First Taste

Fat Tuesday food

Today is a holiday in my city and region, combining the best parts of tradition and public spectacle, and food is an important part of the tradition of Carnival. Our own Poppy Tooker talked about it on NPR last week.
Happy Mardi Gras everyone.

Rex decrees:
“I do hereby ordain decree the following…that during the great celebration all commercial endeavors be suspended. That the children of the realm be freed from their studies and be permitted to participate in the pageantry.”
And to the city’s political leaders, he added:
“That the mayor and City Council cease and desist from governance.
“We will fulfill the will of the people and turn over the key to the city to you, so that tomorrow in New Orleans will be a day of abandon,” Mayor Landrieu said. “Happy Mardi Gras.”

all to eat on a Mardi Gras day…

Non-profits and content marketing


Trader Joe’s Ex-President To Turn Expired Food Into Cheap Meals

The former president of Trader Joe’s, is determined to repurpose the perfectly edible produce slightly past its sell-by date that ends up in the trash. (That happens in part because people misinterpret the labels, according to a report out this week from Harvard and the Natural Resources Defense Council.) To tackle the problem, Rauch is opening a new market early next year in Dorchester, Mass., that will prepare and repackage the food at deeply discounted prices.

The project is called the Daily Table. Here’s what he shared with NPR’s Scott Simon, edited for brevity.

Simon: What gave you the idea?

Rauch: It’s the idea about how to bring affordable nutrition to the underserved in our cities. It basically tries to utilize this 40 percent of this food that is wasted. This is, to a large degree, either excess, overstocked, wholesome food that’s thrown out by grocers, etc. … at the end of the day because of the sell-by dates. Or [it’s from] growers that have product that’s nutritionally sound, perfectly good, but cosmetically blemished or not quite up for prime time. [So we] bring this food down into a retail environment where it can become affordable nutrition


Trader Joe's Ex-President To Turn Expired Food Into Cheap Meals : The Salt : NPR.


from a recent Parks and Recreation, a comedy show set in small town Indiana. I happened to catch it when it aired (do we still say that-aired?) and enjoyed every small joke in it. Someone that writes for this show has to have a family member that runs a market.

Click to watch

Knight Foundation supports research for farmers markets

As a member of Farmers Market Coalition’s research team, I for one am very excited to receive this support from the Knight Foundation and their Prototype Fund. This pilot will allow FMC to listen to markets’ needs and ultimately fashion dynamic solutions to upload simple data (customer counts, number of new products offered, staff time dedicated to outreach for at-risk populations) to then see that data in an appealing info-graphic style for use with market partners as well as to see it aggregated on a national map with other markets data.
Please let me know if you have ideas or experience in data work in your market that may lend itself to iterations of this prototype and please look forward to more information throughout the year on this Farmers Market Metrics work happening at FMC.

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.