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NWEI Staffer Liz Zavodsky and OCI Chef Instructor Ramona White

NWEI Staffer Liz Zavodsky and OCI Chef Instructor Ramona White

Oregon Culinary Institute Chef Instructor Ramona Lisa White has begun what is now an ongoing commitment to using the NWEI course books Menu for the Future and Hungry for Change: Food, Ethics and Sustainability in her ongoing culinary arts classes. “The students really responded positively to the readings,” says Ramona. At least 45 students have already completed her first course using the NWEI course books, and her second course began this week. Student Michael Gent noted “I thought the readings were helpful. I have noticed my general attitude regarding (food) ethics have changed over the course of the class.”

At NWEI, we believe the solution to many of Earth’s biggest challenges lies in the power of collective change: by taking action in our own lives and inspiring the people around us, each of us contributes to a world of impact. Over the last 20 years, NWEI has helped more than 140,000 people from around the world make small steps that lead to big changes for our planet. Thanks to the Spirit Mountain Community Fund, Northwest Earth Institute is pleased to offer 1,000 free discussion course books to Portland-area students during the 2012-2013 school year. Oregon Culinary Institute has been one of the most active participants in the Spirit Mountain Community Fund Grant.

More than 300 colleges and universities throughout North America have successfully used NWEI course books in a wide range of academic disciplines and institutional settings. The student-led curriculum encourages critical thinking and active learning, and helps students find “Aha!” moments about the way they live, work, create and consume.

Oregon Culinary Institute student Tom Kelch reflected that “whether the readings were sad or uplifting didn’t matter because I learned things I never  thought about before.” Emelio Sansone noted that “each reading served very valuable lessons and I am making a great deal of effort to apply them to my life whenever possible.” Other students in Ramona’s class cited the NWEI readings as “eye opening” and “useful not only in our career life but in our personal lives too.”

 
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NWEI is celebrating 20 years of shared discovery, shared story and shared action – and we’re calling on you, our supporters both new and old, to help us reach 3,000 more participants before June 30th. We’re aiming to have 145,000 participants connecting, reflecting and taking action by June, and need your help!
One way you can help us reach this goal is to organize a Menu for the Future discussion course, using the newly revised and updated version of this course book, available on Earth Day. The updated Menu for the Future discussion course helps you explore the connection between food choices and sustainability with new authors, including Wes Jackson of The Land Institute, Alexandra Zissu, Gary Paul Nabhan and Robert Gottlieb.
Find out more about our new Menu for the Future here,and join us in celebrating Earth Day 2013 and NWEI’s 20th Anniversary by organizing a discussion course in your community.

imagesSince 2004, Starbucks’s Partners for Sustainable Living employee group has offered over 40 Northwest Earth Institute discussion courses in the Seattle, WA corporate office, most recently completing Menu for the Future. Most of the NWEI courses have been offered as a voluntary lunch hour offering for employees, hosted by the Partners for Sustainable Living group. PSL has some 400 members, most of which have participated in NWEI courses. The PSL Leadership Team has completed at least seven NWEI courses over the years. Approximately 10% of all employees at the Seattle corporate office have gone through at least one NWEI discussion course. One PSL member notes that “the discussion courses from NWEI have always been popular,” and cites an increased sense of community as one of the benefits of participation.

Former PSL member and Starbucks employee Tim Nuse says “There were lots of questions from partners about what they could do and how to work for corporate social responsibility. We piloted two Northwest Earth Institute groups and there were 15-20 people in the first discussion groups…Partners for Sustainable Living became a grassroots, employee driven venue for making change.” Thanks to Starbucks employees for creating organizational change through shared learning and shared action, and for using the Northwest Earth Institute resources along the way.

“NWEI courses complement Starbucks commitment to sustainability by enriching internal discussions and giving participants a clear understanding of their direct role in the conservation of natural resources. As a result, these individuals are better equipped to assess environmental issues and embrace innovative solutions in the workplace and in their personal lives. We highly recommend NWEI programs to organizations that believe in driving change from the inside-out.” Ben Packard, Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility, Starbucks

                                                                                                        

Sustainable-Food-WordsOur friends at The Food Tank recently shared the following 13 resolutions to change the food system in 2013. We think the NWEI community should join in! As we start the new year, many of us will be working to improve health and effect new changes in our food system. The Food Tank proposes that a broader collection of farmers, policy-makers, and eaters need new, bigger resolutions for fixing the food system. As Food Tank co-founder Danielle Nierenberg says, “We have the tools—let’s use them in 2013!”

