Confituras: Paying It Forward

Today launches day one of Confituras’ Kickstarter campaign to support their most ambitious venture to date: a community kitchen, a women-in-food educational incubator program, and a Jam & Biscuit retail showcase…all in one.

Building community – Here in Austin we are part of a vibrant, local food community – we are proud members of Slow Food Austin, the Austin chapter of Les Dames d’Escoffier, and have been voted local heroes by the readers of Edible Austin in 2011, 2014, and 2015. We have also been recognized by the food community nationally, winning 4 Good Food Awards over the past 5 years for our seasonal preserves. The Austin Food & Wine Alliance awarded confituras a culinary grant in 2013 for our ‘Preserving Austin’ project, which is an emerging oral history program that refers to both preserving the local, seasonal bounty and preserving our own local canning history and heritage. We have cultivated meaningful relationships within our little food community and we’re making big plans to stick around and put more roots into it.

Join Confituras tonight to start off their Kickstarter fundraiser with a bang!
Hosted by Salt and Time Butcher Shop and Salumeria
at 1912 East Seventh Street, Austin
Wednesday, September 23rd, 5-7 pm

Read more at Farmhouse Delivery

A guerilla gardener in South Central LA

Ron FinleyRon Finley plants vegetable gardens in South Central LA — in abandoned lots, traffic medians, along the curbs. Why? For fun, for defiance, for beauty and to offer some alternative to fast food in a community where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.”

Not everyone in Austin has a healthy choice. Will you help?

Right now, as the Austin City Council considers the fiscal year 2015-2016 city budget, we need your help to make the healthy choice the easy choice for all Austinites.

A diet including fresh fruits and vegetables is imperative to healthy eating and healthy bodies. But not everyone in Austin has a healthy choice. Many people in our community live in neighborhoods lacking any fresh or healthy food options.

Coupled with limited mobility and transportation, shopping for and cooking a healthy meal for one’s family is all but impossible for too many Austinites. Community stakeholders overwhelmingly agree there is a need in Austin for a properly funded Healthy Corner Store Initiative program to improve the quality of life in areas lacking healthy food options. This program will help small-scale stores, such as convenience stores, corner stores and neighborhood stores offer healthy food options and engage with local communities to develop support for healthy food options.

The Healthy Corner Store Initiative proposed budget item is at risk. Some council members want to change the intent of the program, which would limit its impact on the health of all Austinites.

Yesterday, the concept menu item 1.29 for a Healthy Corner Store Initiative was decreased to $150,000. An increase in funding of no less than $100,000 while maintaining the $50,000 for a retail education coordinator totals $300,000 and is ideal. This is necessary for the success of the program and will provide impactful healthy food access in underserved, low to moderate income areas. Without proper and adequate funding, we lose the opportunity to fully address the community need and the program will not have the essential public health impact.

Please contact Mayor Adler and your council member to ask them to increase funding for a Healthy Corner Store Initiative today.

Thank you!

Victoria Nelson Victoria Nelson
Grassroots Director
Voices for Healthy Kids, Texas
American Heart Association

P.S. Mark your calendar for next week: Attend city council meetings during voting on the budget on September 8, 9 and 10! We will be providing T-shirts for volunteers. Reply to with any times you are free to attend.

The Seeds of Vandana Shiva

Do we want what we grow and what we eat to be determined by a few giant corporations whose first and foremost agenda is profit before people and planetary well-being?

Imagine a world where small farmers are respected as experts in the processes of nature and are honored as stewards of our arable land.

What about a world where farmers are no longer replaced by massive machines force-feeding toxic chemicals into vast monocultures of GMO seeds?

The film is important because Vandana Shiva articulately and scientifically presents the alternative: Ecological agriculture that restores biodiversity, organic seed freedom, healthy soil, fresh water and clean air.

How did the willful daughter of a Himalayan forest conservator become the world’s most powerful opponent of Monsanto? The Seeds of Vandana Shiva, a feature-length documentary, presents the remarkable life story of the Gandhian eco-activist and agro-ecologist, Vandana Shiva. A classic David versus Goliath tale, the film shows how Vandana, a brilliant scientist, became Monsanto’s worst nightmare and a rock star of the international sustainable food movement.

The Seeds of Vandana Shiva

Coca-Cola Funds Scientists Who Shift Blame for Obesity Away From Bad Diets

This clash over the science of obesity comes in a period of rising efforts to tax sugary drinks, remove them from schools and stop companies from marketing them to children. In the last two decades, consumption of full-calorie sodas by the average American has dropped by 25 percent.

“Coca-Cola’s sales are slipping, and there’s this huge political and public backlash against soda, with every major city trying to do something to curb consumption,” said Michele Simon, a public health lawyer. “This is a direct response to the ways that the company is losing. They’re desperate to stop the bleeding.”

Harvesting Profits

Every day in America, as we consume whatever food we can access and afford, the system that supplies our sustenance is engaged in its own form of consumption. It feasts on human toil, commodifed animals, natural resources, and our own bodies. Food, one of the foundations of life, has become a hub of suffering and struggle.

Harvesting Profits

Surveying the landscape of food, we find a long menu of problems, from farm closures to climate change. Corporate-patented genetically modified organisms (GMOs) threaten farmers, food democracy, and biodiversity. Honeybees, life-giving pollinators central to our food supply, are in mass decline from pesticides and other factors. In the United States and worldwide, hunger and malnutrition remain rampant—affecting nearly one billion people globally, and at least forty-five million Americans—even as United Nations data show we have more than enough food to feed everyone on the planet.

Read the full article (.PDF)