March 22, 2017

Maryland Antibiotics Legislation May Have Little Impact

Claire Fitch

Claire Fitch

Program Officer, Food System Policy Program

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

This post was co-authored by Claire Fitch, Carolyn Hricko, Bob Martin, Keeve Nachman and Jim Yager.

The headlines say that the Keep Antibiotics Effective Act of 2017 will make all chickens raised in Maryland free of antibiotics. While this sounds promising, the legislation has several deficiencies and will not achieve its sponsors’ intent.

A gutted version of the bill has recently passed in the Maryland Senate and House of Delegates and is on its way to reconciliation Read More >

February 27, 2017

Mealworms and Sweeteners: Notes from an Organic Trade Fair

Laura Genello

Laura Genello

Guest Blogger

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

This post is the second in a series – Letters from the Low Country – about food and agriculture in the Netherlands, written by Laura Genello as she studies organic agriculture at Wageningen University.

What does it mean to be organic, and what role does organic agriculture play in a sustainable food system? These are the questions in my mind as I travel out of the Netherlands and into the rolling hills surrounding Nuremburg, Germany, for the 2017 Biofach Organic Food Trade Fair, an international exposition and conference featuring organic businesses and producers from all corners of the globe. Upon arrival, it’s hard to believe that the organic industry comprises only 2 percent Read More >

February 15, 2017

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 >

February 8, 2017

Pruitt at EPA Will Mean Trouble for Food Supply and Climate

Carolyn Hricko

Carolyn Hricko

Research Assistant

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

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

Next week, the full Senate will vote on a potentially disastrous appointment to the President’s cabinet: Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt as the administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Not only does AG Pruitt have a history of antagonism toward laws designed to protect natural resources—like air and water—from pollution, but he also has expressed a desire to disempower the very agency he’s been nominated to lead. There is every reason to believe that he would pull back on strategies designed to mitigate climate change, and that he would do the same with rules intended to protect the public’s health and environment. Read More >

February 6, 2017

Withdrawal from TPP: What It Means for the US Food System

Krycia Cowling

Krycia Cowling

CLF-Lerner Fellow

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Cargo ship, 1973

The public health community and the current administration align on very few issues – and yet the Republican president’s withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) might be a win for food systems and public health. Could it be?

A trade agreement such as the TPP is huge in scope—it affects many different stakeholders in different ways. In 2014 and 2015, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future bloggers explored negative implications on issues such as antibiotic resistance, food sovereignty, and the ability of corporations to sue countries whose policies affect their profits. Read More >

January 31, 2017

CLF at the Future Harvest CASA Conference 2017

Christine Grillo

Christine Grillo

Contributing Writer

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Photo by Future Harvest.

Sometimes electrical wiring saves the chickens. Radish plants can feed the soil in winter.

These pearls of wisdom and many others were shared earlier this month at the 2017 Future Harvest Chesapeake Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture (CASA) Conference. Three CLF staffers attended sessions at the conference to broaden their perspectives on how food systems can be improved to become not only more resilient but more profitable. Here are some of the things we learned. Read More >

January 30, 2017

The School Garden at Pantarijn: A Study in Collaboration

Laura Genello

Laura Genello

Guest Blogger

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

This post is the first in a series – Letters from the Low Country – that Laura Genello will be writing about inspiring projects in food and agriculture in the Netherlands, where she is studying organic agriculture at Wageningen University.

When I arrived in the Netherlands in August, I was immediately struck by the gardens: from community gardens wild with climbing beans and sunflowers to home gardens with tidy rows of miniature shrubs. Six months later I set out to learn about a type of garden that is less visible to the tourist—the school garden. Read More >

January 23, 2017

CLF Aquaculture Links: January 2017

Dave Love

Dave Love

Associate Scientist, Public Health & Sustainable Aquaculture Project

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Recirculating aquaculture is expanding in many parts of the United States and the stories below give a taste of where, how, and why this growth is taking place. In Iowa, a third-generation farming family stopped raising pigs commercially due to low market prices and converted their barn to raise barramundi, a high-value fish that has its roots in Australia. Read more at Mother Jones. In New York, a shuttered tilapia farm is being reopened under new ownership as a salmon farm. Read More >

January 19, 2017

Inviting Arts and Creativity into Food Policy Councils

Anne Palmer

Anne Palmer

Program Director

Food Communities & Public Health Program

A better title for this post might be “More Bubbles, Less PowerPoint,” because that was my greatest takeaway from the conference I attended in Minneapolis and Red Wing, Minnesota, in late November/early December. To that point—

Bing! As I hurried to catch the elevator, Melvin held the door and greeted me with an electric smile. His bright yellow African-print shirt was a welcome contrast to the rain in Minneapolis. I didn’t know we were both headed to the Convening of Food Network leaders’ meeting on the second floor. He was blessing colorful packages of blowing bubbles, the kind I used to buy for my sons’ birthday parties, to use at the start of the event. Read More >

January 12, 2017

Maryland Legislators Dodge Questions about Poultry Industry

Christine Grillo

Christine Grillo

Contributing Writer

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Monica Brooks (l) and Margaret Barnes.

“I consider myself an environmentalist, but also our job is to provide jobs for people… And unfortunately for your interests, the chicken farming industry provides a lot of jobs on the Eastern Shore.” This was the response from Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D–27) when asked if he would support legislation to halt the expansion of industrialized, “mega” chicken houses on the Eastern Shore. “Whether you like it or not, agriculture is still the Number One business in this state. You can’t cripple the industry,” he said. Read More >