Here are The Food Tank’s 13 resolutions to change the food system in 2013:

1. Growing the Cities:  Food production doesn’t only happen in fields or factories. Nearly one billion people worldwide produce food in cities. In Kibera, the largest slum in Africa, farmers are growing seeds of indigenous vegetables and selling them to rural farmers. At Bell Book & Candle restaurant in New York, customers are served rosemary, cherry tomatoes, romaine, and other produce grown from the restaurant’s rooftop garden.
 
2. Creating Better Access:  People’s Grocery in Oakland and Fresh Moves in Chicago bring mobile grocery stores to food deserts giving low-income consumers opportunities to make healthy food choices. Instead of chips and soda, they provide customers with affordable organic produce, not typically available in their communities.
 
3. Eaters Demanding Healthier Food: Food writer Michael Pollan advises not to eat anything that your grandparents wouldn’t recognize. Try eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole foods without preservatives and other additives.
 
4. Cooking More: Home economics classes have declined in schools in the United Kingdom and the U.S. and young people lack basic cooking skills.  Top Chefs Jamie Oliver, Alice Waters, and Bill Telepan are working with schools to teach kids how to cook healthy, nutritious foods.
 
5. Creating Conviviality: According to the Hartman Group, nearly half of all adults in the U.S. eat meals alone. Sharing a meal with family and friends can foster community and conversation. Recent studies suggest that children who eat meals with their families are typically happier and more stable than those who do not.
 
6. Focus on Vegetables: Nearly two billion people suffer from micronutrient deficiencies worldwide, leading to poor development. The World Vegetable Center, however, is helping farmers grow high-value, nutrient rich vegetables in Africa and Asia, improving health and increasing incomes.
 
7. Preventing Waste:  Roughly one-third of all food is wasted—in fields, during transport, in storage, and in homes. But there are easy, inexpensive ways to prevent waste. Initiatives like Love Food, Hate Waste offer consumers tips about portion control and recipes for leftovers, while farmers in Bolivia are using solar-powered driers to preserve foods.
 
8. Engaging Youth: Making farming both intellectually and economically stimulating will help make the food system an attractive career option for youth. Across sub-Saharan Africa, cell phones and the internet are connecting farmers to information about weather and markets; in the U.S., Food Corps is teaching students how to grow and cook food, preparing them for a lifetime of healthy eating.
 
9. Protecting Workers: Farm and food workers across the world are fighting for better pay and working conditions. In Zimbabwe, the General Agricultural and Plantation Workers Union of Zimbabwe (GAPWUZ), protects laborers from abuse. In the U.S., the Coalition of Immokalee Workers successfully persuaded Trader Joe’s and Chipotle to pay the premium of a penny-per-pound to Florida tomato pickers.
 
10. Acknowledging the Importance of Farmers: Farmers aren’t just farmers, they’re business-women and men, stewards of the land, and educators, sharing knowledge in their communities. Slow Food International works with farmers all over the world, helping recognize their importance to preserve biodiversity and culture.
 
11. Recognizing the Role of Governments:  Nations must implement policies that give everyone access to safe, affordable, healthy food. In Ghana and Brazil, government action, including national school feeding programs and increased support for sustainable agricultural production, greatly reduced the number of hungry people.
 
12. Changing the Metrics: Governments, NGOs, and funders have focused on increasing production and improving yields, rather than improving nutrition and protecting the environment. Changing the metrics, and focusing more on quality, will improve public and environmental health, and livelihoods.
 
13. Fixing the Broken Food System: Agriculture can be the solution to some of the world’s most pressing challenges—including unemployment, obesity, and climate change. These innovations simply need more research, more investment, and ultimately more funding.

And a 14th: If you haven’t already, organize Menu for the Future or Hungry for Change this Winter and join in educating and inspiring people to act!

photo by Amanda Dempsey, Edible Cleveland

photo by Amanda Dempsey, Edible Cleveland

We just got word that the Edible Cleveland magazine covered one of NWEI’s Menu for the Future courses in Cleveland, Ohio. Thanks to Noelle Celeste for this piece!

