Sustainable Food Policy Analysis


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This was a compendium of food sustainability policies, programs, organizations, and reports that I put together for work in Orange County, CA.

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Sustainable Food Policy Analysis

  1. 1. Norton – Sustainable Food Policy April 12, 2010 AnalysisOrganizationsCommunity Food Security Coalition 3830 SE Division St, Portland, OR 97202;Phone: (503) 954-2970, Fax: (503) 954-2959; (multiple publications) Summary: Community Food Security Coalition is a North American coalition of diversepeople and organizations working from the local to international levels to build community foodsecurity. They are dedicated to building strong, sustainable, local and regional food systems thatensure access to affordable, nutritious, and culturally appropriate food to all people at all times.The Coalition achieves its goals through a comprehensive blend of training, networking, andadvocacy to further the efforts of grassroots groups to create effective solutions from the groundup. They provide a variety of training and technical assistance programs for community foodprojects; support the development of farm to school and farm to college initiatives; advocate forfederal policies to support community food security initiatives; and provide networking andeducational resources.The California Food and Justice Coalition 2530 San Pablo Avenue Suite F, Berkeley, CA 94702; Phone: (510) 704-0245, Fax: (510) 548-8896; Summary: The California Food and Justice Coalition promotes the basic human right tohealthy food while advancing social, agricultural, environmental and economic justice. Throughadvocacy, organizing and education, we collaborate with community-based efforts to create asustainable food supply for the residents of California. They believe: that access to healthy foodis a basic human right and must not be compromised; that communities are enriched by thecultivation and celebration of diverse food traditions and experience; that the production,distribution, and preparation of food must be healthy and humane for all humans, animals andecosystems; that agricultural land and biological diversity must be protected for futuregenerations; and that all food commerce must be just, democratic and economically fairFood First, Institute for Food and Development Policy 398 60th Street, Oakland, CA 94618; Phone: (510) 654-4400, Fax: (510) 654-4551; Summary: A food think tank that analyzes the root causes of global hunger, poverty, andecological degradation and developing solutions in partnership with movements working forsocial change. The purpose of the Institute for Food and Development Policy – Food First – is toeliminate the injustices that cause hunger. They have 3 programs: Building Local Agri-FoodSystems, Farmers Forging Food Sovereignty, and Democratizing Development: Land, Resourcesand Markets. 1
  2. 2. Norton – Sustainable Food Policy April 12, 2010Healthy Schools Campaign 175 N. Franklin, Suite 300, Chicago, IL 60606; 312.419.1810; Fax 312.419.1806; http:// of Change 221 Kearny Street, 3rd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94108; 415.391.0545; Fax 415.391.0535; Food Project 10 Lewis Street, Lincoln, MA 01773: 781.259.8621: Fax 781.259.9659; http://www.thefoodproject.orgLocal Harvest: Real Food, Real Farmers, Real Community: LocalHarvest,220 21st Ave,SantaCruz, CA 95062;Phone: (831) 475-8150; Fax: (831) 401-2418; Summary: Local Harvest is a resource website for Shops, Farms, CSA, Forums, Events,and Blogs. Local Harvest offers a Newsletter as well as interactive maps and links.Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education USDA-CSREES, Stop 2223, 1400 Independence Ave. SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-2223; Fax: (202) 720-6071; Summary: Advancing farming systems that are profitable, environmentally sound andgood for communities through a nationwide research and education grants program. SARE’svision is an enduring American agriculture of the highest quality. This agriculture is profitable,protects the nation’s land and water and is a force for a rewarding way of life for farmers andranchers whose quality products and operations sustain their communities and society. SARE’smission is to advance – to the whole of American agriculture – innovations that improveprofitability, stewardship and quality of life by investing in groundbreaking research andeducation.Alternative Farming Systems Information Center USDA Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Library,10301 Baltimore Avenue, Room 132, Beltsville, MD 20705; Phone: (301) 504-6559; Fax: (301) 504-6927; Summary: AFSIC specializes in identifying resources about sustainable food systems andpractices in support of USDAs effort to ensure a sustainable future for agriculture and farmersworldwide.Slow Food International: Summary: Slow Food is a non-profit, eco-gastronomic member-supported organizationthat was founded in 1989 to counteract fast food and fast life, the disappearance of local foodtraditions and people’s dwindling interest in the food they eat, where it comes from, how it tastesand how our food choices affect the rest of the world. We believe that everyone has afundamental right to pleasure and consequently the responsibility to protect the heritage of food,tradition and culture that make this pleasure possible. Our movement is founded upon thisconcept of eco-gastronomy – a recognition of the strong connections between plate and planet. 2
