Happy Food Day!

Friends, it’s Food Day.

Today around the city and around the country people are gathering to celebrate the growing movement for healthy, affordable, and sustainable food that is produce with fair and humane practices.

Here in our neighborhood we are working with our Friends at the New York City Housing Authority and our Urban Farm Corps to install a new farm right in the middle of the Red Hook Housing Development.

While we’re in the field many of our friends are in the streets and online advocating for changes in our food system that would ensure a more justice and equitable society. We wanted to share the news of three very important and exciting things happening today.

First, here in New York City, our Council has completed is first report (required under Local Law 52) on how food is produced, processed, distributed, and consumed throughout the region so we can better understand how the food system is operating and what we can do to improve it.

The metrics included in the report cover everything from the amount of local and regional food being purchased by the NYC Department of Education; to the impact of FRESH, Healthy Bodegas, Green Carts and other city programs to increase access to healthy, affordable food; to the efforts being made to make meals served in hospitals, senior centers and homeless shelters more nutritious. Having this data will help the City make better decisions about how we get our food and how to improve its impact on public health and the environment.  You can download a copy of the report here. I am very excited about the publication of this report as I believe it helps all of understand what is happening on the ground and in our city.

On a national level PolicyLink is today issuing a very exciting report, Growing Urban Agriculture: Equitable Strategies and Policies for Improving Access to Healthy Food and Revitalizing Communities.  You can find a link to the PolicyLink page which has the full urban ag report, the urban ag online tool, and a video about Added Value, here.  Angela Glover Blackwell, Founder and CEO of PolicyLink, will be blogging about urban agriculture on the Food Day blog page all today. I believe that Policy Links Focus on racial and economic justice in the food system and throughout our society is vitally important to positive transformation of our neighborhood, this country, and the world as a whole.

If we are to transform this system it is critical that we have a detailed understanding of the crisis we are facing in our food system and who is manufacturing it. It is also vitally important that we learn about the successful models being built out there.

Today, FOODMYTHBUSTERS officially launches their website. Food Myth Busters is brought to you by the Real Food Media Project, a collaboration between our friend author Anna Lappé, Corporate Accountability International, and an amazing Coalition of leading food and farming organizations. They offer creative videos, online resources, and grassroots organizing tools that debunk the myths that corporate agriculture are selling us, and that tell the real story about the food we eat and how we can grow a stronger, healthier more just and sustainable food system.

If you have time in the next few days read some of these reports, watch one or two of these great short videos, and share this information with friends and family.

As a shareholder in the farm also please consider becoming a friend of ours on Facebook. You can follow us here.

With respect and gratitude,

Ian and the AV team.

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