July 29, 2016

CLF Aquaculture Links: July 2016

Dave Love

Dave Love

Associate Scientist, Public Health & Sustainable Aquaculture Project

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

AQ-news-300And the survey says… seafood consumers care about sustainability.  Nearly three quarters (72%) of respondents agree that shoppers should only purchase from sustainable sources. Sustainability was ranked as more important than price or brand, but only 54% of respondents were willing to pay more for certified sustainable products, such as Marine Stewardship Council approved products. The study findings were drawn from a population of 16,000 consumers from 21 countries including the U.S.  Read more at World Fish and Aquaculture. Read More >

July 28, 2016

Protein: Do We Really Need It?

Becky Ramsing

Becky Ramsing

Senior Program Officer, Food Communities & Public Health Program

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

This post is the first in a series, Protein—Everything You Always Wanted to Know But Were Too Afraid to Ask. Check out the second post on pulses!

proteins-1Does giving up meat mean giving up valuable protein and vitamins?

Not necessarily. First, let’s first break down what, exactly, protein is and why it’s important for our health.

Protein’s Role

Protein is an important energy-yielding macronutrient – meaning it provides us calories, or energy. Proteins build muscle and make up hemoglobin, which transports oxygen to our muscles. Proteins also have functional and structural roles building and repairing tissues. They are key players in signaling and chemical reactions as well–including enzymes and hormones.

Through a microscope, proteins look a bit like necklaces with beads that come in different shapes and sizes. To further the analogy, think of each bead as a different type of amino acid: each protein in our body has a specific amino acid sequence Read More >

July 22, 2016

Eating and Cooking in Madrid and Baltimore

Usama Bilal

Usama Bilal

CLF-Lerner Fellow

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

2016-madrid-marketA friend from Madrid will be visiting us in Baltimore next week. He enjoys eating and cooking at home, so I’d like to have a few dishes prepared for the next days. But a few factors, namely my location, the fact that I don’t drive, and my partner being out of town, make me realize that it’s going to be hard to fulfill my intentions of preparing a few healthy and hearty meals.

This reminds me of my time living in downtown Madrid four years ago. I’d work very long hours during the week, so I usually only had time to do my grocery shopping on the weekends. On a typical Saturday morning, I usually headed to the food market, five minutes walking from my apartment, and circled the 20 stores that sell only fresh produce, looking for the best deals (living within a student budget!). If it were late spring or summer, I’d end up with five pounds of oranges, six pounds of tomatoes (for gazpacho!), a few veggies for miscellaneous cooking and some change left from my five-euro bill. Read More >

July 20, 2016

Eating Less Meat May Help Your Gut

Becky Ramsing

Becky Ramsing

Senior Program Officer, Food Communities & Public Health Program

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

2016-meat-gut-microbiomeIn recent years, terms such as gut health and microbiome seem to have just dropped into our vocabulary. Today, poor gut health is often blamed for being overweight, chronic diseases, illnesses, and even our intelligence. Our microbiome—that is, all the microorganisms, including the commensal and pathogenic bacteria in the human body—plays a complicated and important role in many aspects of our health. And the microbiome in the gut is particularly important.

How does my burger affect my gut?

Choosing the best foods to eat can be confusing. We hear a lot about taking probiotics, prebiotics, kefir and kimchi for better gut health, but food choices Read More >

July 8, 2016

The Long Shadow of Redlining on the Food System

Usama Bilal

Usama Bilal

CLF-Lerner Fellow

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Last year Baltimore was shaken by an uprising that caught the nation and public officials off-guard. A good part of the conversation during the unrest revolved around issues of systemic and institutionalized racism. In response, the Johns Hopkins University started the 21st Century Cities Initiative; its first organized activity was a series of debates about “Redlining Baltimore.”