  3. 3. Norton – Sustainable Food Policy April 12, 2010Slow Food is good, clean and fair food. We believe that the food we eat should taste good; thatit should be produced in a clean way that does not harm the environment, animal welfare or ourhealth; and that food producers should receive fair compensation for their work. We considerourselves co-producers, not consumers, because by being informed about how our food isproduced and actively supporting those who produce it, we become a part of and a partner in theproduction process.Slow Food USA: 20 Jay Street, Suite M04Brooklyn, NY 11201;Phone: 718 260-8000; Fax: 718 260-8068; Summary: Slow Food USA seeks to create dramatic and lasting change in the foodsystem. We reconnect Americans with the people, traditions, plants, animals, fertile soils, andwaters that produce our food. We seek to inspire a transformation in food policy, productionpractices and market forces so that they ensure equity, sustainability and pleasure in the food weeat.Slow Food Orange County: Summary: Slow Food Orange County is a local chapter of Slow Food U.S.A. whichworks to carry out the Slow Food mission on a local level. The Orange County convivium is amember-supported organization made up of a diverse group of food enthusiasts.The Ecology Center: 32701 Alipaz Street, San Juan Capistrano, CA 92675; Summary: The Ecology Center is a nonprofit organization that aims to serve as OrangeCountys premier eco-educational learning center and is driven to inspire and educate peopleacross Southern California communities in the areas of environmental sustainability andstewardship. By providing hands-on activities, quarterly exhibits, on-site demonstrations andinformational seminars promoting practical and ecologically sound solutions for the householdand community. The Ecology Center is located at South Coast Farms in the suburb of San Juan Capistranoand seeks to create a healthy and thriving environment where clean air, water and power areeconomically, ecologically and elegantly enjoyed. And with its rich cultural heritage andagricultural tradition, its no wonder that The Ecology Center has upheld its credibility as theultimate local, one-stop resource committed to proactively solving some of todays most pressingenvironmental problems.Eat the View: 3Powderhorn Drive, Scarborough, ME 04074; Phone: (207) 883-5341; Summary: A campaign to plant high-impact food gardens in high-profile places. Weasked the Obamas to lead the way by replanting a kitchen garden on the First Lawn and theyheard our call.Real Food Challenge: Summary: The Real Food Challenge serves as both a campaign and a network. Thecampaign is to increase the procurement of real food on college and university campuses. Byleveraging their purchasing power we can catalyze the transformation of the larger food system. 3
  4. 4. Norton – Sustainable Food Policy April 12, 2010The network offers a chance for students and their allies (those working on the campaign alongwith those whove yet to sign on) to make connections, learn from one another, and grow themovement.UC Irvine Real Food Challenge: Real Food Challenge at UCI, c/o University of California, Irvine,Office of the Dean of Students,Irvine, CA 92696-5125; Summary: The purpose of this organization is to create and implement clear guidelinesthat prioritize community based, ecologically sound, fair, and humane food purchasing; wastereduction; and green dining facility standards at UC Irvine. In turn, this supports the health ofconsumers, laborers, local economies, and the environment. Hai Vo, External Community Relations Director, Real Food Challenge at UC IrvineDuring his senior year, Hai was chosen to be a UC Sustainable Agrifood Systems (SAS) Fellowsponsored by UC Santa Cruzs Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS).As part of his fellowship, he will conduct a food assessment of UC Irvine that seeks to discoverwhether the local Orange County and Southern California communities can sustain its diningsystem. Kelsey Meagher, President, Real Food Challenge at UC IrvineDuring her junior year, she was selected to be a Sustainable Agrifood Systems (SAS) Fellowthrough the Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems (CASFS) at UC Santa Cruz.She will use her fellowship to assess the UC Irvine food system in hopes of discovering whetherthe local community can sustain it. Additionally, she seeks to determine the extent to which UCIrvine’s food system supports the welfare of food producers, consumers, and the