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COMFOOD weekly recap

June 27, 2011
by Admin

News from 6/20/11 to 6/26/11.  Also, see Conferences announced on COMFOOD and elsewhere.  (Note: only news and resources are included in this recap.  To read all the conversation, subscribe to COMFOOD directly.)

MULTIMEDIA

Webinar: So You Want to Start a Food Co-op? Tuesday, June 28, 2:30pm-4pm ET.  Right now there are enough communities that want to open new retail food co-ops that we would double the existing number of stores if they all succeed.  And more organizing groups are asking for assistance every day.  Stuart Reid, ED of Food Co-op Initiative, has assisted in the development of 100’s of new food cooperatives in both rural and urban communities across the nation. Find out what can derail a promising project and how to keep the dream alive through thousands of hours of volunteer effort. By creating strong organizations and utilizing best practices, co-ops of all sizes and philosophies have the best chance of succeeding. 718 410 669, Password: 1111.

Conference call: “Educational and Action Call on Land Grabs in the US and Internationally” – Weds, June 29th 4pm ET.  Easily one of the most dangerous and pressing issues facing food justice, food sovereignty, anti-hunger, environmental, and food security people is land grabs. The US Food Sovereignty Alliance and the CFSC International Links Committee are hosting an educational call regarding urban and rural land grabs and how we can organize to contest them in the US and abroad. 4 speakers, 3 of whom focused on US land issues; 1 focused on both US/abroad.  800-704-9804 (International Origination: 404-920-6604); Access Code: 777495#. Please RSVP with FoodMovement@whyhunger.org.

Responses re: tools for grocery co-op for food deserts:

POLICY

Comments due by July 28 for Leafy Greens ordinance, an ongoing “battle” to protect medium and small farmers.  Some background:  “As written, the proposal would give “handlers” such as supermarket chains the lead role in determining what steps should be required of farmers to prevent food-borne illnesses in “leafy greens,” a catch-all food category that includes salad greens and other leafy edibles. As with California’s LGMA and the recent federal organic certification standards, opponents fear over-representation and influence of large food corporations and mega farms will result in regulations that favor industrial agriculture or threaten the future of small-farm and organic operations.”

RESEARCH

Los Angeles Community Health Councils release “Food Deserts to Food Oasis” re: promoting grocery store development in South LA, including barriers, recommendations, strategy.

The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) will lead the first international, multidisciplinary assessment of the levels and dispersion of radioactive substances in the Pacific Ocean off the Fukushima nuclear power plant—a research effort funded by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.

The final in the series of five Michigan Good Food work group reports was released.  “Farm Viability and Development” is authored by Susan Cocciarelli, Michael W. Hamm and Susan Smalley (C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems) with input from co-convener Tom Edison (Northern Innovative Communities) and work group contributors across the state.

MISC. NEWS

FamilyFarmed.org is seeking applicants to partner in joint Wholesale Success trainings for fruit and vegetable growers in multiple markets. In the past, they have organized and delivered workshops with farmers market administrators, extension agents, packinghouses, and NGO’s specializing in local food systems development. Partners who help organize these events will receive a $5,000 stipend upon completion of the trainings. To apply, contact James Pirovano at FamilyFarmed.org.  Deadline is June 29th.

The Real Food Challenge is hosting trainings for healthy food on college campuses.  Students and veteran real food organizers will converge for a powerful weekend of workshops, cooking, skill-shares, storytelling, strategizing, and all-around fun.  These retreats are geared toward students who want to take on (or strengthen an existing) real food campaign on their campus.

From over 225 applications, Live Real announces first class of Real Food Fellows. Live Real is a new national initiative uniting youth and communities across the country.  We believe real food should be the norm—not the exception. The Real Food Fellowship is a nine month program that supports emerging leaders to become powerful voices for food justice.

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel held a summit Wednesday with CEOs from some of the country’s largest food companies on ‘food deserts’ in Chicago.

National Geographic July 2011 features article on Food Ark and importance of biodiversity.  The issue also features heritage breed chickens.

“The True Cost of Bananas”: a thorough article on the need for Equal Exchange fair trade supplies of this ubiquitous fruit.

“USDA to Probe Companies Running School Cafeterias”: The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s watchdog arm plans to look closely at whether the food-service-management companies running many school cafeterias are passing along all the discounts and rebates they receive from their suppliers to the districts that hire them.

Dupont launches skewed ad campaign for their solutions to solve world’s food issues.  Related: Dupont ag products are uncompostable due to chemical makeup.

Piedmont Grown, NC, launched a local certification program to clearly designate food and agricultural products that are grown, raised, or made within the 37 county Piedmont Region of North Carolina, including the Triangle, Triad, and Charlotte areas. Displayed with food and farm products, the Piedmont Grown label readily identifies local agricultural products and helps consumers make informed buying choices that will benefit farms in the region and our local economy.

Additional news re: food deserts will be posted separately this week!

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