Monday, November 5, 2012

Meatless Monday: Food in the News

Last week, Meatless Monday dropped off my radar. In the Northeast we were thinking about food and food foraging and food safety, but not in the usual ways. We were preparing for Hurricane Sandy — stockpiling non-perishable items, turning up our freezers, filling them with containers of water, and reading tips from the USDA about how long we could safely keep food should we lose power. 

There was one pre-storm warning which brought a smile. My husband watched a segment on the Weather Channel in which the commentator urged everyone to have plenty of non-perishable food on hand, but to avoid buying canned food in case of a power outage. Apparently she was not familiar with the old-school can openers which operate with human power.

Sandy has come and gone. We were lucky here. One week later, life in most of New Haven has pretty much returned to normal. And here I am with a Meatless Monday post and lots of topics to cover.


Food Day. At Food Day - Food Action!, held on October 24 at Yale’s Peabody Museum, the New Haven Food Policy Council unveiled the New Haven Food Action Plan, a collaborative effort designed to make New Haven a city where:
  • everyone eats healthy, affordable food, and no one goes hungry;
  • food businesses are thriving, multiplying, and hiring local residents;
  • people have the skills and knowledge they need to choose and cook healthy food; and
  • collaboration is strengthened among residents, government, community organizations, and neighborhood groups to improve our food environment.

Hon. Rosa DeLauroU.S. Representative for Connecticut’s 3rd district (and member of the House Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies), spoke on a variety of topics including the importance of SNAP (formerly known as Food Stamps) in lifting families above the poverty line, the need for a Farm Bill which supports farmers growing fruits and vegetables, what it is like to be a committee member representing a New England state, and the impact of the obesity epidemic on health care spending.


Storm Sandy took a bit of wind out of the sails of the weeklong birthday celebrations for New Haven’s Elm City Market. The market opened its doors on November 2, one year ago with 750 member/owners. Now 1674 members strong, Elm City Market was voted Best Local Grocery Store in the New Haven Advocate’s 2012 readers’ poll.


Tomorrow is Election Day. Besides electing candidates to public office, voters in California will be considering a number of propositions, including Proposition 37 which would require the labeling of all genetically engineered (GE) food sold in grocery stores in their state. If Proposition 37 passes, California will become the first state in the nation to require labels on GE food. You can read what Michael Pollan has to say on the issue here. Barack Obama and Rosa DeLauro have both expressed support for the consumer’s “right to know” what is in the food  he or she purchases. The rest of the country will be watching to see what happens in the West.

Happy Monday! Thanks for reading.

I often blog on food or food issues on Monday in support of Meatless Monday, one of several programs developed in the Healthy Monday project, founded in 2003 in association with Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Syracuse University’s Newhouse School of Communications. Meatless Monday’s goal is “to help reduce meat consumption 15% in order to improve personal health and the health of our planet.”

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