environment.California Student Sustainability Coalition: Summary: The California Student Sustainability Coalition is a network of students,alumni, faculty, administration, supporters, and the general public working to unite and empowerthe California community of higher education to collaboratively and nonviolently transform ourselves and our institutions based on our inherent social, economic, and ecologicalresponsibilities.The Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems: UC Santa Cruz,1156 High St.,Santa Cruz, CA 95064;Phone: 831-459-3240;Email:; Summary: The Center for Agroecology & Sustainable Food Systems is a research,education, and public service program at the University of California, Santa Cruz, dedicated toincreasing ecological sustainability and social justice in the food and agriculture system. On theUCSC campus, the Center operates the 2-acre Alan Chadwick Garden and the 25-acre Farm.Both sites are managed using organic production methods and serve as research, teaching, andtraining facilities for students, staff, and faculty. Through our research, education, and outreach programs, the Center works to createagriculture and food systems that sustain both human communities and the environments inwhich they live. The growing public and academic interest in sustainable agriculture, organicfood, resource-conserving farming techniques, and issues of social justice underscores the needfor the type of work conducted by Center staff, faculty, and students. 4
  5. 5. Norton – Sustainable Food Policy April 12, 2010UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program: UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program, University of California, One Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616; Phone: (530) 752-7556; Fax: (530) 754-8550; Summary: SAREP provides leadership and support for scientific research and educationin agricultural and food systems that are economically viable, conserve natural resources andbiodiversity, and enhance the quality of life in the states communities. SAREP serves farmers,farmworkers, ranchers, researchers, educators, regulators, policy makers, industry professionals,consumers, and community organizations across the state. The UC Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (SAREP) is astatewide program within UC Agriculture and Natural Resources. It was created through thegrass roots efforts of organizations and individuals concerned about the environmental impactsof agriculture, the health of rural communities, and the profitability of family farming operationsin California. At the request of the California legislature, the University of California establishedSAREP with three mandates: administer competitive grants for research on sustainableagricultural practices and systems, develop and distribute information through publications andon-farm demonstrations, and support long-term research and sustainable farming systems on UCfarmlands.Food Alliance: 1829 NE Alberta, Suite 5, Portland, OR 97211; Phone: 503.493.1066; Fax: 503.493.1069; Summary: Food Alliance is a nonprofit organization that certifies farms, ranchesand food handlers for sustainable agricultural and business practices. By choosing FoodAlliance-certified products, consumers and commercial food buyers can be assured they aresupporting environmental stewardship, safe and fair working conditions, and humane treatmentof animals. For clients, Food Alliance certification provides independent verification ofmarketing claims for social and environmental responsibility, differentiating and adding value toproducts, and protecting and enhancing brands. Food Alliance offers certification for farm &ranch operations, and food packers, processors, and distributors.National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service: ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service,P.O. Box 3657,Fayetteville, AR 72702; Phone:800-346-9140; Summary: ATTRA - National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service is managedby the National Center for Appropriate Technology (NCAT) and is funded under a grant fromthe United States Department of Agricultures Rural Business-Cooperative Service. It providesinformation and other technical assistance to farmers, ranchers, Extension agents, educators, andothers involved in sustainable agriculture in the United States. (ATTRA was formerly known asthe "Appropriate Technology Transfer for Rural Areas" project.)Policies & PublicationsFood Policy Councils: Lessons Learned: 5
  6. 6. Norton – Sustainable Food Policy April 12, 2010Proposal for a Sustainable Food Systems Park: Agriculture: An Introduction: Guide to Community Food Projects: Food, Farms, and Jobs Act 2007: Safety Modernization Act of 2009: Food, Healthy Communities:’s Food Charter: Food Policy Council 2001: Ten Years of Getting Things Done: Food Charter: Food Projects 2008 Planning Guide: Food Project Evaluation Handbook: Common Ground: Linking Health and Sustainable Agriculture: the Food Web – Community Food Security in California: Food Systems: Getting Involved: Food Systems: Challenges and Threats: Our Local Food Systems: 6
