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Archived posts for the ‘Politics of Food’ Category

McMinnville Food & Farm Forum – Join us!

We hope that you can join us at a public Food and Farm Forum this Tuesday from 6-8:30pm at the McMinnville Community Center (600 NE Evans St., Room 103).  There will be a meet and greet followed by a panel with Representative Jim Weidner and Susan Sokol Blosser, both candidates for House District 24.  This is an opportunity to discuss food and agriculture issues with the candidates to highlight for them your concerns and thoughts, and to hear from the candidates where they stand on these issues.  I’ll definitely be asking for their thoughts on the Grand Island quarry!

Tomorrow – Tuesday, September 28th – McMinnville Community Center, Room 103 – House District 24

Free and open to the public. Sponsored by Friends of Family Farmers, Slow Food Yamhill, OSALT

On the Table

By Laura

I haven’t been to see live theater in ages, but my friend Karen invited me to see the new Sojourn Theater show On the Table last night and I loved it! Innovative, thought provoking and entertaining – I’d highly recommend it. Only showing for another week I think so check it out here asap.

American Theatre - On The Table

Oregon Sustainability Experience Panel

I was invited again this year to be on a panel for the Oregon Sustainability Experience tours. These groups draw folks from all over the world to come for a week and learn about the innovative sustainability programs happening here. After an amazing lunch at Intel – thank you Bon Appetit – we talked about the challenges of balancing development and farmland protection. I was on the panel with David Bragdon-METRO President, Chair Tom Brian- Washington County Board of Commissioners, Bill MacKenzie-Communications Manager at Intel, and Jim Johnson – Land Use and Water Quality Coordinator, Oregon Department of Agriculture. Made for a lively discussion!

Urban Farming at InFARMation & Beer

By Laura

The focus of this month’s Friends of Family Farmers event on Urban Farming. Should be a lively discussion as usual, and good beer! I’ll be there. Hope you can join us. Thanks, Laura

Urban Farming in Portland as the focus of June’s InFARMation (and Beer!)
Wednesday June 9th at Roots Organic Brewery’s Event Space
5:30-8:30, Free, Sponsored by Friends of Family Farmers

Every urban farm in this state is as unique and different as the farmer(s) working it, but many of the common barriers they share are similar.  Urban farmers face most of the same issues as rural farmers in Oregon, and they face additionally an entirely different set of problems specific to farming in and among an urban population.
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Sandra on Fracking

By Laura

I’ve been an ardent fan of Sandra Steingraber since first reading her book Living Downstream a decade ago. It is a powerful story about what industry & industrial agriculture has done to communities and the environment. A depressing topic, but a truely inspiring book. In her latest article for Orion magazine she makes an eloquent case against fracking for natural gas.

Why I’m Voting for Rex!

By Laura

I’m voting for Rex because he is the candidate for Metro President who has shown real leadership on issues related to food & farming. Read about where he stands on the issues and see the broad range of folks who are supporting him here. Thanks!

Urban Ag Panel at IACP

Spent the morning at the International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) conference at the convention center where I was on the panel discussing urban agriculture. NY Times food writer Kim Severson was our very thoughtful and engaging moderator and I heard some truely amazing stories  from the other panelists about what is happening all over the world, and right here close to home…

Kamal Mouzawak from Lebanon started the first farmers market in Beruit and had truely inspirational stories about how sharing food can bring all kinds of different people together.

Closer to home Ann Forsthoefel, executive director of the Portland Farmers Market talked about the bounty of the market and all the programs they are engaged to help educate market shoppers, support farmers and to help make fresh local food accessible to everyone.

Deborah Kane from Ecotrust talked about the work they are doing with the newly launched FoodHub to connect producers and customers – the of the food world!

I shared a bit about our farm and all the great urban ag projects that are part of the landscape in Portland. I also  tried to connect the dots to show how if we all keep working at it, the tremendous excitement that surrounds farmers & food right now could be translated into meaningful policy. Let’s channel all the energy around urban ag in to programs that support Farm to School projects, better land use planning, organic EQUIP, and all the other things that will make our kids healthier, our cities more livable and our farms more successful & sustainable!!

GMO Sugar Beets Update

By Laura

Oops! They’re already planted so we can’t do anything about it? That was the argument from a federal judge on Tuesday. Last September, that same federal judge ruled that regulators improperly approved the GMO beets for market and required the USDA to do more environmental studies. So they’re not properly approved for market, yet over half the nations sugar supply will come from GMO beets this year? I think that’s crazy too, but that’s Monsanto for you. Read more at SF Examiner. Background on this issue is available at Organic Seed Alliance and Cooking Up a Story

Things you can do…

  • Don’t buy conventional beet sugar, and tell people why you’re boycotting it. 
  • Buy organic seeds from companies that supported this lawsuit. Frank Morton from Wild Garden Seeds has been a extraordinary advocate on this issue. Seeds of Change could have made a difference but it chose NOT to support the lawsuit. 
  • Write to the USDA and tell them you oppose the planting of GMO sugar beets until the required environmental studies are completed!