Every Monday night for six weeks Felicia Tiller and her boyfriend, Travis, talked about food with a dozen familiar strangers from the neighborhood. They were there to participate in a pilot program for Menu for the Future, an experiment that grew out of Sustainable Cleveland 2019. The idea is to inspire community dialogue around food issues by using the Northwest Earth Institute’s “Menu for the Future” course on a broad scale through faith communities, organizations, businesses or, in this case, neighbors gathered by Felicia’s friend from work.

“It was like a mini book club except we discussed how we eat and who we eat with—not just local food, but the role of food in our lives,” said Felicia. “Overall the experience made us feel more connected to the people in our community and it reminded us that every little thing you do is valid and important—even the simple habit of sitting down with your family to eat.”

Felicia was most surprised to learn that it wasn’t until the end of World War II that families shifted their eating habits and stopped growing their own food. Until then the bulk of an American’s food came from their communities and their gardens . This fact inspired her. “If they could grow it, why couldn’t I?”

So what’s changed in Felicia’s world as a result of those six Monday nights? She and her boyfriend committed to starting a balcony garden. “Originally, we were going to spend the time we would have been in the meeting each week on garden work, but instead it’s become a daily ritual: watering before bed so we don’t water our neighbors on their way to work in the morning and checking on sprouts every morning. We love watching our garden grow.”

In the Cleveland area and want to start or join a conversation near you? Call 216.264.0181 or email menuforthefuture@gmail.com.

 

October 24th is Food Day, a nationwide celebration and a movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. If you haven’t already, consider learning more about sustainable food and taking action by organizing one of NWEI’s food focused discussion courses: Hungry for Change: Food, Ethics and Sustainability or Menu for the Future.

For more on the state of food in the United States, read Hilde Steffey’s Food Day Blog Post: This Food Day Remember Good Food Starts With Family Farms:

It is an exciting time when it comes to good food. Farmers and consumers are organizing locally and regionally, creating markets close to home via farm stands, farmers markets and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs. Farm to school programs are found in more than 12,000 schools, in every state in the nation. The U.S. organic food market continues to outpace conventional food sales. These are signs that there is a clear and growing demand for good food from family farms.

While these trends are promising, the largest, most industrial farms are getting bigger. By 2007, just 6 percent of US farms were producing 75 percent of agricultural product. Meanwhile, our small and mid-sized family farms continue to disappear at an alarming rate. Between 1982 and 2007, USDA numbers show a loss of 40% of farms making between $10,000 and $250,000 – an average of 353 farms a week! These are the very farmers and farms best positioned to grow and strengthen local and regional markets; but they’re also the same farms most threatened by failed policies that seek short-term gains and favor large corporations at the expense of public health, the environment, local economies and community well-being…

For the full post, click here.

There are some great opportunities coming up for folks in the Portland area to engage with each other and with sustainability issues. Please consider joining us for these opportunities!

Join a Menu for the Future Discussion Group – This Saturday
6 Saturdays, June – mid-July, PSU, Smith Union Room 323
There are still available spaces. Register now! Portland State University’s Food Action Collective and Portland Farmers’ Market will offer Menu for the Future starting with an introductory session and an opportunity to buy your book on Saturday May 26th from 12 – 1pm. The course will run for 6 consecutive Saturdays. Not only will this be a fun way to meet new folks, you’ll also be able to stroll through the PSU Portland Farmers Market before or after the discussion! Please contact carolyn@nwei.org for more information or to register.

Join a Powering a Bright Future Discussion Group
Two Thursdays, June 21st and 28th, OMCC Think Tank
We will be hosting our new two-session course on energy at our office building (Olympic Mills Commerce Center) on Thursday June 21st and Thursday June 28th from 5:30 – 6:30pm. We hope that you’re interested in joining! Please email carolyn@nwei.org for more details and to order your electronic copy of Powering a Bright Future for $10. You must pre-register for this course.