  7. 7. Norton – Sustainable Food Policy April 12, 2010The Place of Food in Our Lives: County, Iowa Board of Surpervisors First in the U.S. to Mandate Purchase of LocallyGrown Organic Food County Food Waste Diversion Program for Change: Rethinking California’s Food Economy: Food System Assessment: Food on the Table: An action guide to local food policy: Agriculture and Community Food Security in the United States: Farming from the CityCenter to the Urban Fringe: County, Iowa Board of Supervisors First in the U.S. to Mandate Purchase of LocallyGrown Organic Food: to Apples: A Local Farm-to-College Feasibility Study Comparing Orange and San LuisObispo Counties: Food Challenge UCI Research: Food Security: Promoting Food Security and Building Healthy Food Systems: Summary: Community food security (CFS) is a relatively new food security-promotingstrategy that considers all the factors within a region or community’s food system that influencethe availability, cost, and quality of food to area households, particularly those in lower incomecommunities. Since CFS focuses on regional and local food systems, it is concerned with the full rangeof food chain events including agriculture, the availability of supermarkets and other affordableoutlets for quality food, the involvement of the wider citizenry and local and state governmentsin seeking solutions to food insecurity, and the services and environments that encourage healthyfood choices including schools, nutrition service providers, and commercial food operations. While officially a movement since only 1994, CFS is now practiced by hundreds of 7
  8. 8. Norton – Sustainable Food Policy April 12, 2010organizations and communities across North America. These practitioners have engagedcountless numbers of groups, volunteers, government and non-government representatives, andlower income people in projects and activities that have improved their communities’ capacity tomeet their own food needs. Projects and activities include farmers’ markets, federal foodassistance program outreach, community gardens, youth food and agriculture programs,farmland preservation and farm viability projects, food system planning and food policycouncils, nutrition education and health promotion strategies, transportation projects, farm-to-school projects, economic development activities, and a range of public education and awarenesscampaigns.Sustainable Food Policy: Summary: The Sustainable Food Policy Project was initiated in 2006 to support effortsby educational, health care and other institutions to have a positive impact on the food systemthrough purchasing. The project has 3 primary objectives: • To collect and share sample food purchasing policies addressing a range of social and environmental concerns, as well as related RFP and contract language. • To outline sustainable food purchasing policy options, the implications of these policies for institutions, and their potential impacts on the food system. • To share insight on the policy development process, and on the implementation and evaluation of sustainable food purchasing policies, from the representatives and stakeholders of institutions that have gone down this road.Guide to Developing a Sustainable Food Purchasing Policy: Diets, Changing Minds: how food affects mental health and behaviour: Summary: The report pulls together the published evidence linking what we eat to howwe feel – from foetal brain development to adolescent behaviour through to Alzheimer’s disease.Due to both the quantity and quality of the evidence (epidemiological, physiological and throughrandomised controlled trials), the report proposes that the changes to the food system seen in thepast century may be partly responsible for the rise in mental health and behavioural problems atthe same time. Issues addressed throughout the lifecycle include: preconceptual nutrition;maternal nutrition and foetal development; cognitive advantages of breastfeeding; diet andacademic attainment and anti-social behaviour in childhood and adolescence; day-to-day food-related mood changes in adults; and cognitive decline in older people in relation to a life time ofdiet. Specific mental diseases discussed include: ADHD, depression, schizophrenia and dementia(particularly Alzheimer’s disease). This research is then placed in the context of our changingdiets – addressing diet and evolution, the agricultural and Industrial revolution and the upheavalof the 20th century (namely processed foods, food additives, industrialised farming, animal fat,declining fish stocks and the increasing use of pesticides). The roles of specific nutrients such asessential fatty acids (omega-3, or fish oils, and omega-6), hydrogenated (or trans) fats andvarious micronutrients (e.g., selenium, magnesium, iron and vitamin C) are also examined. Thereport was researched and written by Courtney Van de Weyer. 8
