Sustainable Life Radio Show


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These were the notes I put together for a discussion on Food and Sustainability for the Sustainable Life Radio Show.

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Sustainable Life Radio Show

  1. 1. Sustainable Life Radio Show Montgomery NortonNapa Valley Life Magazine March 22, 2011 IntroductionSustainability – Whole Systems Approach (If people are suffering, we are suffering) Healthy, Functional, Integrated, Cooperative Systems‘Basic Needs’ – The Ecology Center | Water | Clothing | Shelter | CommunityFood Security – Municipal, County, and State Police Power (10th Amendment): The authority conferredupon the states by the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and which the states delegate to theirpolitical subdivisions to enact measures to preserve and protect the safety, health, welfare, and morals ofthe community. – The Legal Dictionary‘Food Insecurity’ & ‘Food Injustice’Food Systems in City, County, State, and Institutional sustainability policiesTransition TownsResilient Communities in the face of the threats that Peak Oil and other modern insecurities (i.e. ClimateChange, Civil Unrest, Environmental Pollution, Natural Disaster)“Social work is a practical profession aimed at helping people address their problems and matching themwith the resources they need to lead healthy and productive lives.Beneath this practicality lies a strong value system that can be summarized in two words: social justice.Social justice is the view that everyone deserves equal economic, political and social rights andopportunities.” – National Association of Social Workers – Mental & Physical Health – Homelessness‘Meritocracy’Do we punish failure? Do we provide Social Services? Do we help those that are less fortunate?What do we value in our society? Do we compensate the role of the social worker, the farmer, the mother,the teacher, the nutritionist? Where is our value?Food SustainabilityNot How? (Local Food Forum Discussions’ – Next Steps), Why?
  2. 2. Sustainable Life Radio Show Montgomery NortonNapa Valley Life Magazine March 22, 2011Hunger Notes – 2011 World Hunger and Poverty Facts and Statistics million hungry people in 2010 – UN Food and Agriculture Organization13.6% of 6.8 billion world populationChildren are the most visible victims of undernutrition. Children who are poorly nourished suffer up to160 days of illness each year. Poor nutrition plays a role in at least half of the 10.9 million child deathseach year--five million deaths.The world produces enough food to feed everyone. World agriculture produces 17 percent more caloriesper person today than it did 30 years ago, despite a 70 percent population increase. This is enough toprovide everyone in the world with at least 2,720 kilocalories (kcal) per person per day (FAO 2002, p.9).The principal problem is that many people in the world do not have sufficient land to grow, or income topurchase, enough food.Mark Halle – Director of Trade & Investment, and European Rep. to the International Institute ofSustainable Development – Presentation at UC Irvine for the Sustainability Speaker Series hosted by theCUSA on Aug 12, 2010“Summer of 2007, Indonesia spending 40% of its Budget on Gas Subsidy (transport fuel) > Health +Education + Infrastructure DevelopmentShift from Sustainable Development to Sustainability - Need a relaunching of the notion as a part ofeverything we do. Low-Carbon Economy [Incentives (Taxes, Pricing, & Subsidies), EconomicOrganization, Trade Policy, Consumption, Military & Foreign Affairs].Mark Winne – “Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners, and Smart-Cookin’ Mamas: Fighting back in an age ofindustrial agriculture”, “Closing the Food Gap: Resetting the Table in the Land of Plenty”“Cheap Food Policy in U.S. – lack of food security and healthy food$300 B/yr. to treat obesity related illnesses.”20 year food gap in life expectancyFood = ideal Community Organizer, touches on so many sectors (Climate Change, Energy, Water,Environmental Pollution, Health, Social Justice, Local Governance, Economic Justice)Identify and rehabilitate ‘Food Deserts’ and ‘Food Swamps’“Too Fat to Fight: the ironic outcome of our military-industrial food complex” - My Book 27% of eligible recruits for the military are obese – DD interest in Michelle Obama’s
  3. 3. Sustainable Life Radio Show Montgomery NortonNapa Valley Life Magazine March 22, 2011 health & fitness program.Food, Inc.: Michael Pollan and Eric Schlosser in Conversation – USC largest grocer = 40% of America, mostly low incomeBrittle system of few very large factory farms and food processors and monoculture – Make a moreresilient system based on local, regional, sustainable farms, biodiversity, urban farms & gardensEven fast-food chains won’t use the meat bought by the Fed and dumped on our school children.Genetic drift through deregulated GMO alfalfa (RoundUp Ready) – Organic Meat and Dairy contaminationWorld yields would go up 40-50% if we moved to Organic, Sustainable food production75% of US food goes to feed lifestock. ½ of food produced is wasted. Thus, we only eat 12-14% of allfood produced.Farm Subsidies to Corn & Soy = $20 B/yr.