Back in the 1930s, as a part of the New Deal, a government sponsored program called the Homeowner Loan Corporation (HOLC) was created. This public agency helped the population finance home ownership through greatly subsidized loans. As part of its mission, the HOLC created maps that rated neighborhoods in terms of how the agency perceived each neighborhood’s investment risk. HOLC preferentially financed loans in neighborhoods deemed low-risk for investment. Read More >

July 1, 2016

Connecting the Dots from Stockholm to New York…from Food Systems to Antimicrobial Resistance

Anthony So

Anthony So

Director

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

ASo-Stordalen-2016Even in the land of the midnight sun, the days with the coming summer solstice were not long enough to resolve the issues before the EAT Stockholm Food Forum. This remarkable global gathering of food system thought leaders, celebrity chefs and entrepreneurs to academics and government officials is the inspiration of Gunhild Stordalen, a Norwegian physician who co-founded both the Stordalen Foundation and its EAT Initiative. The Forum hosted voices from Jamie Oliver and Michael Pollan to Kimbal Musk and Sam Kass—all of whom took turn in leading sobering conversations about an ailing food system. This year, connecting the dots between the food system and antimicrobial resistance received important attention on both days in the plenary sessions and in a special breakout track. Read More >

June 29, 2016

CLF Aquaculture Links: June 2016

Dave Love

Dave Love

Associate Scientist, Public Health & Sustainable Aquaculture Project

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

AQ-news-300In past issues we have reported on labor abuses in overseas seafood harvesting and in processing plants. A new report from the National Guestworker Alliance now points to problems in domestic seafood processing plants. The report included two states, Louisiana and Massachusetts, where workers face substandard housing, a lack of overtime pay, workplace injuries, and sexual harassment. Read more at Mother Jones and our blogpost on forced labor and workers rights at the Livable Future Blog. Read More >

May 26, 2016

“Meating” Local Demand

Caitlin Fisher

Caitlin Fisher

Data Specialist

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

slaughter_facilities_map copy

click to enlarge map of slaughter facilities in Maryland

Memorial Day weekend—a time to gather with friends and family, honor those who died while serving in the military, and celebrate the warmer summer months to come. And for many, it’s a time to clean off and fire up the old grill.

As the holiday weekend approaches, you may find yourself thinking about where to buy your hamburgers and other grilling essentials. Should you visit your neighborhood farmers market and buy from a local farmer? Or head over to the family-owned butcher shop down the street? Or maybe you will scour the grocery shelves for any sign of products from a local farm. Read More >

May 25, 2016

Within Reason: Getting the Most from Urban Ag

Christine Grillo

Christine Grillo

Contributing Writer

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

Boone Street Farm

Boone Street Farm, Baltimore

My teenaged daughter just asked me when our yard was going to look “nice” again. Inch by inch, I’ve been removing grass and replacing it with clover, herbs, milkweeds and some plants that I refer to, mostly ironically, as crops. She dislikes the rows of composting sod, the dying grass, and the soggy trenches that scream “work in progress.” “It’s so ugly,” she said. And then she cried. I had made The Classic Error—I didn’t get community buy-in on my gardening plans. Not only that, I am guilty of Error Number Two: I planted food that I enjoy— tomatillos, cilantro, sunchokes—but that my kids refuse to recognize as edible. Read More >

May 25, 2016

CLF Aquaculture Links: May 2016

Dave Love

Dave Love

Associate Scientist, Public Health & Sustainable Aquaculture Project

Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future

AQ-news-300Larger oyster farms may be coming soon to the Chesapeake Bay, as the Army Corps of Engineers aims to overhaul the permitting process. That’s a good thing for aquaculturists, local halfshell lovers, and the environment, because oysters are filter feeders that clean up the Bay. Read more at the Bay Journal.

In more Chesapeake Bay news, Virginia leads the nation in hard clam sales and leads the East Coast in oyster sales. Congratulations Karen Hudson and Thomas Murray on the 10th anniversary of the Virginia hatchery-based shellfish aquaculture assessment! Read more at VIMS. Read More >