Food Systems Advocacy in Rural America: Don’t Say Environment

Christine Grillo

Christine Grillo

Contributing Writer

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

“We don’t say the word ‘environment,’” says Mark Winne about his food systems work in rural regions. “If we have to bring it up, we talk about ‘clean air’ and ‘clean water.’”

The cultural schisms in the U.S.— rural versus urban, liberal versus conservative—are hardly new. So what’s the best way to make positive, progressive food system change in rural, politically right-leaning communities? The people who have been negotiating this divide through food policy councils (FPCs), task forces or other multi-stakeholder initiatives have advice. Read More >

Inspire Students to Take Action Against Hunger

Colson Campbell

Colson Campbell

Research Assistant

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

foodspan-hungerFor many people, the holiday season is a fun time, celebrating with family, friends and food. But this is not the case for everyone—and teachers can help students learn about food insecurity and raise awareness of hunger. Despite the ease with which many of us buy, prepare and eat delicious meals during the holidays, one in seven households in the United States suffers from food insecurity. What does food insecurity in a household Read More >

Climate Is Changing – So Should Food and Agriculture

Becky Ramsing

Becky Ramsing

Senior Program Officer, Food Communities & Public Health Program

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

world-food-day-beansOn October 16, 1945, the United Nations created the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) with the goal of freeing humanity from hunger and malnutrition and effectively managing the global food system. World Food Day celebrates that event, and last September at the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit 193 countries together pledged to end hunger in the next 15 years.

The global goal for achieving Zero Hunger by 2030 is an ambitious goal that cannot be reached without addressing climate change. Climate change affects the poor disproportionately Read More >

Nepal and Nutrition: Bringing More to the Table

Elena Broaddus

Elena Broaddus

CLF-Lerner Fellow

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

nepal-conf-2016

This blogpost was co-authored by Elena Broaddus & Swetha Manohar.

In countries like Nepal millions of people rely on subsistence agriculture for the vast majority of their food. Naturally, low-income nations, like Nepal, face complex nutrition challenges. Is it possible to address these challenges from a food systems perspective? Doing that requires understanding the links between environment, food production, distribution and use—and furthermore, how these linkages are shaped by complex social structures and market factors. Yet rarely do experts in all of these areas come together in one place. Read More >

Uncomfortable Questions about Urban Ag

Claire Fitch

Claire Fitch

Program Officer, Food System Policy Program

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

This blogpost was co-authored by Claire Fitch and Carolyn Hricko.

urbanagtweet1Urban agriculture is a topic that can get tricky, fast. Once the glow of growing food in urban spaces fades, big, complex questions arise: What are the goals? Who is it serving? Who is, and will be, the face of urban agriculture? With Farm Bill discussions ramping up, these questions become even more important. Read More >

So You Want to Raise a Vegan Child

Becky Ramsing

Becky Ramsing

Senior Program Officer, Food Communities & Public Health Program

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

school lunchWhen you have an infant, you are in complete control of what you give your child. The ball is in your court to make sure they have a balanced diet. Between the ages of 6 to 12 months, adequate protein intake is critical because of rapid growth and the use of supplementary foods.

As they become toddlers, your child may become more “choosey.” It is common for a toddler to want to eat only a few types of food. Even at a young age you can involve him/her in choosing and preparing the food you eat. Making food fun by dipping Read More >

Can Kids Go Vegan?

Becky Ramsing

Becky Ramsing

Senior Program Officer, Food Communities & Public Health Program

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

2015-petition-schoollunchLast month in Italy a policymaker proposed a bill that would jail parents who impose a vegan diet on their children. The bill came on the heels of high-profile cases in which children were hospitalized for malnutrition as a result of vegan diets.

Is this extreme, or do children need meat in order to get enough protein, calcium and vitamin B-12? The popularity of vegan and vegetarian diets among young adults is growing. Read More >

A Taste of the Caribbean in Pimlico

Jelani Robinson

Jelani Robinson

Research Assistant

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Island Food Market, Baltimore, 2016 / Jelani Robinson.

Island Food Market, Baltimore, 2016 / Jelani Robinson.

Over the summer of 2016, CLF’s Map Team interns visited every known food store in Baltimore City to collect data for the Healthy Food Availability Index (HFAI)—but they also took time to interview some of the store owners and learn about their challenges and successes. Here’s the fourth of those stories. 

Just outside of Baltimore’s notorious Pimlico Race Track at 5318 Park Heights Avenue is where you’ll find Island Food Market. The small international market corner store is owned by a couple I’ll refer to as Mr. and Ms. Gray in this post. The windows are covered with pictures of fresh fruits and vegetables and above the store is a blue and white sign that reads “Island Food Market, Bringing Home to You.” Upon entering the store I was welcomed by warm smiles, the sweet aroma of fresh Caribbean spices and a rainbow of brightly colored fresh produce. Although the store was small, the space was well used. With only enough space for two aisles, they manage to fit in plenty of fresh produce, a deli section for meats, cheese and dairy products, and an extensive variety of other international food products. Read More >

A Back to Basics Grocer

Ashley Xie

Ashley Xie

Research Assistant

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Inside Mill Valley General Store, Baltimore Md.

Inside Mill Valley General Store, Baltimore Md.

Over the summer of 2016, CLF’s Map Team interns visited every known food store in Baltimore City to collect data for the Healthy Food Availability Index (HFAI)—but they also took time to interview some of the store owners and learn about their challenges and successes. Here’s the third of those stories. 

Tucked away in the Baltimore neighborhood known as Remington, in what used to be a broom machine factory, the Mill Valley General Store is a modest, unassuming brick storefront just off the I-83 exit ramp. What started as a small shop in Hampden in 2002 has become a spacious neighborhood grocery store and Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pickup site. Read More >

Is WIC an Option for Corner Stores?

Bengucan Gunen

Bengucan Gunen

Research Assistant

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Ashley talks with some some people at Linden Market.

Over the summer of 2016, CLF’s Map Team interns visited every known food store in Baltimore City to collect data for the Healthy Food Availability Index (HFAI)—but they also took time to interview some of the store owners and learn about their challenges and successes. Here’s the second of those stories. 

Of the approximately 621,000 people living in Baltimore, 25 percent live in food deserts. Within the span of three months, my HFAI team visited roughly 1,000 food retail outlets in Baltimore. We went into corner stores, small groceries, supermarkets, gas stations and pharmacies, visiting between 60 and 90 stores every week. Read More >