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Category Archives: Food and Nutrition

Libraries are Bridging the Summer Gap for Hungry Kids

Civil Eats – Lunch at the Library programs support kids from food-insecure households and underscore the evolving roles of libraries.

“School districts across the U.S. are beginning to close their doors for summer vacation, giving students a respite from classes and exams. But for millions of young people from food-insecure households, there’s less to celebrate—because summer break puts an end to the free and reduced-price lunches they’re eligible for during the school year. Since 2011, in California, young people have found sustenance and assistance in an unlikely place: the public library. That’s the year the Oakland Public Library in Northern California started serving free lunches of sandwiches, fruit, and milk to local children at three of its branches. “We were seeing hungry kids coming in and staying the whole day,” says Derrick DeMay, Oakland’s supervising branch librarian. “Hungry kids act in ways that are unproductive. One solution is to say, ‘You’re out for not following the rules.’ But that doesn’t help anybody.” The library’s decision to feed kids instead of ejecting them was quiet testament to the long, lingering shadow of food insecurity, which, despite some fluctuations, has remained consistent at around 12 percent of the nation’s households since the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) began tracking it in 1995. (That figure is 14.4 percent in Alameda County, which encompasses Oakland.) “A very basic need was not being met and we realized, these kids just need to be fed,” says DeMay. At the California Library Association (CLA), program director Natalie Cole watched Oakland’s summer lunch experiment with interest, while amassing reports from librarians in other parts of the state about encounters with ravenous kids acting up and asking for snacks. In 2013, she and Patrice Chamberlain, director of the California Summer Meal Coalition, received a private grant to follow Oakland’s lead and pilot a summer lunch program at 17 California library branches…”

UN representative reports on extreme poverty and human rights on his mission to US

Via Common Dreams: “The United Nations has released a scathing report on poverty and inequality in the United States. The findings, which will be presented to the U.N. Human Rights Council on June 21, follow an official visit to the United States by Philip Alston, the U.N. special rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights,… Continue Reading

The Oldest Cookbooks From Libraries Around the World

Atlas Obscura: “For as long as libraries have been repositories of wisdom and knowledge, there has been a place on the shelf for cookbooks. In fact, many early cookbooks were more than just recipe collections—instructions for concocting medicine often jostled with dinner ideas for page space. Atlas Obscura has previously displayed ancient recipe collections, such… Continue Reading

How Amazon Is Using Whole Foods in a Bid for Total Retail Domination

Just a note before the story – if you live in MD, DC, VA, PA – go to MOM’s Organic Market– shop there – I have no affiliation whatsoever with this store – but started buying my food (all organic) from the founder when he launched his business in 1987 – and do so to… Continue Reading

Dept. of Agriculture 2016 Pesticide Data on organic food reported inaccurately

Washington Post/ Tamar Haspel: “The Agriculture Department recently released the latest measurements of pesticide residues in our food, in the form of the 2016 Pesticide Data Program results, so it seems timely to talk pesticides and organics. And bias. I’ve been following these issues for a long time, and I’ve seen a lot of evidence… Continue Reading

Study – Almost half of US families can’t afford basics like rent and food

CNN Money – The economy may be chugging along, but many Americans are still struggling to afford a basic middle class life. “Nearly 51 million households don’t earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the… Continue Reading

Watch Morton Salt Go Dumpster Diving to Create a Font From Discarded Vegetables

AdWeek: New video aims to curb the $160 billion problem of food waste – “As Americans, we are the most wasteful creatures on the planet. Of all the food we buy, over 40 percent of it winds up in the trash, about 150,000 tons a day. Each year, Americans toss out an estimated $160 billion worth… Continue Reading

EWG’s 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce

“All adults and children should eat more fruits and vegetables, whether they are organic or conventionally grown. With EWG’s 2018 Shopper’s Guide to Pesticides in Produce™, you can choose healthy produce while minimizing unwanted doses of multiple toxic pesticides. Many shoppers don’t realize that pesticide residues are common on conventionally grown produce, even after it… Continue Reading

Welcome to the Age of Climate Migration

Rolling Stone: Extreme weather due to climate change displaced more than a million people from their homes last year. It could soon reshape the nation. “In 2017, a string of climate disasters – six big hurricanes in the Atlantic, wildfires in the West, horrific mudslides, high-temperature records breaking all over the country – caused $306… Continue Reading

CRS – Nutrition Labeling of Restaurant Menu and Vending Machine Items

CRS Report – Nutrition Labeling of Restaurant Menu and Vending Machine Items, February 5, 2018. “High rates of obesity and chronic diseases have prompted various federal, state, and local nutrition labeling initiatives. The 1990 Nutrition Labeling and Education Act (P.L. 101-535) required nutrition labeling of most foods and dietary supplements, but it did not require… Continue Reading

Dead zone conditions expanding rapidly throughout shallow coastal seas and lakes

Quartz: “On January 5, 2018, a paper published in the journal Science delivered a sobering message: The oxygenation of open oceans and coastal seas has been steadily declining during the past half century. The volume of ocean with no oxygen at all has quadrupled, and the volume where oxygen levels are falling dangerously low has… Continue Reading

Oxfam – The State of Inequality in the World

“Our new report about the state of inequality in the world reveals how our economy is delivering unimaginable rewards for those at the top by exploiting millions of ordinary workers at the bottom…Last year saw the biggest increase in billionaires in history, one more every two days. This huge increase could have ended global extreme… Continue Reading