‘Farm’ Bill to ‘Food’ Bill – Does it positively contribute to Public HealthUSDA considers fruits and vegetables, tree nuts, dried fruits, and nursery crops = ‘Specialty Crops’Cheap food to the political class = social stability“Feeding the hunger for sustainable food system in Napa” – Napa Valley Register, April 24, 2010Dave Whitmer, Agricultural Commissioner – County of Napa“All of these efforts are commendable, but many have been ‘siloed’ or are taking place without a lot ofcoordination or cooperation with other similar or associated efforts. We must work together as acommunity to ensure our local food system is socially equitable, environmentally sensitive andeconomically sustainable, and that it supports the local economy while at the same time providing equityand access to fresh, local produce to all residents of Napa County.We have urban areas where we could be planning more community gardens. Even as individuals, we canexpand our gardens for our own consumption as well as sharing with others (the Napa Valley Food Bank,the Table, Salvation Army and others would thank you).I would like to challenge Napa residents: Not everyone in Napa County has enough healthy food to eat, andwe individually and collectively can do something about this and make a positive change.This is my hope and dream for this process: that we begin to take care of those in our community who haveneeds, that we make sure we’re addressing not only the equality and access issues, but we’re doing more toeducate people about nutrition and a healthy diet while keeping the resources local and in so doing,
  4. 4. Sustainable Life Radio Show Montgomery NortonNapa Valley Life Magazine March 22, 2011benefiting our local economy.My staff has begun to identify some key issues: access, nutrition, agricultural land preservation throughgreater agricultural diversity, reducing our carbon footprint, food security and the need for better foodplanning.”Napa Local Food Forum• Enhancing agricultural opportunities in Napa County• Small-scale food production• Sourcing local and sustainable food• Distributing food locally• Matching local foods to our institutionsLocal Food Advisory Council – Chair, Karen Schuppert, Cook 4 Seasons: Promoting a healthy appetitefor a thriving planet.(Special Meeting – Friday, March 25 1:30-5:30pm UC Extension Office meeting room 1710(The Napa County Local Food Advisory Council advises the Agricultural Commissioner and Board ofSupervisors regarding the development and promotion of a sustainable local food system, and works to setpriorities, plan and implement initiatives to improve the environmental, economic and social sustainabilityof food production in Napa County. If you would like to receive information about upcoming AdvisoryCouncil meetings and events, please contact the Council liasion, Sommer Woolley.)Cooking Matters – Bay Area, CATeaching children and their families how to shop, cook, and eat healthier.(Cooking Matters’s collaborative program model connects families with food by teaching them how toprepare healthy, tasty meals on a limited budget. Professional chefs and nutritionists volunteer their timeand expertise to lead hands-on courses that teach adults, teens and kids how to purchase and preparenutritious foods in healthful, safe and tasty ways. In each class, participants prepare and eat a simple,healthy meal. At the end of each class, they take home a bag of ingredients to prepare that day’s recipes athome.) Matters – FilmNutrition in our Medical/Health System (Where is the Profit?)“The primary way that we are interacting with the planet is through agriculture.” The Alliance for better food and farming – London, UK(Sustain advocates food and agriculture policies and practices that enhance the health and welfare ofpeople and animals, improve the working and living environment, promote equity and enrich society andculture.) Food and Justice Coalition – Oakland, CA(The California Food and Justice Coalition (CFJC) is a state-wide membership coalition that promotes thebasic human right to healthy, affordable food while advancing social, agricultural, environmental and
  5. 5. Sustainable Life Radio Show Montgomery NortonNapa Valley Life Magazine March 22, 2011economic justice. We achieve our goals through education, advocacy and by collaborating withcommunity-based efforts in California.) for Food and Justice – Los Angeles, CAUrban & Environmental Policy Institute – Occidental College(Welcome to the Center for Food & Justice (CFJ), a division of UEPI. With its vision of a sustainable andsocially just food system, CFJ engages in collaborative action strategies, community capacity-building, andresearch and education.) Food – New York, NY(Just Food tackles deficiencies in food access and security by increasing the production, marketing anddistribution of fresh food from community gardens and urban agriculture sites, on the one hand, andpromoting Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) initiatives (food-buying clubs), on the other. Our aimis to turn “food deserts” (i.e., neighborhoods underserved by supermarkets and other food retailers) into“islands of sustainability.” In the countryside, we are addressing the rapid decline of family farms and theloss of agricultural land by linking small and medium-scale producers to new markets in New York City.In both town and country, Just Food fosters new marketing and food-growing opportunities that address theneeds of small and medium family farms, urban gardeners, and NYC neighborhoods. Through training,leadership development and organizing