Blog Archive


Jun 30th, 2013 | By

This past spring I was interning for Lauren Slayton at Breadloaf Bakery (a baked goods stand at the Middlebury Farmer’s market. Kids in Middlebury–go and eat everything she makes, especially the carrot cake cupcakes.) While working with Lauren, I learned about marketing local products and more importantly, about acquiring local ingredients. Lauren attempts to source her ingredients, such as flours, eggs, milk, honey, beans, butter, and veggies, from local farms when possible. I had always considered “organic” labels more important than “local” ones because of  […]

Co-Producing our Food Economy: This Week’s Prompt

Jun 24th, 2013 | By

The “wedge.” The “level.” The “fulcrum.” Ivor said that being a consumer was a passive fallacy. In reality, he said, we are co-producers in the items we buy, use, eat, wear, wear-out, throw-away or recycle. For the “wedge” to engage the market, it needs more than just the idea or the champion; it needs co-producers supporting the endeavor with money, confidence, and encouragement. I saw this repeatedly as we visited the Root Cellar and Grasshoppers down here in Louisville, and I am sure the Middlebury  […]

Biosolid Re-Use

Jun 20th, 2013 | By

On our fifth day last week we had a lengthy discussion about Ackerman-Leist’s suggestion to promote the return of biosolids back into the food system, focusing in particular upon how realistic this proposal was. If biosolids are to be re-used, I believe the initial change has to come through top-down, legislative action. Our “grossed out” attitude toward human waste is so fixed that I think the only way for biosolids to become part of our food system would be through laws that essentially forced people,  […]

Calculating activities

Jun 18th, 2013 | By

I also decided to track some of my activities, hoping to see where I could make some changes in my lifestyle. However, I found a lot of the categories that factor into my carbon and nitrogen footprints are things I am not sure I could change. For instance, I always thought living on a college campus would reduce my carbon footprint. I walked everywhere, ate food that had already been made for me, and was constantly reminded to “be bright and turn off the lights.”  […]

On finding alternatives to using the guilting tactic…

Jun 18th, 2013 | By

I decided to take the “Slavery” quiz during my lunch break at HOPE. It took a little longer than I expected—the survey almost crashed my computer. I guess the Windows 98 operating system we food shelf interns get the privilege of using wasn’t equipped to handle such advanced technology. At one point, in order to let the survey load a bit, I walk away to go throw something out, only to come back and see the question in bold on the screen, “How many times have  […]

Justin Mog’s Sustainability Challenge

Jun 14th, 2013 | By

Here is this week’s blog prompt: Though the concept of sustainability can seem vague and confusing, it is not something we should avoid. In fact, taking the concept’s dynamism, contested nature, and context-specificity seriously is exactly what is demanded of us if we want to achieve a future not built on our past mistakes. We simply have no choice but to wrestle with sustainability…as individuals, institutions, and societies. It is our duty to seek that illusive balance and to continually learn from our mistakes as  […]

Local Foods Access

Jun 12th, 2013 | By

The most common and direct way consumers can get access to local foods is either shopping at farmer’s markets or purchasing a CSA. These two options are both expensive and exclusive which can lead to problems of access. Farmer’s markets are a great tool for increasing the amount of local food for consumers because they are both centralized and plentiful; however, because farmer’s markets are a direct market for farmers, it allows them to set higher prices for their products. Also, because farmer’s markets tend  […]

Protected: Food security, ownership and identity

Jun 10th, 2013 | By

There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

Access to Local Foods

Jun 10th, 2013 | By

During Sunday’s meeting, we discussed how bringing fresh fruits and vegetables to an impoverished area, like Detroit, isn’t necessarily enough to get the area’s residents to eat these foods. Fellow blog posters have highlighted that this might be the result of access. Local and organic foods are often grown on a smaller-scale and require more labor inputs, resulting in higher costs. Logically, a number of impoverished populations don’t have the financial resources to purchase more expensive food, even if it is available in their area.  […]

Remembering Farmers

Jun 9th, 2013 | By

Remembering who grows our food seems, to me, the most forgotten aspect of recent conversations on local food. Without farmers, near and far, we would have no food. Though the high prices of good food are often maligned, we could do more to understand why farmers must charge these prices. Food access for ALL people must be central to discussions of food, and fortunately, these conversations are happening with increasing regularity. But I think that food access for farmers is too quietly discussed. Even organic  […]