“Reduce Your Waste, Reduce Your Impact,” presented by Betty Shelley
Tuesdays, June 12th – June 26th, NWEI Office
If you’ve not yet had the opportunity to take the “Reduce Your Waste, Reduce Your Impact” class, now is your chance! This class comes highly recommended by two NWEI staffers who both agreed that participating was a wonderfully educational and rewarding experience. The course is held on three consecutive Tuesdays beginning June 12th from 6:30 to 8:30. The class will deal with solid waste, a.k.a. garbage, but will also touch on reducing water, energy, and other resource use. The format is interactive with the goal of engaging participants through discussion and assignments to explore their actions and behaviors, and learn ways to make lasting changes. Learn new techniques and share your own. Please contact Betty Shelley no later than June 8th. See the official class announcement for more details. 503-244-8044 greenhouseone@gmail.com

For those of you following NWEI’s blog, you may recall that local food is a buzzing topic in Oregon and Washington’s Columbia River Gorge region, where nine groups recently met to participate in NWEI’s Menu for the Future discussion course. This week we have an update from Gorge News:

Starting the week of Feb. 20, nine different groups of eight to 10 people met once a week for six weeks in towns across the gorge including Goldendale, The Dalles, Hood River, White Salmon-Bingen, Stevenson-Cascade Locks and Mosier.

On Sunday, April 29, at 5:30 p.m., the Mosier group (hosted) one big community potluck at the Mosier Grange with all 80 participants from each of the individual groups.

Using the Menu for the Future discussion course book (created by the Northwest Earth Institute), these groups of diverse citizens explored the confusing number of food choices and contradicting information around health, fair trade, industrial agriculture, organics, family farms, sustainable food systems, GMOs and other juicy topics related to the food system.

The Mosier group of around 10 volunteers facilitated and organized the Let’s Talk Food Discussion groups because of their enthusiasm for the Menu For the Future curriculum. After the Mosier Group participated in the discussion course last winter, they were inspired to take action. They started their own Farmers’ Market in downtown Mosier last summer and have now organized the food discussion groups this spring with hopes that other communities will also become active in their food system.

A number of local establishments helped by providing a place for the groups to meet including 10 Speed East in Mosier, JoLinda’s in Stevenson, Solstice Pizza in Bingen, Presbyterian Church in The Dalles, Grow Organic and Dog River Coffee in Hood River.

Scholarships for the course books were available from Gorge Grown Food Network, which made it possible for anyone to participate regardless of income.

For more information call Emily Reed of the Mosier group at 503-360-3532.

This article just in from Axiom News per the effects of Northwest Earth Institute’s programs and the work of Clevelanders in creating more sustainable local food systems. Thanks to all the people taking part in this inspiring effort! Read on to see what Clevelanders are doing as a result of participation in Menu for the Future.

With its array of homemade goat cheese, pasta made with basil pesto grown onsite, chili with local venison and spicy collard greens, a local food potluck last night captures the difference a growing underground movement around local food is making in Cleveland.

The potluck’s location, Gardens Under Glass, is a story in itself. Situated in Cleveland’s downtown Galleria mall, the core of Gardens Under Glass is a demonstration greenhouse with food grown there now used in some of the food court businesses…Then there’s the fact the potluck was held at all.

Clevelanders talk local food.

Capping off six weeks of small group conversations around food, it was intended to be a celebration of what the more than 30 people engaged in these conversations have learned, and the new micro-communities they’re beginning to create.

Perhaps most powerful is how these conversations are sparking change at the citizen level, as people shared at last night’s event, says champion for the effort Nancy King Smith.

A young couple has been inspired to start growing some food even though they don’t have any garden space. So they put buckets of dirt on their balcony and have planted several vegetables.

Someone else has learned more about CSA’s (Community Supported Agriculture), and now he and his family have joined one.

A woman noted that in spite of her busy schedule, she has a new commitment to put time into her food choices and preparation because that’s what’s important to her.

The owner of a local business  is now committing to become a City Fresh stop and provide fresh, local, sustainably-grown produce in the Buckeye-Shaker neighborhood.

One urban farmer noted that through these conversations he could “see the light bulbs” of understanding going off for people.

Based on a curriculum developed by the Northwest Earth Institute, called Menu for the Future, the conversations spin out of handbook readings and a set of questions. They have been credited with changing the nature of the food conversation in the community of Port Townsend, Washington.

The goal for the budget-less Cleveland project, relaying entirely on word-of-mouth, is that 50 groups have met by the end of the year, with a farmers’ potluck in the fall to celebrate and share experiences.

“They had a fall potluck in Port Townsend, and people did share some pretty exciting things that they were motivated to do as a result,” says Nancy, noting she’s hoping for a similar experience in Cleveland.

The Menu for the Future movement was sparked at last year’s Sustainable Cleveland 2019 summit, an initiative to turn the city into a world-leader in sustainable practice.

For the initiative, a theme is chosen for each year, with events, education and activities all lifting it up. Local food is the 2012 theme.

