What Is Slow Food > Slow Food USA Blog
Posted on Fri, May 27, 2011 by Slow Food USA
Mahalo! Interview with Clare Loprinzi, school garden coordinator of Ke Mala ‘o ‘Ehunuikaimalino. Hers was one of 85 school garden run by Slow Food USA chapters to receive seed donations from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds this spring.
by Slow Food USA intern Grace Moore
As seeds are being sown in school gardens around the country, some gardens got an extra boost this year. Baker Creek Heirloom Seed Company donated hundreds of seed packets to 85 of the school gardens run by Slow Food USA chapters. I recently caught up with Clare Loprinzi, the garden coordinator of Ke Mala ‘o ‘Ehunuikaimalino to talk about how the seeds are helping advance their K-12 Hawaiian immersion school. Read on to learn about how their seeds are sowing healthy young Hawaiians:
Tell me more about Ke Kula ‘o ‘Ehunuikaimalino and its garden.
Ke Kula ‘o ‘Ehunuikaimalino is a K-12 Hawaiian immersion school where Hawaiian language is taught as a first language. We are located in Kona, Hawai’i in the ahupua’a (traditional land division) of Kalukalu. Ninety-six percent of the 163 children enrolled are Hawaiian. Incorporating the garden project is something that 32 member administration and staff embraced. This project is in the third year continuing in the creation of a Hawaiian Immersion school that is also a model sustainable community school. All of our keiki (children) are part of this garden interweaving their growth and the growth of the plants to create a healthier school.
How is the garden integrated into the school’s curricula?
This school and the mala (garden) project are not only aimed at restoring indigenous wisdom and sustainability, but at making whole leaders to make the changes that are necessary for survival. We are able to relate stories and traditions of our elders to this project therefore, building and enhancing stronger relationships to the environment around us to make them more intimate and family-like.
Posted on Wed, May 25, 2011 by Amber
We had over 400 photo submissions as part of our Farmarazzi campaign. Check out the winning photos!
“My husband and I have a small organic farm - Plato’s Harvest in Middleboro, MA. Taking and sharing pictures of our farm allows us to extend our community and share both the joys and challenges of farming with those who can’t be involved on a day-to-day basis. Our photos allow others to get a better sense of where their food comes from and helps them feel closer to our farm and their food. I continually get comments from customers and CSA members about how much they appreciate the photos we share on our blog and website.” —Sasha Purpura, winner of photo contest
When we heard that three states*(see UPDATES below!)—Florida, Iowa, and Minnesota—had introduced legislation that would make it illegal to take photos or videos of farms, we felt it was important to launch our Farmarazzi campaign (like paparazzi, get it?). Inhumane and unhealthy conditions are present in our food system, and keeping that information from the public won’t make them go away. We wanted to use this as an opportunity to lift up the good, clean and fair farmers who like consumers to come and see exactly how their food is produced.
all states but Iowa the bill died after finding no support!
The top 11 most popular photos—and 9 more that we just thought were swell—are in the above slideshow. In addition they were turned into photo albums that we sent to key legislators in each state. Included is the adorable pic of two muddy pigs in a bucket taken by Sasha Purpura, who is quoted above—and who won a brand new digital camera!
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Posted on Mon, May 23, 2011 by Slow Food USA
In recent months over 50 chapters have organized screenings of the documentary Vanishing of the Bees. We asked Slow Food DC member Kate Hill to reflect on the experience of hosting a screening.
by Slow Food DC member Kate Hill
Watching Vanishing of the Bees reminds me how much of our existence we take for granted. Like walking through life with blinders on, so caught up in the here and now of self that we pay little attention to the beauty and the mystery that make the journey possible.
My family has been lucky over the years to have hands-on experience with honeybees. A good friend has kept several hives and has enlisted my sons to help him extract the honey every year since they were old enough to understand the process. Even still, I think we all fail to acknowledge what an intrinsic part of the food chain, what an immeasurable service to our own life the bee is. Painfully revealed in the film is our own complicity in allowing the toxic process that is endangering not only the bees but the planet and our own health.
