The Noah Project

Rebuilding a sustainable world.

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Organic food more expensive because federal government uses your tax dollars to subsidize GMOs, junk food

One of the biggest complaints among ordinary families trying to eat healthy is that clean, organic food is simply too expensive, and thus out of reach for the average budget. But eating right does not have to break the bank, especially when you know what to look for and how to shop for it. Here are some helpful tips for maximizing your food budget while still being able to afford the best foods for your family:

1) Buy local. Though not always certified organic by the U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA), many of the foods sold at your local farmers market are likely grown using organic methods. In fact, many local farmers and backyard gardeners employ growing methods that exceed certified organic standards, and yet are able to sell their goods for less as a result of not having to pay for official USDA organic certification. Continue reading

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Sacramento’s farm-to-food bank serves 100% locally grown produce

A number of food banks in California are working to deliver more fresh produce to their clients.  The Sacramento Food Bank is a leader among them.  They used to be “one of those standard food distribution centers where bags of processed foods, carbohydrate-laden government commodities and day-old breads and sweets were bagged and handed to people who stood in line for hours to get it” until their new CEO, Brent Blake noticed the people in the line where getting fatter and fatter. “I realized we were killing them.’’

Young set out to remake how the food bank operated.

He and his staff forged partnerships with local farmers, most of them organic, and upped the amount of fresh produce to more than half of clients’ food allotment. Then knowing that most of them live in food deserts without transportation to grocery stores and the region’s many farmers’ markets, they moved distribution sites to about two dozen neighborhood schools and churches they visit once a month.
Just like at farmers’ markets, the produce is laid out on tables, and clients can ‘‘shop’’ for fresh carrots, kale, tomatoes, spinach, cabbage, squash or whatever else is in season. Background music lends a festive air, and informational booths offer clinics on smoking cessation and health screening.
The number of families served has grown from 8,000 to 20,000 over the two years since it has taken off.

Now the Sacramento Food Bank, under the directorship of Young and his crew is setting out to create the nation’s first farm-to-fork food bank using 100 percent local growers.

Young hopes to open new markets for local farmers as clients buy more healthy food. He believes a true farm-to-fork movement must include socioeconomics groups not inclined to shop at farmers markets or Whole Foods.
‘A community is better off if farm-to-fork includes folks who struggle to put nutritional food on the table,’ Young said.

If you are interested in learning more about the Sacramento Food Bank and how it has helped its clients improve their lives, Tracie Cone’s article can be found here.

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And you thought it was bad here

From Ally Bruschi’s article in The Daily Mail:

Endless food scandals throughout the past few years have Chinese consumers growing suspicious and weary of their grocery store produce —enough so for more well-off families to begin seeking organic alternatives to their traditional foods.

For example, Catherine Ho Wai-man and her family have stopped buying produce from neighborhood markets after Ho found “a suspicious white substance leaching out from the greens she had bought at a stall.”

As an alternative, the family has started growing their own greens in the backyard of their home, located in a northern Beijing suburb. In the winter, the family shops for organic produce at high-end supermarkets, willing to accept the higher costs in exchange for ensured food safety.

Many urban residents in Beijing, however, live in tiny apartments and lack the garden space and economic resources to adopt the Ho family’s solution. While the government struggles to live up to its pledge to protect its people from hazardous foods, many city-dwellers have taken extra precautions with washing, peeling, and boiling their produce before consuming or cooking it.

Some city residents have found solutions in eco-farms, which produce organic foods that can be delivered to your home for around $20 per week. The eco-farms aim to bridge the trust gap between consumers who fear for their personal health and safety and producers who need to sell their food.