The city’s chief sustainability officer, Jenita McGowan, who is the lead connection point on this citizen-driven project, points to Menu for the Future as a favourite example of several highlighting the growth of the local food ecology in Cleveland.

It certainly aligns with what she sees as the greatest possibilities for the local food movement in the city in 2012, which is “lots of unsolicited comments from regular Clevelanders around the fact that their city is a leader in local food, that they’re proud about it and know how to participate in it.”

For the full article, please click here.

One of NWEI’s 30 partner organizations, Catamount Earth Institute, is wrapping up their Healthy People, Healthy Planet initiative, celebrating 17 discussion courses completed this Winter and Spring! They ran 12 World of Health groups, 4 Choices for Sustainable Living groups and one Menu for the Future group. CEI is now gearing up to host two programs on lawn chemicals as follow up, providing tangible information and action opportunities for course participants. Follow up offerings will focus on “Creating a Healthy Landscape” and how to have lawns without chemicals.

Catamount Earth Institute director Barbara Duncan says “It was Northwest Earth Institute activists from Port Townsend, Washington that spurred me on to try organizing multiple groups of one program…” There are two more World of Health courses starting in April at the Richards Free Library in Newport, NH and the Canaan Town Library in Canaan, NH. The Catamount Earth Institute focuses outreach in the Upper Valley region of Vermont and New Hampshire.

One of our long time course organizers, Nancy King Smith, has been busy mobilizing community dialogues around food and sustainability in the Cleveland, Ohio area with a  working group that emerged out of the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit. Nancy not only serves on the board for Unitarian Universalist Ministry for Earth (one of NWEI’s 30 partner organizations), but also is actively starting courses in the metro Cleveland area via an initiative inspired by NWEI organizers in Port Townsend, Washington. The Lakewood Observer just posted this article with details:

The Menu for the Future project is involving Lakewood residents in learning about and discussing the issues affecting their daily food choices. The expected outcome is to create more literate consumers, which in turn will drive sales of local, healthy food. The program is based on a six-week course developed by the Northwest Earth Institute that involves selected readings and self-facilitated discussion. It is part of the Local Food Celebration Year for Sustainable Cleveland 2019.

In September of 2011, a working group came together at the Sustainable Cleveland 2019 Summit and set a goal to get as many groups as possible to use the Menu for the Future course within their faith community, organization, business or neighborhood during 2012. About a dozen pilot groups, with a farmer or food producer in each one, are meeting in February and March, and plans are in motion to scale up during the remainder of the year.

The course, designed for groups of eight to twelve participants, is based on a source book of readings that includes directions for self-facilitation by the groups for guided conversation about our food systems. The course has been successfully used in Port Townsend, WA, where they ran 25 simultaneous courses with a farmer or food producer in each course (most groups were ten to fifteen people). It changed the nature of the conversation about food in the town and established relationships between producers and consumers that have been of economic as well as personal benefit…

Currently groups are meeting in a variety of settings and geographic areas: River’s Edge, Carnegie West Library, the Galleria, the Catholic Diocese Headquarters, Preterm, Gates Mills Library, Unitarian Universalist churches in Shaker Heights, Akron and Kent, and a Hudson Ecumenical group. The pilot groups and interested conveners will hold a celebration potluck at the Galleria on April 19th. Additional groups will launch in April and May, including a group at the Lakewood Public Library. Anyone interested in convening a group (no special expertise needed) or joining a group should contact menuforthefuture@gmail.org or call 216-264-0181.

NWEI Curriculum Director Lacy Cagle just passed along this article from NPR, which states that every million dollars in sales through local markets supports thirteen jobs, versus the three jobs generated from every million dollars in sales by agricultural operations that don’t have a local or regional focus. All the more reason to get behind the local, sustainable food movement! For the full article by Allison Aubrey, click here.

“When we think of the farmers we know, we can count a lot of locally-produced food we’ve reported on, from unusual greens to pawpaws.

And when the Obama Administration and the U.S. Department of Agriculture promotes their Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative, what do they count? Jobs.

“Every million dollars in sales through local markets supports thirteen jobs,” USDA’s Kathleen Merrigan said in a conference call with reporters. This compares to three jobs generated from every million dollars in sales by agricultural operations that don’t have a local or regional focus.

