a Bundled Benefits site where residents register for government assistance; and relationships with G R Ford and MLK schools.
Vendor surveys indicated that one-third covered their expenses while two-thirds enjoyed a good profit. Their feedback is also influencing a change in the market structure. The partners are considering shifting to a Friday farm-stand at Garfield Park featuring one vendor and activities and, on Saturday, a full farmers’ market with several vendors at G R Ford.
OKT will continue to manage the market and provide staffing. GGRFSC will pay for insurance and the EBT back-up machine and bring in produce as needed. KCHD will continue to print flyers, distribute coupons and handle all governmental programs. All three partners will host monthly activities at the market.
Do you have suggestions for the 2013 Southeast Area Farmers’ Market? Email them to OKTjustice@gmail.org or mail them to OKT, 671 Davis NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504.
Last week, many of us kicked off the holiday season with a delicious Thanksgiving Day feast. At work and family gatherings, you may find ample opportunity to over-indulge in high-calorie, low-nutrient foods. Do your health a favor by limiting the amounts you let in your mouth.
Did you know that if you eat just 300 additional calories between now and New Year’s Day, you could gain five pounds of unwanted fat? In addition to added weight, indulging in sugary treats can also weaken your immune system, making you more likely to come down with winter colds and flu.
When tempting treats come your way, remember the following:
The banquet’s in the first bite. Did you ever notice that the first bite you take of a favorite food tastes the best? When it comes to high calorie treats, indulge in just one bite… or maybe two.
Portion patrol. Your stomach is about the size of your fist. Plan your portions accordingly. If you are served twice that much, save half for later.
Take your time. It takes your brain about 20 minutes to realize your stomach is full. Eat slowly, put your fork down in between bites and instead of reaching for seconds, wait 20 minutes to see if you are still hungry.
Get wet. Oftentimes, we confuse thirst with hunger. Make sure you are drinking at least 8 to 10 8-ounce glasses of water each day. Drink a full glass before meals so it takes less food to fill your stomach.
Just because the Southeast Area Farmers’ Market has closed for the season, keep on eating fresh fruits and veggies. While the grocery store variety may not compare to farmers’ market fare, choosing fresh produce rather than junk food snacks is always the healthier choice.
Lottie Spady, Eastern Michigan Environmental Action Council, explains why the proposed sale of 1,800 lots of land to John Hantz is a case of preferential treatment and foregoes the rights of Detroit’s citizens. Share this with your Detroit area friends and contact Detroit’s City Council about this unjust land-grab!