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Young Farmers Join the Food Shift

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Bolstered by demand for local and organic food, a new generation of farmers emerges in Oregon.

It's no secret that young people are psyched on farming these days. Nowhere is that more evident than in rural Oregon, where NYT writer Isolde Rafferty discovered a burgeoning movement of young farmers making a run at small-scale agriculture by doing things the old school way. Shunning the ways of industrial farming, the new generation of ranchers and growers are capitalizing on heightened demand......read more

Does Eating Local Matter?

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Yes, but maybe not as much as you think

Eating local is one of the inviolable tenets of the environmental movement. Ask any greenie, they'll tell you: To help the planet, eat locally grown food. But just how important is eating local food? Maybe not as important as one might think, according to a growing number of studies. Writing in The Huffington Post, Tom Zeller Jr. says that recent analyses "suggest that the economic......read more

Alice Waters: 40 Years of Sustainable Food

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Veteran SF chef celebrates Chez Panisse's anniversary

To most of us, the sustainable food movement is a relatively recent phenomenon. But to chef/author/food activist Alice Waters, it began four decades ago, before "sustainability" was even a word. That's when she opened Chez Panisse, the Berkeley eatery that helped pioneer the now-popular concept of serving local, organic, seasonal food. Over the last forty years, Waters and Chez Panisse have......read more

BrightFarms Brings Rooftop Produce to Supermarkets

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NYC company wants grocery stores to raise on the roof

By standard definition, "local food" is that which is produced within 100 miles of where it's sold. BrightFarms wants you to forget that. The New York-based greenhouse company aims to shift our understanding of local-ness by bringing rooftop gardens to the place where consumers buy food: the supermarket. Launched in January 2011, BrightFarms' vision is to convince grocery retailers to grow......read more

In London, a Farm in a Shop

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FARM:shop is a radical experiment in retail and urban farming

At an empty storefront in East London, a group of designers led by the crew from Something & Son have opened what must be the world's first farm in a shop. The disused shop has been transformed into productive urban farm with hydroponic and aquaponic plants, a backyard garden, a rooftop chicken coop, and tilapia in the front room. Meanwhile, the bottom floor dishes out......read more

Sow Seeds, Not Greed

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Farmers bring the sustainable food movement to Wall Street

It's been a long time since farmers congregated in downtown Manhattan -- around 350 years, to be exact. The folks who populate Wall Street and rural America don't cross paths much these days. It's easy to forget that Wall Street used to be rural America; in 1644, the area contained so many cows that the Dutch colonists had to erect a cattle guard to keep them from straying.......read more

Is Real Time Farms the Wikipedia of Food?

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A new website aims "to collectively document the whole food system"

The locavore craze, once the domain of a handful of hardline foodies, has gone mainstream. A seeming majority of restaurants now list describe their food as "local." But do we know where precisely each ingredient was produced? Not now, but if Real Time Farms has its way, we will soon. Launched by an ex-Google software engineer in the spring of 2010, Real Time Farms is a web-based, crowdsourced......read more

Prinzessinnengarten: A Productive Green Space Blooms in Berlin

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Urban agriculture takes root at a community garden in the German capital

For sixty years, an empty space gathered garbage in a section of Berlin's Kreuzberg district. In 2009, over a hundred volunteers cleaned the area of two tons of trash to make way for a community garden. Today, Prinzessinnengärten (Princess Gardens) is a thriving urban agricultural project, providing fresh, organic produce for Berlin residents and a space to come together to learn more about......read more

The Incredible Shrinking Slaughterhouse

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Small-scale processors help meat go local

Eating food that was raised locally is all well and good, but if the meat in your organic, grass-fed burger was processed in some massive slaughterhouse across state lines, it kind of defeats the purpose. And in all likelihood, it probably wasn't processed anywhere nearby. That's because the meat industry, like much else in U.S. agriculture, is a highly consolidated beast. According to......read more

Authors Ignite Debate About Local Food

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Does the locavore movement do more harm than good? A new book sows seeds of discontent

Pierre Desrochers and Hiroko Shimizu say they know what’s wrong with the food system: local food purists. In their new book, The Locavore’s Dilemma: In Praise of the 10,000-Mile Diet, the husband-and-wife team (a University of Toronto geography professor and an economist) argue that the excitement over this movement is misguided to the point of having “utterly disastrous”......read more

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