Thursday, May 24, 2012

Ethan's Farm and Food Roundup

EthanAccording to a new government analysis, healthy foods are no more expensive than junk food. The study broke over 4,000 foods down into sub categories, and figured out the price per serving for each. When the results were compiled, there seemed to be no financial effect on consuming more healthy foods for every meal. And in related news, Americans are eating more healthy food than they did just five years ago.

With the rise of local food movements around the country, knowing where your food comes from is something that we can all learn about. At Terra Firma Farm in Connecticut, this means taking on kids of all ages during the summer to teach them about food and farm production. “What Terra Firma does is it helps make these kids custodians of earth,” a mother of a camper said. “This is the generation that’s going to make or break the few farms still left.”

After starting a photo blog series about her mediocre school lunches, nine-year old Martha Payne of Scotland was able to draw enough media attention to her school lunch program to have it changed for the better. What a great example of creating change! Go, Martha!

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has expanded its farm credit program, giving farmers access to new loans and credit opportunities. The focus of the new program will be on beginning farmers and helping to rebuild a new generation of farmers to take over our food system. We're really excited about this development since access to credit is so essential to new farmers and we've been working on the issue of credit since 1985!

The California Right to Know campaign has raised enough signatures to bring a GMO labeling initiative to the ballot this fall. "The right to know is a fundamental right and a bedrock American value," said Stacy Malkan, media director of the California Right to Know campaign. "This November, the voters of California will surely vindicate our right to know what's in the food we eat and feed our children."

For farmers in New York, there is a bitter divide about the moratorium currently in place banning hydraulic fracturing in the state. Some farmers see fracking as a financial opportunity that could give them the money they need to get their farms running again, while others see fracking as an environmental disaster looming eerily close on the horizon.

The last dairy farm in Plainfield, Vermont, closed because they can't make money in the dairy business. And it's happening all across the country. While the number of dairy cows in the U.S. hasn't changed much, the number of dairy farms has been dropping as small farms either go out of business or consolidate to become more competitive and cost effective.


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