Part 3: Okay, in the past two weeks, Two Junes have vented their mixed bag of liberal guilt and righteous indignation on the difficulties of creating a sustainable food movement for everyone, not just the well-off and the well-educated. And we aren’t solitary voices crying in the wilderness although finding nuts and bolts discussion of the issue can be difficult. Tom Philpott posted an excellent article on Grist—be sure to check out the thread that follows the story for an excellent back and forth exchange of opinion and information.
Without actually taking to the streets and fomenting rebellion (which may not be such a bad idea), what can we do? TwoJunes still believe with all our hearts that eating well and cooking meals at home will make this country a better place. We think the following ideas seem like a good start:
- Provide equal to access to locally grown foods by accepting food stamps at farmer’s markets—this currently is the case in Portland, but getting folks to the market and relatively high prices are still an issue as is the time required to make an expedition to the market. Ideas on how that could be improved?
- Educate children how to cook from an early age in school and continue to educate through high school. It’s a basic skill just like math or reading. Expand Farm to School programs and use local foods in school meals.
- Foster immigrant population native foodways/skills among the second generation as many times these are far more healthful than the American diet through cooking classes, community gardens, etc.
- Organize the local food community to provide free cooking clinics in major supermarkets—imagine Safeway showing people how to cook with produce.
- If you have money and are still buying food at box stores, stop! Feel the burn while building up local farm and small food businesses muscle.
- Lobby for government subsidies for artisan food businesses and small farms to make prices competitive with the supermarket.
- Expand community gardens and create more kitchen gardens by a city-funded reduced rate complete home garden package.
- Expand neighborhood gleaning programs.
- Build upon children’s love of recycling by introducing ways to mitigate food waste at school—composting, worms, and creative use of leftovers.
What ideas do you have that might make difference? We’d love to know.
Lisa Bell is a freelance producer, writer and editor. She spent the first fifteen years of her working life as a pastry chef, recipe developer, test kitchen director, food stylist and print editor. She has also taught cooking classes, run a small cooking school, and worked as a food scientist. Nicole Rees currently works as a baking scientist. She is also a food writer and cookbook author specializing in baking science. Her most recent book Baking Unplugged, is filled with simple, scratch recipes that require no electric gadgets beyond an oven.