  9. 9. Norton – Sustainable Food Policy April 12, 2010ProgramsUniversity of California, Sustainable Food Systems: Policy in Vancouver: Summary: Under Community Services, the Department of Social Development includesSocial Policy, Social Infrastructure, Housing Policy, and Operations. Social Policy directs theCity’s Food Policy Council, Projects, and Policies.The Food Project: Summary: Our mission is to grow a thoughtful and productive community of youth andadults from diverse backgrounds who work together to build a sustainable food system. Weproduce healthy food for residents of the city and suburbs and provide youth leadershipopportunities. Most importantly, we strive to inspire and support others to create change in theirown communities. Since 1991, The Food Project has built a national model of engaging young people inpersonal and social change through sustainable agriculture. Each year, we work with over ahundred teens and thousands of volunteers to farm on 31 acres in rural Lincoln, MA and onseveral lots in urban Boston. We consider our hallmark to be our focus on identifying andtransforming a new generation of leaders by placing teens in unusually responsible roles, withdeeply meaningful work. Each season, we grow nearly a quarter-million pounds of food without chemicalpesticides, donating half to local shelters. We sell the remainder of our producethrough Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) crop “shares” and farmers’ markets. Wemarket our own Farm-Fresh Salsa, holiday pies, and other value added products. Locally, wealso partner with urban gardeners to help them remediate their lead-contaminated soil and growhealthier food. Nearly half of The Food Project’s work is as a resource center for organizations andindividuals worldwide. We provide unique capacity building for organizations and educatorswho learn from The Food Project’s expertise through materials, youth training and professionaldevelopment opportunities. Even projects completely unrelated to farming can draw on ourmethods for building inspired, diverse and productive youth communities.Community Food Projects Competitive Grants – USDA, Cooperative State Research Extension and Education Services (CSREES), Attention: Grant Applications deadline – May 13, 2009 Summary: A national program since 1996 to fight food insecurity through developingcommunity food projects that help promote the self-sufficiency of low-income communities.The Federal Agriculture Improvement and Reform Act (FAIR) of 1996 and re-authorized by theFarm Security and Rural Investment Act of 2002 created it. The program works to create betteraccess to fresh and nutritious food supplies, increase self-reliance of communities, and promotecomprehensive responses to local food, farm, and nutrition issues. 9
  10. 10. Norton – Sustainable Food Policy April 12, 2010Community Supported Agriculture: Summary: Over the last 20 years, Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) has becomea popular way for consumers to buy local, seasonal food directly from a farmer. Here are thebasics: a farmer offers a certain number of "shares" to the public. Typically the share consists ofa box of vegetables, but other farm products may be included. Interested consumers purchase ashare (aka a "membership" or a "subscription") and in return receive a box (bag, basket) ofseasonal produce each week throughout the farming season.UC Irvine Food Map: Social and Environmental Policies in Cities: The Case of Food Policy in Vancouver, Canada – Wendy Mendes, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research, (2008); CRETRY=1&SRETRY=0. Summary: This article discusses the challenges of cross-sectoral sustainability policiessuch as food policy because of the few regulatory tools and resources to support theirimplementation. The article focuses on how to build governance capacity to address social andenvironmental issues. The conclusions suggest that local governments are one area where newvisions of urban futures are tested and made real. Rather than dissuading or fearing conflict, thearticle suggests that productive tensions birth new possibilities. The final statement is that foodpolicy is “an example of the possibility to deepen our collective capacity to imagine new urbanfutures and ask different questions about how we live in cities, and whom and what they are for”(p. 962).YES Magazine’s Spring 2009 Issue 284 Madrona Way NE Suite 116, Bainbridge Island, WA 98110; Phone: (206) 842-0216, Fax: (206) 842-5208; ID=3270. Summary: highlighting different community food system models from around the world.For the Love of Food - Colin Murphy, New University publication, UC Irvine. House Garden: %20vegetable%20garden&st=cse. Summary: While the organic garden will provide food for the first family’s meals andformal dinners, its most important role, Mrs. Obama said, will be to educate children abouthealthful, locally grown fruit and vegetables at a time when obesity and diabetes have become anational concern. 10
  11. 11. Norton – Sustainable Food Policy April 12, 2010 11