Class gap: Obesity declines in well-off kids, but climbs in the poor

In 2009 to 2010, 26 percent, or roughly 1 in 4 kids whose parents have at most a high school education, were obese, compared to 7 percent, or roughly 1 in 14, kids whose parents have at least a four-year college degree, according to Frederick. He cited data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Surveys and the National Survey of Children’s Health.

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Growing for Market

The link to the excellent Growing For Markets site. In the January 2014 issue, I have an article where I share the latest news on SNAP at farmers markets. GFM is a great magazine for news and tips for market farmers and organizers. You can subscribe at different levels for print or online (which can include their excellent archives) or you can simply purchase a single issue.

Growing For Market

Economic Opportunity Is Lowest In the Republican Bible Belt, Major Study Finds | Alternet

I suspected as much, based on the struggle that our community food systems here still have in front of them to reach any decent economic plateau. And, of course, this is another easy way to track where large swaths of institutional racism are still at work.

Economic Opportunity Is Lowest In the Republican Bible Belt, Major Study Finds | Alternet.

Better Eats for All | Belt Magazine | Dispatches From The Rust Belt

A commentary from yours truly on the food system found in my first hometown of Cleveland Ohio. Whenever I return to it, I am struck by the unusual underpinnings of their food work, being as it is deeply embedded within the community organizing/social justice strategy that is alive and well in many of their neighborhoods, as well as in the larger reality of figuring out what to do with their post-industrial inner core. Combine that with enthusiastic corporate greening, municipal support and the awareness of the need to combat the foreclosure crisis with innovative small business and residential reclamations and you get a dynamic little system coming to maturation there.

Better Eats for All | Belt Magazine | Dispatches From The Rust Belt.

A Grocery Store That Takes ‘Local Food’ to Its Logical Extreme – Bonnie Tsui – The Atlantic Cities

YES.
I think this “less waste and more uses” of local food is exactly what it will take for a small store to re-imagine itself as a source of healthy food. To simply move itself into local sourcing through distributors is not going to be enough. Stores like the Saxapahaw grocery outside of Raleigh Durham are also taking the closed loop seriously and combining gourmet takeout and diverse food stuffs with nearby local sourcing so that even the scraps go back to the animals and compost heaps that supply their store.
I’m still not sure the business plan is completely figured out, but it will certainly help these stores bottom lines to be more waste conscious and to build nearby farms and cottage industries to supply their shelves.

A Grocery Store That Takes 'Local Food' to Its Logical Extreme – Bonnie Tsui – The Atlantic Cities.

World’s first Bitcoin ATM goes live in Vancouver next week – Business – CBC News

The food system world needs to pay more attention to these digital currencies, like bitcoin. The time and effort it is taking to figure out which emerging technologies and systems of reimbursement and the corresponding risk levels will work for a market may very well be straining the small businesses of our movement. People like Jeff Cole in Massachusetts are piloting ideas such as “electronic token systems” and lucky for all of you, I wrote about this in my Vermont Market Currency Report found on page 28 in the conclusion of the report.

World's first Bitcoin ATM goes live in Vancouver next week – Business – CBC News.

Nashville’s beloved farmers market faces some tough rows to hoe | City Limits | Nashville Scene

This article is from the beginning of the year:

“The idea of bringing in a private company to run the operation comes less than a year after a review from Metro’s finance department that was critical of the market’s finances and management. Then-market director Jeff Themm stepped down from the role in June of last year, shortly after the review, and Nancy Whittemore, director of Metro General Services, has been serving as interim director ever since.

Comer says the market board has worked with General Services to address most of the issues brought up in the report, including better enforcement and compliance with civil service rules, and more thorough housekeeping and maintenance. She says they’re still working through the report, and part of that means looking at “all possible options” when it comes to making the market financially sustainable.”

Between an ongoing deficit and privatization talk, Nashville's beloved farmer's market faces some tough rows to hoe | City Limits | Nashville Scene.

I have not heard or seen any updates to this since this article and RFP were published.

How to bring farmers markets to the urban poor – The Washington Post

I appreciate that this was written from a vendor point of view, since there’s not enough of that out there. Moreover, I think we need a national awareness campaign about how markets have begun to adeptly organize themselves around diverse shopping bases while also paying attention to the deep needs of their farmers and producers. That strategy  makes them unique within the food system since markets have to constantly manage the social and human benefits along with the economic ones.
What strikes me as unsaid in this piece and in so many that I read is that time must be taken to explain to the users of markets about  organizers using different strategies to achieve these goals, including selecting different vendor groups based on location, choosing locations either embedded deep within a targeted area or on the edge between multiple zip codes, while creating different sets of incentives to achieve those goals. As long as people think that markets see themselves as a one-type-fits-all, we will constantly struggle with our impacts when seeking support from folks like the USDA, city government and private funders. You can hear that struggle in the comments about “pricing” in this piece.

How to bring farmers markets to the urban poor – The Washington Post.

Getting milk to market requires a village- an Afghanistan village

“It’s a small thing, in light of Afghanistan’s many ailments. But what makes this dairy shop truly remarkable is that it is part of an operation that comprises all elements of Afghan society—communists, commanders, shopkeepers, everyday citizens, and yes, even the Taliban. That’s an incredibly rare thing in this war-torn country. But when it comes to fresh milk and butter, Afghans have found something worth not fighting over.”
Afghan milk story

How Should Local Food Get From Farm to Plate? | Health on GOOD

I did my best to advocate for the entire community food system in the comments.

How Should Local Food Get From Farm to Plate? | Health on GOOD.

Under the heading: Things I bet your market has not dealt with yet

Baboon ambushes woman at Cape Town farmers’ market

The baboon sat and waited patiently for an easy target leaving a farmers’ market in Cape Town, South Africa.
He then made his move, and boldly strode up to a shopper and robbed her in broad daylight of her rhubarb.
Unimpressed with his haul, he then went back a second time, this time stealing an avocado.
The protected species is a growing problem for Cape Town citizens, some even raid their homes.
There are now 500 baboons living in the city and their food gathering tactics are getting more daring. The chacma baboon patiently waits for people to leave the farmers’ market where fresh vegetables are on sale.

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