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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Year of Plenty

MIT Scientists Say Local Food Is the Answer to Obesity Epidemic

Must read article on the efficacy of local food movement at MIT News. Yes that MIT. Not Moonbeams In the Twilight food co-op or Michael pollan Is Totally awesome fan club newsletter. It's the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. From a scientific perspective they take a stab at advocating for local food systems as a way to combat obesity in our communities. Some choice quotes:

Obesity is widespread due to our national-scale system of food production and distribution, which surrounds children — especially lower-income children — with high-calorie products. “The problem lies not just in a child, but the whole environment around a child,” says Albright. “To end obesity, we need to produce healthier, more accessible, more affordable food.” As Albright notes, 90 percent of American food is processed — according to the United States Department of Agriculture — meaning it has been mixed with ingredients, often acting as preservatives, that can make food fattening.

America should increase its regional food consumption. Each metropolitan area, the researchers say, should obtain most of its nutrition from its own “foodshed,” a term akin to “watershed” meaning the area that naturally supplies its kitchens. Moreover, in a novel suggestion, the MIT and Columbia team says these local efforts should form a larger “Integrated Regional Foodshed” system, intended to lower the price and caloric content of food by lowering distances food must travel, from the farm to the dinner table.

Of course this doesn't explain why my gerth is growing since I've become a locavore. It might have something to do with turning 40. Or spending too much time sitting in front of computer blogging.

Fresh healthy food from the Second Harvest Food Bank will be available today in the parking lot of Millwood Presbyterian Church from 1pm to 3pm for low income families. Spread the word to folks who can benefit.

Year of Plenty

The Year of Plenty blog was created by Craig Goodwin in the winter of 2008 to chronicle the experiences of his family as they sought to consume everything local, used, homegrown or homemade. That journey was a wonderful introduction to people and movements in the Spokane area who are seeking the welfare of the community through local foods, farmers markets, community gardens, sustainable transportation, and more fulfilling and just patterns of consumption. In 2009 and beyond the blog will continue to report on these relationships and practices, all through the eyes of a family with young children. Craig manages the Millwood Farmers' Market, is a Master Food Preserver and Pastor at Millwood Presbyterian Church. Craig can be reached at