FEED – Food & Environment Electronic Digest - June 2008
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- Green Cuisine: Local, organic salad greens on the menu in Michigan
- USDA to stop collecting data on pesticide use
- High food prices hurt conservation efforts
- Major international report touts sustainable farming
- Two great new websites on food and climate change
1. Green Cuisine: Local, organic salad greens on the menu in Michigan
Green Cuisine, our regular feature highlighting partnerships between chefs and sustainable farmers, headed to Michigan this spring. Even in their chilly northern climate, diners at the Food Dance Café in Kalamazoo enjoy locally grown produce, eggs, and meat all year round. The restaurant has sought out local farms such as Blue Dog Greens, where baby salad greens are grown in "high tunnel" structures that extend the growing season to winter and early spring months. Food Dance Café staff also invest time preserving bountiful summer harvests for guests to enjoy well beyond the season. Through a beautiful photo slideshow, our latest Green Cuisine shows how chef Julie Stanley and local organic farmer Dennis Wilcox team up to produce earth-friendly, flavorful meals year round. Check out GreenCuisine today and get a FREE recipe for a delicious organic salad that's perfect for spring!
2. USDA to stop collecting data on pesticide use
The public is losing its only source of reliable data on pesticide and fertilizer use for much of the United States. Read more...
3. High food prices hurt conservation efforts
Food prices are up—partly because land that used to grow food crops is now being used to grow biofuels. In response, farmers are plowing up fields that used to be enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program, a valuable program that compensates farmers for letting some of their acres lie fallow. About 8 percent (35 million acres) of the country's agricultural land was enrolled in the program last year. The fallow land provides wildlife habitat, catches pollution before it gets into streams and rivers, and provides a buffer zone around fields where beneficial insects can thrive—but most of it is not well suited to crops. Better policies are needed to protect this land and make its conservation a viable alternative for farmers in times of high food prices. Read more from The New York Times.
4. Major international report touts sustainable farming
Small-scale organic farming is the best way for developing nations to produce plentiful food while preserving the environment, according to a report five years in the making. Read more...
5. Two great new websites on food and climate change
A new website from the Small Planet Institute helps spread the word about the consequences of our food choices for the climate. Visit Take a Bite out of Climate Change to find 10 things you can do to reduce the impact of your meals on the planet. Also, check out Bon Appetit's website to calculate the carbon footprint of your meals. The company's new Low Carbon diet is a commitment to reduce the carbon footprint of the food it serves by 25 percent by serving smaller amounts of beef and cheese and sourcing more foods from North America rather than from overseas.