Food Policy

Tomorrow at Zuccotti Park, Marion Nestle and Anna Lappe Speak at Occupy Against Big Food; Plus 5 Articles to Read Before You Go

For those seeking a way to use Occupy Wall Street as a way to discuss much-needed shifts in public food policy, be sure to head to the entrance of Zuccotti Park at 140 Broadway tomorrow at 1 p.m. for “Occupy Against Big Food.” With help from Food Democracy Now, local food activists are organizing a series of speakers that will include some serious heavy hitters in food policy and reform.

Columbia Prep’s New Culinary Curriculum: It’s Called Veggication for Good Reason

Raisins have a reputation of being the Halloween treats that remain at the bottom of the sack long after the sugary lollipops and chocolates have been devoured. If the enthusiasm for vegetables at Eat NYC–held Monday night at Columbia Grammar and Preparatory School on W. 93rd Street–was any indication, dried fruit might be able to hold its own this Halloween.

Greener Acres: An Upstate Organic Valley Dairy Farmer Reports Back from Visiting Milk-Making Colleagues in Oregon

Editor’s Note: What follows is a guest post from Casey Knapp, a fifth-generation dairy farmer at the 600-acre Cobblestone Valley Farm in Preble, N.Y. In addition to milk for Organic Valley, his family’s farm produces 10 acres of organic strawberries, pastured poultry, beef, pork and free-range eggs plus 3,000 yards of compost. Knapp is a also a senior in agricultural science at Cornell University, and recently took part Organic Valley’s 2011 “Who’s Your Farmer?” tour, a three-week fall road trip for 18 young farmers to colleges, fields, greenmarkets and community events through the Pacific Northwest and California on a veggie-oil powered school bus.

Don’t Forget, It’s the First-Ever Food Day

What’s Food Day, you ask? Sponsored by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, it’s a little like Earth Day, except the end game is six goals that center on increasing access to healthy, fresh food for those of all ages and backgrounds; supporting sustainable agriculture; and ending diet and nutrition-related illnesses through policy change and public awareness.

“The Harvest,” a Doc on the Seven Year Olds Still Working American Fields, Now Out on DVD

You may have thought that there were labor laws to protect young kids from 14 hour days picking pesticide-sprayed tomatoes, but that’s not necessarily the case, according to director U. Roberto Romano’s documentary about underage migrant workers on American farms. The film, released earlier this year, was hard to catch in theaters but is now out on DVD today. Called The Harvest or La Cosecha, it was backed by actress Eva Longoria and follows three children as they work the fields in Texas, Florida and Michigan.

Mark Bittman Gets it Really Right: Good Food is Cheaper

I’ve been a fan of Mark Bittman’s cooking and eating advice since I first saw his quirky, easy-to-follow “Minimalist” recipe videos. But he really knocked it out of the park with his latest column in the Sunday Times where he argues decisively, with nifty infographics, that good, healthy food can in fact be cheaper than the fast food alternative.

How Slow Food Stole Back the $5 Value Meal

Earlier this month 30,000 home cooks proved that a value meal didn’t have to require a drive-thru. Coming together with the values of true slow food—good, clean and fair for eaters and farmers—each made a meal for $5 or less a diner for a national “potluck” on September 17th. Out of this came hearty seasonal soups like corn chowder, meats (broken into parts, sliced for sandwiches and stewed into stock) and nights spent swapping preserving and season-stretching tips.