Blog Archive

L3Cs : connecting for-profits and non-profits

Jul 18th, 2013 | By

This summer I have been exposed to the field of food hubs in Vermont in several different ways. Such experiences include partaking in the daily activities of the Mad River Food Hub in Waitsfield, assisting the start up of a new Food Hub Manager Training Program and attending a meeting of the Vermont Regional Food Centers Collaborative. I have been introduced me to many different types of stakeholders, from traditional LLC, L3C, NGO to State agencies. I believe each type of organization has its own  […]

NOFA-VT’s Full Circle Approach

Jul 12th, 2013 | By

A lot can be learned from the model that NOFA-VT has adopted with regards to developing an economically viable and ecologically sound food system in the state. The secret to their success has been a full circle strategy.  At the heart of their operation lies their certification office, formally called Vermont Organic Farmers (VOF). The role of VOF is to certify farmers and processors and to provide a highly credible program for independent third-party verification of organic food production. Within VOF lies the Technical Assistance office.  […]

The Role of Consumer Education

Jul 11th, 2013 | By

I wanted to take the time to address both Chuck’s and Philip’s prompts, because as with all systems, everything is related. In working with the Vermont Agency of Agriculture I have come to recognize the role consumer education plays in aiding how the consumer understands the health benefits and costs associated with locally produced food products. Many food hubs and Farm-to-School programs seek to educate younger consumers, hoping to change habits young and in an environment where the education may carry over into the household.  […]

Philip Ackerman-Leist Re: Building Community-Based Food Systems

Jul 10th, 2013 | By

Is it possible to redesign our food systems in the U.S./Mexico borderlands so that they enhance the “caring capacity” of our lands and its communities? Can we increase that capacity so that we will be less apt to impoverish both the health of the land and the health of its multi-cultural communities than they currently do?”  From: Philip Ackerman-Leist poses this week’s prompt based on his FoodWorks Talk and in response to the above quote he featured in his talk:  As we look to  […]

Caring about food

Jul 8th, 2013 | By

A question that I continually struggle with is whether or not it is possible to influence or change the way people eat. If our goal is to increase the amount of local foods people eat, we are asking people to shift their diets in a certain way. Not only does eating locally change where your food comes from, but also what you eat. For me, when I eat locally, I rarely eat meat because local meat is more expensive. This isn’t a difficult transition for  […]

Increasing Demand

Jul 8th, 2013 | By

Like Katherine, I am finding it difficult to come up with any concrete answer to the questions Chuck Ross posed. As Secretary Ross made clear, the only answer to those questions may be a new economic system, though it is a challenge to dream up a new system when we are so entrenched within our old one. Lately I have been wondering how the much the use of EBT at farmers’ markets has expanded access to local food.  From the outside it seems as though  […]

i don’t know

Jul 7th, 2013 | By

Regarding Chuck Ross’s question, I simply don’t know. I think that existing economic and social systems make discussions of food access difficult, because in our market system, the prices that would ensure food access for all members of our community would likely not sustain the farmers and producers bringing that food to our mouths. I was encouraged by Secretary Ross’s comment that we must think about how to create a new economic system, one which values both positive and negative externalities, in order to fairly  […]

A Sigh of Relief

Jul 6th, 2013 | By

This past week, we spent a day at a co-living community near Montpelier. There we met Lisa, a food-as-medicine specialist, who walked us through some basics of cooking and eating that were, for most of us, new: rather than prioritizing the relatively recent discoveries of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals in food, this approach–based in much longer traditions–instructs eaters to form a diet based on close introspection of their body’s individual needs. This style of eating takes into account multiple heuristics: the taste profiles  […]

Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross on Food Access

Jul 3rd, 2013 | By

For this week’s blog prompt, Vermont Secretary of Agriculture Chuck Ross poses two critical questions about building an inclusive and resilient food system: How can we evolve our local food system to expand the socio-economic range of our population that can effectively participate? How do we overcome the assume contraction between supporting local food systems and our food access concerns?    

Heine Brothers’ Coffee: A Wedge in Louisville

Jun 30th, 2013 | By

One interesting wedge that comes to mind in the context of Louisville is Heine Brothers’ Coffee, a local coffee “chain” that brews 100 per cent fair trade coffee. Beyond its use of fair trade coffee, Heine Brothers’ has also engaged in advocacy efforts that promote composting and local farming in addition to helping found Cooperative Coffees, a fair-trade coffee buying cooperative. Though I would say Heine Brothers’ mission primarily focuses upon assisting coffee farmers living abroad, their work with Breaking New Grounds and 15Thousand Farmers,  […]