Why aren’t we angrier? At stake is life itself. Society seems willing to go along and not question (with apologies to Al Gore) the “inconvenient truth” of agribusiness, choosing not to see the reality of the cost of “progress.” Towards the end of the film Bill Maher makes a brief quip on honeybee die-offs serving as “Mother Nature’s wake up call” and it struck a chord—but do we really take the warnings to heart? With colony collapse disorder the bees are forcing us to take a hard look again at how we do things. We need to be the change we wish to see to save not only the bees but ourselves.
Posted on Wed, May 04, 2011 by Slow Food USA
While many of us have become more conscious about the impacts of our personal food choices, we can’t fix the broken food system simply by changing what’s on our plate.
This post is based on the upcoming book Fair Food: Growing a Healthy, Sustainable Food System for All
by Oran Hesterman
A Broken Food System
Our food system is failing many of us. Originally designed to produce abundant food at low cost, it now destroys some of what we hold most precious—our environment, our health, and our future.
While many of us have become more conscious about the impacts of our personal food choices, we can’t fix the broken food system simply by changing what’s on our plate. The answer lies beyond the kitchen: it relies on our willingness to be fair food “solutionaries” in our communities, in the institutions where we work, and with policy makers.
Beyond Your Kitchen
This is a moment when you can make a difference if you harness your voice, beliefs, passion, and resources to promote a fair and healthy food system. If you are ready to participate in creating a fair food future beyond your own kitchen, one place to start is in your community.
To read the rest of this post and learn about shifting institutional purchasing power as well as ways to get involved in food policy change, click here.
Posted on Wed, May 04, 2011 by Slow Food USA
Legislation pending in Iowa would make taking photos of a farm a criminal act. Similar bills have failed this year in Florida, New York, and Minnesota. We think a well-managed farm should have nothing to hide.
Lawmakers are taking action to address the egregious conditions that exist at factory farms. But not to create laws to prevent future violations of food safety regulations, environmental quality standards, workers’ rights, and animal rights on the part of irresponsible farmers. Instead, legislation pending in
Iowa (and unsuccessfully introduced in Florida, New York, and Minnesota) would make taking photos of a farm a criminal act.
We live in a time when we’re not always aware of where our food comes from and how it grows. The bipartisan legislators in Iowa, Florida, New York, and Minnesota who proposed these laws charged that unapproved photos and videos misrepresent the realities of farming and damage the public perception of our nation’s food producers. But pictures don’t lie. Inhumane and unhealthy conditions are present in our food system, and keeping that information from the public won’t make them go away. We must come together nationally to stop this dangerous precedent of suppressing outrage against bad farming practices by suppressing the public’s right to see what they’re eating.
Even more outrageous is that the pending laws apply to photos of all farms—even those upholding good, clean, and fair farming practices. So how can we convince these legislators that they’re wrong? By sending a petition to the key legislators in each state, and also by flooding their offices with photos of real farms, submitted by people like you, from all around the country. Let’s show those lawmakers that we, the Farmarazzi, are taking a stand to safeguard our right to know what goes on behind closed barn doors.
So, to recap:
Step 1: Sign the petition. Even if you’re you don’t live in Florida, Minnesota, or Iowa, your voice matters. These state laws would set a dangerous precedent that other states may choose to follow.
Posted on Mon, May 02, 2011 by Intern
Slow Food Vermont chapter leader Mara Welton and her husband Spencer are spearheading a new sustainable farming certificate program at University of Vermont.
by Grace Moore
Vermont’s exciting new Sustainable Farming Certificate program is linking experienced farmers with promising apprentices and practical experience to train much-needed new farmers. Slow Food Vermont leader Mara Welton and her husband Spencer are helping to spearhead this new program by lending their expertise.
Just over ten years ago, Mara and Spencer got their first taste of farm life working on a Boulder, Colorado flower and herb farm. Fast forward a few years, and you’ll find the couple setting up hoop-houses and spinning greens on the aptly named Half Pint Farm, a 2 acre specialty and baby vegetable farm located in Burlington, Vermont’s Intervale.
As the Weltons enter their ninth growing season, they’re bringing their expertise and experience to the table in the new partnership with University of Vermont’s Sustainable Farming certificate program.