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Local food goes to the White House

Monday, March 5, 2012

Deputy Secretary Kathleen Merrigan of the U.S. Department of Agriculture continued the national conversation about USDA’s support for local and regional food projects with a live streaming event today and tweet-up at the White House. Local and regional food systems offer economic opportunities for local farmers, ranchers and food entrepreneurs.  They increase the number of farmers, expand access to healthy food and build strong infrastructure systems.

Earlier this week USDA launched the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food Compass, a digital narrative with stories, pictures and video about the department’s support for local and regional food systems, and interactive map showing where the initiative has made an impact.

During the event White House chef Sam Kass announced the publication of First Lady Michelle Obama’s book on her nutrition efforts, entitled "American Grown.”

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Table Scraps:

-       This week, the $30 million PR effort by agribiz, aimed at rebuilding consumer trust, is holding another event centered around agriculture “technology” – the focus-group-tested phrase used to describe GMOs. We hope the participants will address the common sense notion that GMO food should be labeled so that consumers know where there food comes from.

-       Dan Keppen of the Family Farm Alliance and Joe Whitworth of The Freshwater Trust penned an op-ed on the online website Oregon Live that talks about the “farm bill's little-known but highly effective Title II conservation programs.” In addition from EWG’s perspective, keeping the conservation compact intact between farmers and taxpayers is worth fighting for.

-       The UK faces some of the same challenges we do with federal support of agriculture programs.  In Scotland, the BBC reports, well-to-do landowners are collecting government farm payments.

Tweet of the day:

@HappyChickens Ready RT @SNAPgardens@happychickens and Sam Kass are planning a honey contest #kyf2

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