efforts, we build diverse partnerships to advance dialogue andaction on farming, hunger and nutrition.) OC Food Access Coalition – Orange County, CA(OC Food Access was founded in August 2010 with the intent to develop unprecedented collaboration andcoordination among Orange Countys business, government and non-profit organizations to create theconditions under which healthy, locally sourced food can make its way into the hands, kitchens and mouthsof people who need it most in Orange County.) School Garden Network(CSGN is a collaboration of state agencies, private companies, educational institutions and non-profitorganizations all dedicated to the mission of creating and sustaining gardens in every willing school inCalifornia. The Network serves as a central hub to distribute school garden resources and supportthroughout the state. The Networks mission to create and sustain California school gardens to enhanceacademic achievement, a healthy lifestyle, environmental stewardship and community and socialdevelopment.) Food Security Coalition – Portland, OR(Dedicated to building strong, sustainable, local and regional food systems that ensure access to affordable,nutritious, and culturally appropriate food for all people at all times. We seek to develop self-relianceamong all communities in obtaining their food and to create a system of growing, manufacturing,processing, making available, and selling food that is regionally based and grounded in the principles ofjustice, democracy, and sustainability.) Justice Project - Community Alliance for Global Justice – Seattle, WA(Food Justice is the right of communities everywhere to produce, distribute, access, and eat good food
  6. 6. Sustainable Life Radio Show Montgomery NortonNapa Valley Life Magazine March 22, 2011regardless of race, class, gender, ethnicity, citizenship, ability, religion, or community. Good food ishealthful, local, sustainable, culturally appropriate, humane, and produced for the sustenance of people andthe planet.)Growing Food and Justice – Milwaukee, WI(The Growing Food and Justice for All Initiative is a new initiative aimed at dismantling racism andempowering low-income and communities of color through sustainable and local agriculture. Thiscomprehensive network views dismantling racism as a core principal which brings together social changeagents from diverse sectors working to bring about new, healthy and sustainable food systems andsupporting and building multicultural leadership in impoverished communities throughout the world.) Power – Milwaukee, WI(Growing Power is a national nonprofit organization and land trust supporting people from diversebackgrounds, and the environments in which they live, by helping to provide equal access to healthy, high-quality, safe and affordable food for people in all communities. Growing Power implements this missionby providing hands-on training, on-the-ground demonstration, outreach and technical assistance throughthe development of Community Food Systems that help people grow, process, market and distribute foodin a sustainable manner.)’s Grocery: Healthy food for everyone – Oakland, CA“Healthy, affordable food is a basic human right.”(Our mission is to build a local food system that improves the health and economy of West Oakland. WestOakland is a community with the highest joblessness and chronic disease rates in the city—its residentsalso have limited access to healthy and fresh foods. Our work involves increasing local supply of freshfoods; advocating for living-wage business and job opportunities; and developing strong relationships andcommunity leadership.) food Challenge - National(The Real Food Challenge serves as both a campaign and a network. The campaign is to increase theprocurement of real food on college and university campuses, with the national goal of 20% real food by2020. By leveraging their purchasing power we can catalyze the transformation of the larger food system.The network offers a chance for students and their allies (those working on the campaign along with thosewhove yet to sign on) to make connections, learn from one another, and grow the movement.)Food and Justice Summits Justice Forum: Cultivating University-Community Partnerships for a Healthier SocietySustainability Solutions Institute – UCSD – San Diego, CA for Change: Rethinking CA’s food economy – International Society for Ecology and Culture(In recent decades, the efforts of countless individuals, organizations, and government agencieshave been devoted to addressing the problems in California’s food system.Though many smallvictories have been won, the overall picture continues to deteriorate.The food system remainsheavily dependent on toxic agricultural chemicals, fossil fuels, and food crops with an extremely narrowgenetic base. Irradiated and genetically engineered foods line the shelves of supermarkets, even
  7. 7. Sustainable Life Radio Show Montgomery NortonNapa Valley Life Magazine March 22, 2011though neither technology has been proven safe.The number of small and medium-sized farms continuesto decline, and farmworkers are still impoverished, their working conditions abysmal. Giantcorporations are consolidating their control over every segment of the food system, pushing outsmaller producers, processors, and retailers. Despite a growing obesity epidemic, many Californians areunable to put enough food on the table.) Food Co-op?