In its Food Trends 2013 predictions, Food+Tech Connect, with insight from the work of Phil Lempert, CEO of The Lempert Report and author of SupermarketGuru.com, created a list of themes they see trending and probable to grow in 2013. Top themes include an increased use of technology to aid people in making smarter food choices, greater attention paid to health and diet-related illnesses, an increase in alternate or plate-based forms of protein, and lastly, greater efforts at sustainability and reducing food waste.
A new guide from PolicyLink aims to help any purchaser or retailer that wants to start a buy-local program. This guide is designed for buyers in Newark, New Jersey, but it is also useful for anyone seeking to improve local buying power. The guide explores how small, local businesses can supply anchor institutions, such as hospitals, universities, libraries, government agencies, and other large, locally rooted employers, which spend millions of dollars on supplies and services annually.
A new guide written by Shelly G. Keller and Randii MacNear of the Davis Farmers Market addresses the need for training and marketing assistance, especially for beginning farmers. The guide covers nearly every aspect of selling at farmers markets and includes worksheets to help farmers evaluate prospective farmers markets and budget for the costs of selling at farmers markets.
Community Involved in Sustaining Agriculture (CISA) released a marketing guide for small farmers. The manual is geared toward helping farmers develop and implement a marketing plan that will work for them, their farm, and their products.
The Shopping Matters Program, sponsored by the non-profit Share Our Strength and managed by Chef Greg Silverman, is a guided grocery store tour that teaches individuals how to read labels, compare unit prices, and compare various forms of fruits and vegetables. Tours are led by experts in the field, including culinary and health professionals, and challenge participants to buy groceries to make a healthy meal for a family of four with only $10.
How Far Have We Come in Reducing Health Disparities? summarizes the Institute of Medicine's 2010 workshop and explains the progress in the field since 2000.
Technology developed by Coolbot allows farmers to build cheaper, homemade coolers instead of purchasing more expensive units, allowing them to increase yields without having to make a large investment.
In May 2012 the USDA launched a new, interactive Spanish toolkit, La Mesa Completa. The toolkit aims to help community leaders and faith-based communities become knowledgeable on the many ways they can work with USDA to ensure Latinos have access to nutrition programs; it includes links, best practices, and video testimonies. A recording of the webinar that launched the toolkit is available in Spanish.
With food prices continuing to rise, creating inexpensive meals that are also healthy can be a challenge. Here are tips for creating meals that cost less than $3 per serving.
Dr. Oran Hesterman is the founder of Fair Food Network and a strategic advisor to the HUFED Center. He has worked in the business of sustainable food and food justice for decades and has helped shape food system language and thinking. This interview tells the story of what inspired Dr. Hesterman to pursue this work, how he defines a sustainable food system, and why food justice is an important component of sustainability.
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) released a training curriculum for new and aspiring business owners: Money Smart for Small Business. FDIC and SBA will also form a Training Alliance for organizations that support small businesses through training, technical assistance, and/or mentoring.
The Washington Post’s U.S. Congress Votes Database is a searchable database that documents every vote and member of the House and Senate since 1991. Data is pulled from several sources, including the House clerk, the U.S. Senate, and the Biographical Directory of the U.S. Congress.
Agriculture Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan announced the launch of a food hub guide, a new USDA tool to bolster expansion of market opportunities for small and mid-sized U.S. producers. This resource was developed in partnership with the Wallace Center at Winrock International, the National Good Food Network, the National Association of Produce Market Managers, and the Project for Public Spaces, as part of the National Food Hub Collaboration.
A study conducted by the Food Research and Action Center (FRAC) found that in 2011 nearly one in five Americans reported inability to afford enough food. The three worst cities in the US for food hardship are Bakersfield, CA, Fresno, CA and Asheville, NC and regionally the hardest hit were the Southeast and Southwest regions.
Shoppers not only care about cost and proximity to fresh produce, they also want choice and quality. A study of nearly 500 residents in six low-income Chicago neighborhoods showed an increase of approximately twofold in the likelihood of consuming three or more fruits and vegetables daily per consumers’ level of satisfaction of the shopping environment.
A USDA study of eight regional food hubs/distribution networks that describes how these networks tap into the growing commercial demand for local and regional food products while creating additional economic opportunities and expanding healthy food access.
Policy Brief No. 10 from the Institute for Food and Development Policy is a collection of resources, including tools and successful model policies, for local policy that supports integrated, sustainable and equitable food systems at the city or regional level. It is organized for each area of the food system: production, processing, distribution, consumption and food waste recovery.
Food for Thought, a resource from SesameStreet.org, is a bilingual multimedia program designed to help families who have children ages 2 to 8 and lack access to affordable and healthy food. Learn strategies for coping with food insecurity and get tips for teaching children healthy eating habits.
Supplier Connection, a free online portal created by the IBM Foundation and part of the Obama Administration’s American Supplier Initiative, helps connect small businesses to private sector supply chains. It aims to address four key challenge areas for small businesses: access to mentorship and counseling services, increased market and revenue opportunities, ready sources of capital to fund their growth, and a highly skilled workforce.
The National Policy and Legal Analysis Network to Prevent Childhood Obesity releases a guide on where to find public money for projects that bring healthy food to low-income neighborhoods with real-world examples and ways to identify and get funds for your community’s proposal.