March 27, 2015

CLF Week in Links: Dietary Guidelines, Glyphosate and More

Robert Lawrence, MD

Robert Lawrence, MD

Director

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Testifying for sustainability. This week the HHS and USDA hosted a hearing on the scientific report recently issued by the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC), and our own Jillian Fry was invited to present testimony. One of the points of contention with the DGAC’s report is that sustainability be considered in the recommendations for how Americans eat; another point of contention is that recommendation that Americans should eat less red meat and more plant-based foods.

To see Jillian’s testimony, jump ahead to 55:45 in the above video

Jillian did a great job with her three minutes: read this blogpost to learn more about the event and the report. Industrial agriculture was also heavily represented with their denial of the scientific evidence for the health importance of reducing meat intake and the unsustainability of current U.S. food production. Read More >

March 24, 2015

New Dietary Guidelines Should Keep Sustainability on the Menu

Christine Grillo

Christine Grillo

Contributing Writer

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Jillian Fry testifying about the Dietary Guidelines, March 24, 2015.

Jillian Fry testifying about the Dietary Guidelines, Bethesda, Md., March 24, 2015.

MARCH 24, 2015, Bethesda, Md.—This morning Jillian Fry, a project director at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future (CLF), gave public testimony about the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC). This is the first time in history that the DGAC has included sustainability considerations in its recommendations. The testimony is being heard today by U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), which oversee the U.S. Dietary Guidelines, known recently as MyPlate and updated every five years. Read More >

March 13, 2015

CLF Week in Links: Fast-food, Antibiotics, Dietary Guidelines

Robert Lawrence, MD

Robert Lawrence, MD

Director

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

320px-Fried-Chicken-LegMcDonald’s says no to antibiotics (mostly) in chicken. Last week McDonald’s USA announced that within two years, it will only buy chickens raised without antibiotics that are important to human medicine. This is mostly good news for consumers and a positive step forward, but there is an important caveat. McDonald’s says it will continue to source chicken from producers that use ionophores, a class of antimicrobial agents that are not used in human medicine. But, and it is an important but, ionophores put selective pressure on bacteria that have had spontaneous mutations of genes conferring resistance to the ionophores. Read More >

March 3, 2015

Highlights from Aquaculture America 2015

Dave Love

Dave Love

Assistant Scientist, Public Health & Sustainable Aquaculture Project

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Female zebrafish

Female zebrafish

Last month, just a few days after Mardi Gras, hundreds of aquaculture farmers, business leaders, scientists and policymakers converged on New Orleans for the annual Aquaculture America conference. A wide range of fields were represented: food fish, baitfish, zebrafish for genetic research, shellfish, shrimp, and algae for food, fuel and feed. I delivered a talk titled “Public Health Perspectives on Aquaculture,” (abstract) which I presented in a Seafood and Health session. Here are some “notes from the road” highlighting what I found Read More >

March 2, 2015

From Soil to Water and the Future of Sustainable Food

Laura Genello

Laura Genello

Farm Manager

CLF Aquaponics Project

baby cucumbersOne of my first experiences on a farm opened my eyes to the fascinating interconnectedness of an agricultural system. For this reason, I find it truly rewarding to share in people’s excitement when they visit the aquaponics project. It was on that first farm visit that I realized agriculture meant more than growing a head of lettuce in a faraway field; it meant growing and nurturing a community of organisms, from the chickens that fertilize the soil to the microbes that break down their waste and the people that consume the food. Aquaponics takes these relationships out from hiding. Read More >

February 24, 2015

Food Chain$ Screening Brings Farmworker Injustices to Light

Raychel Santo

Raychel Santo

Program Coordinator

Center for a Livable Future

Screening of Food Chain$ at Red Emma's, Baltimore.

Screening of Food Chain$ at Red Emma’s, Baltimore.

“Anyone can give charity but to give justice to someone who demands it is harder to do.” —quotation from the film Food Chain$

On Thursday, February 12, more than 125 people came out to Red Emma’s Bookstore and Café for a screening and discussion of the new documentary film Food Chain$. The event, co-sponsored by The Baltimore Food & Faith Project and The Marc Steiner Show, revealed how the historical injustices of farm labor persist even today in our food supply chain, and how large produce buyers like fast food and supermarkets are complicit Read More >

February 23, 2015

Meet Cindy Kiefer, an Agent of Change at Bellarmine University

Alana Ridge

Alana Ridge

Research Program Manager

Food Communities & Public Health Program, CLF

Sid Lerner, Peggy Neu, Mark Ruffalo at ClimateWeek NYC.

Sid Lerner, Peggy Neu, Mark Ruffalo at ClimateWeek NYC.

Meatless Monday advocates are making an impact at home, in their cities, and on school campuses across the nation. At a brunch during Climate Week NYC, Mark Ruffalo shared that he practices Meatless Monday with his family as a way to mitigate climate change while opening their doors to cuisine and cultures from around the globe. In January, NYC Councilwoman Helen Rosenthal introduced a resolution to recognize Meatless Monday in NYC for the health of residents and the environment. Meanwhile, young advocates like Cindy Kiefer are having an impact on college campuses nationwide. Read More >

February 20, 2015

Maryland Farm Food Donation Tax Credit Bill Under Consideration

Catherine Kastleman

Catherine Kastleman

Research Assistant

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

food-storage

Facilities for food storage and preparation, as well as community events, under construction at Farming 4 Hunger

In a potential windfall for Maryland farmers and community food security advocates, the Maryland General Assembly is considering a bill that would give farmers a tax credit for donating their produce to eligible organizations. The credit would be for 50 percent of the food donation’s wholesale value (75 percent if the produce is certified organic) up to a total of $5,000 per farmer for the tax years 2015-2017.

The bill also re-establishes the Hub and Spoke task force, which was charged with implementing a program for improving fresh farm food access for working poor and low-income communities in Southern Maryland. Read More >

February 20, 2015

CLF Week in Links: Dietary Guidelines, Dark Cola, CSA

Robert Lawrence, MD

Robert Lawrence, MD

Director

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

RS4835_Soda Pop-10-scrThe new Dietary Guidelines are out. The 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee (DGAC) submitted the Scientific Report of the 2015 Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee this week to the Secretaries of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the U.S. Department of Agriculture. You can access the 571-page report here. The DGAC is composed of clinicians and scientists who’ve made a sound set of recommendations based on the science regarding Read More >

February 19, 2015

Community Supported Agriculture Is Growing at JHU

Kate McCleary

Kate McCleary

Senior Project Coordinator

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

tomatoes-bins-RS1517_102_8956-scrThe thought of anything being able to grow locally may be difficult to imagine amid the frozen ground of February in Baltimore, but farming season has already begun. Crops must be planned in advance, seeds must be purchased, and labor must be organized, which can be difficult for small-scale farmers during a time of year when revenue is not as strong. One method to help sustain a farm is Community Supported Agriculture (CSA), whereby members of a community pay a farmer up front for a share of the anticipated harvest, which arrives weeks later in the season. Read More >