Sophy Bishop worked as a program assistant at GRACE and worked on the Eat Well Guide, Sustainable Table and Meatrix programs. Sophy graduated with a degree in Anthropology and International Affairs from Skidmore College and is fascinated by the many ways in which food shapes the lives of people past and present. She is currently tending to her second roof garden in Brooklyn and hopes to never haul another bag of soil up the stairs again.
I am personally thrilled about the appearance of anything leafy - greens that I can pick in my garden or greens that someone picked not far away. But how did the farmers feel about the new spring arrivals? All those people who actually work the land, sow the seeds and watch them grow, what were they excited about? One Friday in early June, I headed down to Union Square farmers' market to find answers to my questions.
Last year New York spent $6.1 billion on obesity related health problems, the second highest expenditure in the nation. Diabetes rates in the United States have doubled in the last 10 years. While a small percentage of obesity is caused by genetics or health problems such as thyroid or hormonal disorders, most results from unhealthy dietary habits. Particularly in urban areas, unhealthy diets can result from or be exacerbated by 'food deserts.'
Most people living below the poverty line do not have a community farm in their backyards. Many live in "food deserts" - areas where access to grocery stores is limited and fast food chains abound. I am lucky to live in a neighborhood with numerous grocery stores and healthy food outlets, but walk 10 blocks south and I would be hard-pressed to find a decent grocery store.
It is a well-known fact that the organic certification is not perfect nor is it the end-all, be-all solution to our broken food system.
On June 26th, the House of Representatives voted on the Waxman-Markey Bill to address climate change. It passed narrowly with 219 aye and 212 nay votes. The American Clean Energy Security Act (as it is otherwise known), sponsored by Reps. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and Ed Markey (D-MA), aims to cut emissions below the 2005 level by 80% in 2050.
Ask a child where their food comes from and they will probably tell you "the grocery store." For most people, adults and children alike, the grocery store is the sole point of access to food. Little thought is put into its life beyond the shelves.
A recent NY Times article makes an argument for feeding cows more grass and supplementing their diets with Omega 3-rich Flax seed.
I received an email from a concerned citizen of Poland the other day inquiring if there were hog farms in his country like the ones he had seen on TV in Mexico. I guaranteed him that there were indeed such factory farms in Eastern Europe, and that they were doing terrible damage to the environment, animals, and the people.