Digest – Features & Blogs: Convention frenzy, local meat gets scrapped, and Michelle’s big announcement

O-yeah: Michelle Obama tells Oprah that she’s planning a veggie garden on the lawn of the White House in order to “use it as a point of education, to talk about health and how delicious it is to eat fresh food, and how you can take that food and make it part of a healthy diet.” The President won’t be able to see it from his office window, but let’s hope he recognizes that many American families don’t have access to fresh fruits and veggies – and they could, with the right kind of political support. (Obama Foodorama; thanks, Michael!) Over on Chews Wise, Sam Fromartz asks: But will there be sheep?

‘Tis the season… of farm conventions: Secretary Vilsack took the time to visit the Inaugural Meeting of the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) and claimed that “sustainable” might be his choice if he had to sum up USDA’s work with just one word. (Livable Future Blog) Meanwhile, a Missouri farmer and his grandson travel to Washington for the National Farmers Union convention and prepare the next generation to fight the good fight against commodity speculation, huge meat companies, and NAIS. (Daily Yonder)

Cuts, but not of meat: The governor of Vermont is attempting to balance the budget by, among other things, eliminating the state’s meat inspection program. One state legislator who happens to be the chair of the House Ag Committee says that’s a bad idea. (Brattleboro Reformer)

Now if they’d just open one near Michelle Obama: Burgerville, a 39-restaurant gourmet fast food chain in the Pacific Northwest, already uses local and sustainable ingredients. Now it’s going even further, by offering new combinations that highlight a single in-season ingredient sourced from local farms committed to sustainable practices. (Fast Company blog)

Laugh until you cry: Snarky humor site The Onion has been on a food-related tear recently, with headlines like “FDA Approves Salmonella,” “Panicked Agriculture Secretary Momentarily Forgets What Corn Is,” “Nation Instinctively Forms Breadline,” and “Experts Agree Giant, Bioengineered Crabs Pose No Threat” (video clip).

Gas on the hoof: Vanessa Barrington ruminates over conundrum of pastured beef that seems to be good for the body and land but bad for the atmosphere. (Civil Eats)

No appetite for food-rating system: Marion Nestle reports on a Danish movement fighting a food-processor-backed rating system in the European Union. (Food Politics)

New world water: World Water Week is March 22-28, and many restaurants are asking for a $1 donation to UNICEF’s water project in exchange for the tap water they normally provide for free. Too much of the world’s population does not have access to clean water, so check out the map on the Tap Project site for a location near you. (UNICEF Tap Project, via green LA girl)

One Responseto “Digest – Features & Blogs: Convention frenzy, local meat gets scrapped, and Michelle’s big announcement”

  1. Glad to hear Mrs. Obama is gardening on the lawn. I hope that she really does it rather than a hired gardener and with her children and the President. That is an example to set. Nothing large, nothing fancy. Everyone can garden be it in a container on the railing, in a small back yard or out in the sticks. We need more people gardening, connecting back to the land and life. (Sheep would be great, keep that grass short – they are the traditional lawnmowers.)

    On the Vermont Meat Inspection program elimination (http://sugarmtnfarm.com/blog/2009/03/vt-meat-inspection-cancelled.html) I have been in contact with the department heads and our legislators, written the governor, heard back from the Lt. Governor and several legislators as well. They opposed the Governor’s plans for cutting this important food safety program. The people at the meat inspection department are in favor of voluntary salary cuts in their own salaries in order to keep the program going. A lot of brainstorming is going on to make sure Vermont continues to have a meat inspection program. It is very worthwhile for people to write to the Governor and the meat inspection department to show their support. On an interesting note, someone pointed out that the USDA already pays for about 76% of the Vermont program so the state won’t really save much but will lose a lot – all the small butcher shops and slaughterhouses. The Governor, on the other hand, does not call, he doesn’t write, what’s a farmer to think.