Monthly Archives: November 2010

AMA starting to figure out food matters

"let your food be your medicine."

The quote above is typically ascribed to Hippocrates, circa 400 B.C.

Change is slow, but a recently released Report 8 of the Council on Science and Public Health, by the American Medical Association comes to some obvious and potentially helpful conclusions…

Healthy diets are rich in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, and low in unhealthy fats, sodium, and added sugars, but they also support environmental sustainability, economic viability, and human dignity and justice. Unhealthy food systems are not sustainable, and contribute to the very health problems the health care system is trying to solve – at extraordinary costs both economically and in terms of quality of life.

[from the Executive Summary, emphasis mine.] And this…

It is essential that health care organizations become both models and advocates of healthy, sustainable food systems that promote wellness and that “first do no harm.

That Hippocrates. He was a smart fella.

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Filed under food, food-health connection, local food, organic

Getting organic/local food into Chicago

world's greenest city (someday)

Chicago residents want more local and organic food, but how to get it into the city?

Some people are getting creative.

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Filed under agriculture, food, local food, organic

Wwoof your way around the world


I’ve heard of people working on organic farms in other countries (there’s one sitting about 4-feet from me right now), but here’s an organization through which you can actually find organic farms to visit, live and work on.

It’s called Wwoofing, and it stands for World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms. Wwoofing, “has become an international movement that is helping people share more sustainable ways of living.”

WWOOF is an exchange – In return for volunteer help, WWOOF hosts offer food, accommodation and opportunities to learn about organic lifestyles.

WWOOF organisations link people who want to volunteer on organic farms or smallholdings with people who are looking for volunteer help.

This is one of those win-win situations. Adventurous farmies and foodies get to see the world on the cheap and meet interesting people. Small-scale farmers get some labor (on-the-cheap). Of course, it doesn’t always work out that way. The grad student sitting 4-feet away from me has used Wwoof to find and work on several farms in the US and other countries, including Africa. For the most part, his experiences were excellent, but there were a couple bad ones. Unfortunately, the Wwoof web site doesn’t have review capabilities that allow traveling farm workers the chance to provide public feedback on their experiences on particular farms.

If you’ve worked on a farm through Wwoof, leave a comment and tell us about your experiences!

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Filed under agriculture, organic, small farms, travel and work

Good resources from your virtual extension office

No one knows more about organic than these guys.

There is a web-based resource that keeps getting better and better, and so you should know about it.

eXtension’s Organic Agriculture portal is a wealth of information on every aspect of organic farming. Next to ATTRA, it is becoming THE place to go for organic information. It contains a constantly growing collection of articles submitted from across the country, articles that address issues and topics pertinent to organic farmering. Yes, I said “farmering” (a new term I just invented.).

Of course, for the ultimate organic resource list of lists, click on “Organic Resources” at the top of this page.

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Filed under ag education, organic, organic research

Food craft

Remember when food was a craft? Probably not. These guys are bringing it back. Watch this lovely video…


The Mast Brothers from The Scout on Vimeo.


The Mast Brothers. Many of their products are organic, but they have gone so far above and beyond in producing quality chocolate products, that organic is almost an afterthought.

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Filed under food, local food, natural, organic