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Food Safety Trivia: What Do Local Farms and Industrial Food Manufacturers Have in Common?
by Ben Tettlebaum

Answer:  The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) threatens to treat both of them the same under its proposed food safety rules. The proposed regulations could force thousands of small farms across the country to comply with expensive and environmentally damaging standards meant for industrial-scale operations.  The rules could also ensnare flourishing urban farms and gardens…

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Cute, Trendy Backyard Chickens are Spreaders of What?!
by Emily Long

In recent years, chickens have come home to roost in backyards across the country. While the numbers are hard to document, cities and towns all over the U.S. are taking up the issue and modifying their laws to allow backyard chickens. Nearly every week in the news, a story appears reporting another town or city considering amendments to local laws that would allow backyard chickens. However, in 2012 an outbreak of salmonella that was traced back to several backyard flocks, made at least one NPR blogger wary of the recent trend – dubbing backyard chickens “cute, trendy spreaders of salmonella.”

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Mapping Food Accessibility: a New Tool for Urban Farming
by Maggie Williams

A new interactive map released by USDA shows where the greatest challenges, and potentially the greatest opportunities, exist for the growing urban agriculture movement. In many communities across the country, availability of fresh food is low, or even non-existent. A grocery store may be several hours away on foot, leaving families with little to no…

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The Rhode Island Local Food Forum: Getting Food Policy Right in RI
by Max Greene

Last week I attended the Ninth Annual Rhode Island Local Food Forum, organized by Farm Fresh Rhode Island. The forum’s theme was “Center of the Plate,” reflecting its focus on local protein production. Particularly enlightening was a panel discussion whose moderator, academic chef Bill Idell, posed questions that resonate across the region.  These questions ultimately…

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Good Food for All Families: New Hampshire’s New Roadmap to End Childhood Hunger
by Christophe Courchesne

Grounded in our Colonial history, America’s harvest feast – Thanksgiving – is a quintessentially New England holiday, a time to be grateful for our region’s rich agricultural traditions of hard-fought bounty and community-minded collaboration. As we head off to celebrate with our families (as the famous New England poem goes), it is worth remembering that…

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Generation to Generation; Crisis to Crisis
by John Kassel

Fifty years ago this week the world was gripped by the Cuban Missile Crisis, then unfolding. It was the low point, perhaps, of the cold war, a several-decade period in which hundreds of millions of people got used to the idea that absolute, global catastrophe could be just 20 minutes away.

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CLF Breaks Local Bread in Celebration of Food Day 2012
by Jenny Rushlow

On October 24, CLF will join with people around the country to celebrate Food Day as part of a nationwide movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food. This is a time for us to gather and reflect on the agricultural abundance our region can provide, and the importance of making sure that our food systems not only supply bodily nutrition, but also contribute in a healthful way to our community ecosystems.

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Urban Agriculture: We Need to Grow More Food in Our Cities
by John Kassel

It began with our tomatoes. As I’ve written before, my wife and I are avid gardeners and have grown tomatoes many times before but these – these tomatoes were proving difficult to grow. This was not due to the plants, but due to me and to the setting in which we were growing them: the rooftop of our apartment building in the city of Somerville, MA.

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Recycling Can Help Vermont’s Irene-ravaged Farms Recover
by Anthony Iarrapino

Tropical Storm Irene had one hell of an appetite for destruction when it comes to Vermont’s farms.  Flood waters washed away many growing crops and destroyed barns and other equipment.  Those flooded farmers who still have crops standing may also be out of luck because regulations prevent the sale of crops that may have been…

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Dung Disaster
by Anthony Iarrapino

America is waking up to the fact that the unfathomable amounts of animal dung generated by our industrial agricultural system is poisoning our water and our air.  Those who live by waters polluted by the excesses of industrial agriculturae have long understood the grim connection between our cheap-food system and the slow death of rivers,…