To tout the growth of the local food movement, USDA has launched a slick, new, multimedia website that includes videos, photos and a map showcasing all the USDA-supported projects (think: loans and grants). Many are aimed at helping communities coordinate the sale of locally grown fresh food products from small and mid-scale family farms. Another goal is to support regional food hubs.

By positioning the initiative as a “jobs-creator,” Merrigan may be hoping to assuage detractors on Capitol Hill who have criticized Know Your Farmer as a program for the foodie elite that promotes organic and niche farming over conventional, larger scale operations.

“In the name of promoting local food systems, [USDA] appears to be prioritizing Rural Development grant and loan programs for locavore projects in urban areas, apparently at the expense of rural communities,” complained Senators Pat Roberts (R-KS), Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) and John McCain (R-AZ) in a letter to Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack in 2010, after the program was created. The lawmakers point out that the vast majority of the nation’s food supply comes from these conventional, large-scale operations.

In an early version of the 2012 Appropriations bill, lawmakers in the House moved to de-fund marketing of the Know Your Farmer initiative. Even though there were similar concerns in the Senate, ultimately the program kept its funding. But USDA was told to give a status update. That’s part of what USDA accomplishes with this new, web-based Compass.

Even so, local food advocates are concerned the program could be cut out of the farm bill, set to expire this year.

The goal of Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, according to USDA, is in part to strengthen the connection between farmers and consumers. That’s us! What do you think, do small scale farms deserve financial support, a piece of the federal pie? Is the local food movement in your community changing the way you eat or shop?

Late last month citizens throughout Oregon and Washington’s Columbia River Gorge area began participating in a series of Menu for the Future discussion groups as part of the “Let’s Talk Food” initiative, hosted by the Gorge Grown Food Network, a citizens’ and farmers’ initiative working to build a regional food system in the rural Columbia River Gorge region of Oregon and Washington.

The Mosier, Oregon group of Gorge Grown kicked off an ambitious project this winter: they’d like to help set the record for the largest number of food discussion groups running at the same time. Groups began convening the week of February 20th and are now in full swing, with groups running from Goldendale to Parkdale, Oregon.

Using the Menu for the Future discussion course books, the groups are exploring the confusing number of food choices and contradicting information around health, fair trade, industrial agriculture, organics, family farms, sustainable food systems, GMOs and more. At the end of the courses, the Mosier group will be hosting a community potluck with all participants from all of the individual groups.

If you are in the Gorge and would like to be involved in the future, contact Emily Reed at 503.360.3532 or learn more at the Gorge Grown Food Network’s website.

Last month, a Menu for the Future group in Reston, Virginia started blogging about their experiences and findings while participating in Menu’s six sessions of discussion and action. They kicked off their new blog, which offers “thoughts on how food impacts our earth, our communities and ourselves” with this post, entitled What’s Eating America (after the first session title of Menu for the Future):

“It’s confusing knowing what to eat these days…

In her article, Organic, Local and Everything Else: Finding Your Way Through the Modern Food Fray, Zoe Bradbury captures the guilt of purchasing a pineapple (it’s not local), and the consumer quandry about eggs:

Do you take home the certified organic, cage-free dozen

from California, or the non-organic but vegetarian-fed eggs from the family farm in nearby Willamette Valley? Do you spring for the Omega-3 eggs at a dollar more a dozen, or wait for your next trip to the Feed & Seed, where you can buy 9-year-old Nathan’s mismatched rainbow of

uncleaned eggs packed into re-used cartons? Not to mention large or extra large, Grade A or Grade AA. Is the notion that brown eggs are healthier real, or is the difference from their white counterparts only shell-deep?

(If only we had 9-year-old Nathan in Reston!) But for those trying to make informed decisions about food, it doesn’t stop with eggs.

Is organic milk from Walmart better than conventional milk from a mom & pop store?

What’s better, organic or local?  Whole Foods CEO John Mackey and Michael Pollan talk organic vs. local here.

In the end, Zoe concludes:

What I’ve started to wonder amidst all the ferment about local and organic is this: Why turn it into a boxing match? Why the reductionist, either/or mentality? Why not local and organic, and while we’re at it, grass fed, family scale, socially just, economically viable, carbon neutral, humane, culturally vibrant, community based, and ecologically renewing?

And that sounds great. But how can we make it happen? What changes need to take place?

And is it any wonder we’re baffled when it comes to buying food in America?”

Thanks to this group for taking their musings to the blogosphere and for sharing this information with others! You can read other posts on their blog here.

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