farmfood

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Food Hubs Can Help Grow a More Resilient Food System in Maine
by Ben Tettlebaum

The average Maine meal travels 1,900 miles from field to fork. With that distance come numerous costs. All those food miles increase fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. Maine farmland no longer in production is often lost to urban and suburban development, which also means the loss of the conservation practices of many of these…

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Brazil, Iceland, Outer Space, and . . . Portland, Maine
by Ben Tettlebaum

Last month, Business Insider listed its top 14 recommendations for must-see places in 2014. In addition to places like Brazil, Iceland, Tokyo, and even the bonus destination of outer space, falls Portland, Maine. Surprised? You shouldn’t be. As the magazine notes, Portland loves quality food and has been attracting talented chefs for years. The city…

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FDA Grants New England Farmers’ Holiday Wish
by Ben Tettlebaum

You spoke; the U.S. Food and Drug Administration listened. The FDA announced today that it will redraft significant portions of its recently proposed Food Safety Modernization Act Produce Safety Rule and Preventive Controls Rule. This is big news! As drafted, the rules could have forced thousands of small farms across New England out of business…

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FDA Extends Deadline To Comment on Food Safety Rules
by Ben Tettlebaum

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has extended the deadline to comment on its two proposed food safety rules until this Friday, November 22.  Many people reported trouble accessing the federal comments website, regulations.gov, last week.  FDA has been flooded with so many comments about its proposed Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) rules that it…

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Last Chance To Save Your Farmers’ Market!
by Ben Tettlebaum

When Congress drafted the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), it intended to make our food safer while protecting smaller farms and food businesses, not forcing them to shut down.  And when President Obama signed the FSMA into law in 2011, he never intended to put out of business small- to medium-scale family farmers across the…

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Your Turn To Act: Tell FDA Not To Crush Local Farms!
by Ben Tettlebaum

Do you love farmers’ markets, farm-to-table restaurants, and fresh fruits and vegetables in schools? New regulations proposed by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) could seriously damage small New England farms that bring you this healthy, local food. As explained in my last blog post, FDA’s proposed rules implementing the Food Safety Modernization Act…

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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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Why Proposed Food Safety Rules Could Hurt New England Farms
by Jenny Rushlow

Small farms are part of the fabric of New England, and now – perhaps more than ever – consumers are devoted to supporting local agriculture in our region.  Unfortunately, some proposed federal regulations do not reflect these local values.  The Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) proposed new food safety rules  impose confusing and cumbersome restrictions…