Happy Ag Day!

On this day, we celebrate agriculture's abundance ... and the subsidies that determine what is grown. As this cartoon, which is featured in Eat Drink Vote, reminds us, the small farmer is being overshadowed by big agricultural companies that influence how government subsidies are allocated.

Here's a link to the day's events that have been organized by the group behind Ag Day - The Agriculture Council of America. Notice anything about the events? Yep - they are all in Washington, D.C. Not many farmers there. Guess that the farmers will have to celebrate elsewhere.
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Lethal But Legal

People familiar with Eat Drink Vote may also be interested in a new book by Nick Freudenberg, the director of Hunter College's Food Policy Center. The book is Lethal But Legal: Corporations, Consumption and Public Health. In this book, Freudenberg explores how profits and public health are dealt with in a variety of industries including alcohol, cigarettes, guns, cars as well as food and beverages.

Marion Nestle provided a blurb for the book:
"Lethal But Legal is a superb, magnificently written, courageous, and thoroughly compelling exposé of how corporations selling cigarettes, guns, cars, drugs, booze, and food and beverages enrich themselves at the expense of public health. Even more important, Freudenberg tells us how we can organize to counter corporate power and achieve a healthier and more sustainable environment. This book should be required reading for anyone who cares about promoting health, protecting democratic institutions, and achieving a more equitable and just society."

So, Lethal But Legal reminds us that a food environment that is healthier for people and the planet is within our reach if we vote with our votes and with our forks.
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Eat Drink Vote Wins Award from IACP

UPDATE: Eat Drink Vote was selected as the winner! We are pleased and appreciate the recognition. Thank you to the IACP.

We are pleased to share that the IACP (International Association of Culinary Professionals) has announced their list of 2014 Award Finalists and Eat Drink Vote is a Finalist for the category of "Food Matters." The awards will be announced on March 15 at the IACP's annual conference.
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Coming to a Mall Near You: Fresh Food!

farmersfridge_red

While the passage of the food bill reminds us about the challenges of changing the food environment, it is nice to see how an entrepreneur can overcome the obstacles and marketing of the established food industry. Farmer's Fridge, founded by Luke Sanders, is a fresh food "kiosk" in two Chicago locations with plans to expand.

Farmers Fridge aims to provide food that is good for you and for the planet. Their menu shows that food that is good for you does not have to be overly processed or loaded with sugar. This is a great opportunity to vote with your fork if you live in Chicago! Bon Apetit!

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Marion Nestle Speaking at NYU Feb. 13 … Make that March 25

On February 13, Marion Nestle will be speaking about and showing images from Eat Drink Vote as part of NYU's Alumni Speaker on the Square. The event is at the Kimmel Center (Washington Square South), Eisner & Lubin auditorium, 6:30 p.m. Open to the public.

NOTE: Due to bad weather conditions, this event is now scheduled for March 25.
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Fun new term: Food Swamp

We came across this term in a segment on NPR about the top health concerns of Latinos. It was coined by Alex Ortega, a public health researcher and professor of public health at UCLA, to describe areas where healthy food is hard to find.

Ortega is one of several people involved in an interesting effort in East Los Angeles to learn more about how the availability of fresh fruits and vegetables relates to overall health and diabetes in particular. The project involves multiple facets including lifestyle adjustments and education about nutrition.

The initial results will not be a surprise to those familiar with a key tenet in Eat Drink Vote: that voting with your fork helps to create a healthier food system. The project in East Los Angeles finds that when healthy food choices have a level playing food - meaning that the in-store support for less healthy food options is decreased - shoppers will make choices that contribute to a healthier diet.
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We’re Number 20! We’re Number 20!

If you're reading this from outside the US, please excuse the national reference. This claim refers to how the US ranks in Oxfam's compilation of how easy it is to get a balanced, nutritious diet.

A nice synopsis of the report is found on NPR. Max Lawson, of Oxfam, is quoted on NPR as saying "Food is very, very cheap in the U.S. compared to most countries," he explains. "But the fact is you end up with people malnourished in one of the richest countries because they don't have access to fresh vegetables at a cheap enough price to make a balanced diet."

Readers of Eat Drink Vote will not be surprised by this. As stated on the book's back cover "While encouraging readers to vote with their forks for healthier diets, this book insists that it's also necessary to vote with votes to make healthier diet choices more available, accessible, and affordable for everyone."

The full report may be downloaded here.
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