From Local Food to COOL Food

This winter,  Theresa Schumilas, one of the Research Associates with the Laurier Centre for Sustainable Food Systems is launching a new on-line food market that moves us beyond ‘local’ food systems to truly sustainable food systems. The new ‘COOL’ or ‘CO2L’ market, is a bottom-up solution to help cool the planet. Rather than wait on experts to reach agreements about climate change and come up with plans, these new markets will link consumers with the small-scaled producers around the world who are already cooling the planet through their knowledge and skills.

Buying local is a great thing to do, but, it’s not enough. While it’s good to buy locally grown food for many reasons, ‘food miles’ (the distance food is transported from the time of its production until it reaches the consumer) actually make up a relatively small percentage of the overall carbon footprint of food — approximately 11% on average. In comparison, how our food is grown makes up a much larger percentage — roughly 83% of the food’s footprint. The impacts of food on climate depend less on distant travelled and more on the agronomic decisions the farmer makes. But, with the possible exception of certified organic branding, these climate critical on-farm decisions are seldom highlighted in markets selling ‘local’ foods. Consumers need a way to make clear choices about the carbon consequences of the foods they buy, but so far there is no clear marketplace identity for foods that are produced with climate mitigating methods in Canada. That’s where the new ‘COOL’ (or CO2L) comes in.

Open Food Networks dear supermarket adThis new COOL market is built on a new open source platform called “Open Food Networks”. This platform will be initiated in Canada by December, as part of Theresa’s  work to launch Farm 2.0. To do this, she is working to establish SIMPLE criteria for the COOL designation and recruiting vendors to pilot the market in early 2016.

Instead of using complicated and costly criteria and verification systems (which would end up excluding small scale farmers), the COOL market is drawing on the experiences and knowledge of small scaled farmers who have been cooling the planet for centuries.

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Together, we can cool the planet! from GRAIN on Vimeo.

 

 

They key point is that we know what the main agricultural causes of climate change are, and we know what we need to do to reduce our emissions. We need to think beyond local. We need to learn from, and support small scale farmers around the world. Together we can COOL the planet.

Read the full post here.

If you are interested in getting involved in this –  contact Theresa: tschumilas (at) rogers.com

Resilient, Sustainable, and Global Food Security for Health

…a compelling 21st Century challenge that requires transformational solutions

All humanity depends on food security. Needed are resilient food systems to assure the health and well being of a growing world population in the face of unprecedented environmental change and constraints. Three critical dimensions of this challenge are: 1) Production: food system technologies and enterprises must function within agroecological capacities and limits; 2) Distribution: economic gain and social justice must be balanced to assure good food for all; and 3) Adaptability: the physical design and social organization of food systems must be locally adapted, globally interconnected, and grounded equally in culture, technology and science. …

The transformational plan is to repurpose the OSU campuses into a living example of new food agri/cultures that promote health, with students engaged in all phases of this transformation and in all phases of their academic and personal lives. We have also proposed a set of 30 new faculty hires to support this academic, ecological and cultural transformation by creating linkages among our many disciplinary and interdisciplinary strengths. To read more, and see the list of 30 positions supported by OSU Discovery Themes funding

Structural racism present in the U.S. Food System

From the Michigan State University Center for Regional Food Systems

As the local food movement matures, it joins an interdependent fabric of movements that have the opportunity to expose racial injustice. With recent events revealing the pervasiveness of racial injustice in America, meaningful dialogues about the future of our food system across lines of race and ethnicity are more critical than ever.

This resource may provide useful background reading to advocates, scholars, and anyone else working to bring about a more sustainable and just food system in the United States. Read more

The local food movement

Setting the stage for good food

From our friends at the MSU Center for Regional Food Systems:

This publication provides a brief history of the U.S. local food movement and its link to “good food” – food that is healthy, affordable, fair, and green – within the contexts of food access and health, food justice and sovereignty, the environment, and racial equity. The publication also contains a timeline that provides a sample of important U.S. events, policies, and statistics over the past 70 years that mark the growth of local food through the lens of the four elements of good food. Download the report [pdf]…

Fortnightly Feast vol. 19

Upcoming Webinars

Food on our minds: Diet, mental health, and the role of community food programs

Wednesday April 9, 2014 from 12 to 1 p.m. EDT

Free!  Register Here! – https://cfccanada.webex.com/

Join us on Wednesday, April 9th from 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. EDT for a webinar pod-cast that will explore the role that a healthy diet and cooking together have in mental health promotion. In this webinar, Karen Davison, a dietitian and leading researcher in the intersection of nutrition and mental health, will share key findings from her work. And Kristyn Dunnion, the Community Kitchen Coordinator at The Stop Community Food Centre, will speak about her experience running food programs for those struggling with mental health and poverty. The webinar will be moderated by Dr. Trace MacKay, Research and Evaluation Coordinator at Community Food Centres Canada.

Key topics we’ll cover in this webinar include: the impact of diet as a prevention and response to mental health challenges, the role that poverty and food insecurity play in mental health, and how food programs can be an important part of the response.
We’d like to cater the webinar to your interests, so please email us questions you’d like us to pose during the webinar and we’ll do our best to get to as many as we can.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact Emily at emily@cfccanada.ca.

 

Food Justice, Obesity & the Social Determinants of Health
April 10, 2 p.m. EST
Presented in conjunction with National Public Health WeekShiriki Kumanyika, PhD, MPH, APHA president-electCecilia Martinez, PhD, Center for Earth, Energy & Democracy
Healthy communities depend on food environments that offer all residents access to healthy food choices. Where people live should not dictate how well they can eat, but it often does. APHA President-elect Shiriki Kumanyika, PhD, discusses food environments as drivers of obesity and related diseases as well as critical elements in achieving health equity. Speaker Cecilia Martinez, PhD, will discuss community indicators for food justice.

This is part 1 of a 4-part series, co-sponsored by APHA and Healthy Food Action. Register once for all four. You may attend as many as you like, but are not required to attend all four.

 

Collectiveimpactforum.org is now live!

The Collective Impact Forum, an initiative of FSG and the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions, is a resource for people and organizations using the collective impact approach to address large-scale social and environmental problems. We aim to increase the effectiveness and adoption of collective impact by providing practitioners with access to the tools, training opportunities, and peer networks they need to be successful in their work.

MSc Food, Space and Society

The Masters Graduate School of City and Regional Planning at Cardiff School of Planning and Geography will be offering a new Masters of Science degree in Food, Space and Society starting in September 2014. Here are some of the highlights:

“Food is at the forefront of society’s grand challenges”

Food is a unique lens through which one can address key social science questions on resource shortfalls, environmental pressures and social development. A focus on food provides important opportunities to raise questions about the prospects for a more secure, just and sustainable future and to understand the shifting boundaries between the state, the market and civil society.

Special Features

A core feature of the course is its emphasis on research-led teaching. Modules are designed and taught by staff from the Research Centre for Sustainable Urban and Regional Food (SURF), who have a long-standing and world-renowned expertise on conventional and alternative food networks, food consumption practices, the interplay between global and local food systems, community food growing, public food procurement, food justice, animal geographies, and the community food sector. Staff’s engagement in agenda-setting research on these topics ensures that students are exposed to the most recent debates in food studies and are involved with our extensive network of stakeholders.

Suitability
This MSc is suitable for graduates in subjects such as geography, sociology, politics, anthropology , planning and economics, and/or those with appropriate professional experience and qualifications in food. Applicants with a background in other subjects, and relevant work-based experience, will also be considered.

To read more, please visit http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/cplan/study/postgraduate/food-space-and-society-msc