|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.
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 Victoria.Nelson@heart.org with any times you are free to attend.
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.
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.
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.
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Austin Fermentation Festival, October 25th, 2015, Austin, TX
Keynote Speaker: Jennifer McGruther of Nourished Kitchen
October 25, 2015 (AUSTIN, TX) – Texas Farmers’ Market and Presenting Sponsor Barr Mansion announce the 2015 Austin Fermentation Festival with keynote speaker, blogger, author, and traditional foods advocate Jennifer McGruther.
The Austin Fermentation Festival is an educational event that celebrates all things fermented in Central Texas and will run from 9am – 4pm at Barr Mansion (10463 Sprinkle Road, Austin, TX 78754). Proceeds from this event will benefit the Texas Farmers’ Market Farmer Emergency Fund, which offers financial assistance to TFM farmers and ranchers in times of environmental, personal or other crisis.
The day will include a series of fermentation workshops (covering topics such as kimchi, kefir, cheese making, charcuterie, beer, sourdough, vinegars and lacto-fermented vegetables); a community culture swap; a kraut mob; fermented foods and product vendors; book sales; festival-inspired lunch for purchase from local purveyors; fermented beverages and alcohol; a mini farmers’ market; and live music.
Attend by securing general admission or VIP tickets at http://fermentatx2015.eventbrite.com, where online donations to this fundraiser event are also accepted. Vendor applications are accepted here bit.ly/AFFVendorApplication2015 and workshop presenter applications accepted here bit.ly/AFFWorkshopApplication2015.
For more information, please visit http://texasfarmersmarket.org/austin-fermentation-festival/.
By Michelle Simon
As with other health professional organizations, such as the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and the American Academy of Family Physicians, ASN has many problematic ties with the food and beverage industry. These ties can taint scientific objectivity, negatively impact the organization’s policy recommendations, and result in industry-friendly research and messaging that is shared with nutrition professionals and the general public alike. Moreover, the media views health organizations like ASN as purveyors of independent and objective information, largely unaware of the many connections with junk food and beverage giants.
ASN sponsors are referred to as “sustaining partners,” a moniker given to companies that pay at least $10,000 a year. There are a total of thirty; The list consists of purveyors of highly processed and minimally nutritious foods and biotech giants. For their financial contributions, sustaining partners receive “print and online exposure, annual meeting benefits, and first choice to sponsor educational sessions, grants, awards and other opportunities as they arise.” In other words, food, beverage, supplement, biotech, and pharmaceutical industry leaders are able to purchase cozy relationships with the nation’s top nutrition researchers.