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It’s Time to Talk Food Miles

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2021-Jan-20 Wed 13:30

The Food Miles Definition

You have likely heard the term food miles before, but what it means isn’t always clear, and why it’s important is often overlooked. Food miles help us measure the impact food has on our planet when it travels from the farm to your family. So, by looking at how, when, and from where food finds its way to your neighborhood, we can make sure it arrives in the greenest way possible.

Transportation is the essential link that allows us to deliver the freshest food to grocery stores across North America. That’s why we want to take a closer look at the journey our Tomatoes, Peppers, and Cucumbers take when they travel on trucks from our greenhouse to your house. Let’s get started!

Bhutan: Import ban and scarce local produce cause soaring vegetable prices

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-08 Tue 13:30

A kilogram (kg) of potato at the Centenary Farmers’ Market (CFM) costs Nu 80 to Nu 100 this weekend. Retailers pay Nu 4,000 for a 45-kg sack of potatoes. In the past, a sack of potato imported from India cost Nu 1,500. Wholesalers at the CFM paid Nu 3,500 to Nu 4,500 for a sack of potatoes to the farmers…

GCT enhances Vanterm terminal with two new STS cranes

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-02 Wed 13:16

Global Container Terminals (GCT) has received two modern ship-to-shore (STS) cranes, on 27 November, capable of handling 14,000TEU vessels at GCT Vanterm in Burrard Inlet in Vancouver.

The cranes are part of GCT’s US$160 million private sector investment to modernise and increase the level of operations at GCT Vanterm and comes after the announcement of Navis N4 Terminal Operating System (TOS) implementation at the terminal.

"The arrival of the two cranes demonstrates GCT’s ongoing commitment to enabling smart capacity in the Vancouver gateway and Western Trade Corridor through British Columbia," said GCT in its announcement.

GCT Vanterm’s two newly arrived cranes will be among the most advanced in North America, according to a statement, electrically powered, they feature regenerative drives that can provide power back into the grid and high-efficiency LED lighting.

The cranes will reduce glare and light pollution along with features intended to reduce operational noise, while they have also been painted cloud-white colour to mitigate daytime skyline visibility.

GCT added that the new machines, along with other equipment upgrades and process improvements, will improve safety for the workforce, increase terminal capability, and reduce equipment emissions by 55%, all within the same footprint.

 

Can Local Food Feed Big Cities? Yes, if We Cut Down on Meat

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Dec-02 Wed 13:10

This has been a banner year for local food. As the pandemic disrupted large-scale food processing and national and international supply chains, many consumers turned to local-food options like community supported agriculture programs, local meat processors, and urban farms. While the supply chain has since stabilized, many local food advocates are hoping that this new emphasis can help make the food system more resilient in the face of other challenges, like the climate crisis.

Now, a new study from Tufts University provides the most comprehensive answers yet to an underlying, fundamental question: With the majority of people concentrated in cities, how possible is it to localize food production in the U.S.?

“It depends—based on the type of food [produced on surrounding land], based on where you live, and based on the type of diet,” said Julie Kurtz, who spearheaded the research as a master’s student alongside lead author Christian Peters at Tufts’ Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy.

Using data on the populations of major metropolitan areas, estimated productivity of the surrounding farmland, and food needs across seven different diets, researchers found that many cities—especially those in the middle of the country and the Northwest—could feed their entire populations with food produced within 155 miles. On the other hand, many coastal cities would need to source food from much further distances to feed their large populations.

Rooftop PV vs. rooftop farming

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-30 Mon 11:17

Scientists at the Imperial College of London and the University of Aberdeen have proposed a new way to optimize urban rooftop usage, while also providing a choice between rooftop agriculture and rooftop PV power generation. The advantage of rooftop PV would be to reduce reliance on power from the grid. Rooftop agriculture,…

US (MN): Container farm leaves city inspectors confused

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-09 Mon 13:28

As an astronomer and physicist, John Cannon's work is literally out of this world. His expertise as the department chair at Macalester College in St. Paul is studying nearby low-mass galaxies. Cannon's latest adventure off St. Paul's Snelling Avenue is, quite literally, more down to earth: backyard…

How a Northwest Co-Op Is Building a Local Food Future Beyond Big Ag

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Nov-05 Thu 10:03

Just over a year ago, on a brisk late September day in Spokane, Washington, two medium-sized cargo trucks backed up to the open garage door of a small warehouse in an alley behind a carpet store and a used-car dealer. Inside the warehouse, a forklift beeped incessantly as its operator stacked pallets of cardboard boxes full of meat, cheese and produce onto the trucks’ lowered loading gates.

A farmer drove up in a faded red minivan. He unloaded bags and boxes of crisp red, orange and yellow bell peppers and tomatoes as big as softballs, the last in a procession of morning deliveries from farmers to the warehouse of the Local Inland Northwest Cooperative, or LINC Foods. The co-op is a marketplace, an online and physical hub where restaurants, schools, grocery stores, hospitals and individual shoppers can order produce and other food from small farmers in the region instead of relying on huge wholesalers.

Beth Robinette, one of LINC’s co-founders, checked to make sure orders were complete. Then the trucks pulled out of the alley. One headed south toward the college towns of Moscow, Idaho, and Pullman, Washington. The other went east, to restaurants and health food stores in Coeur d’Alene and Post Falls, Idaho, before returning to Spokane to zigzag between businesses and schools.

The smooth operation that morning was a far cry from LINC’s early days. In the summer of 2014, when the co-op was just getting started, Robinette and LINC co-founder Joel Williamson didn’t have their own warehouse. Instead, the two received produce in an alley behind a downtown motel. They’d wait next to a dumpster, “hoping for someone to throw us some carrots out of the back of their car so we could heap them into the back of Joel’s Scion,” Robinette said. Today, the co-op has nine employees and sells food from about 50 producers.

Solving the ‘local food paradox’ is key to a sustainable agriculture sector

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-30 Fri 13:15

The pandemic has pushed governments to consider food autonomy as a priority and to look more at local supply chains. Discussions are about producing food in Canada, year-round, while offering products to consumers at reasonable prices, especially produce. A recent study conducted by Dalhousie University…

New study suggests 4 in 5 Canadians willing to pay extra for “locally grown” produce

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-23 Fri 13:26

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting supply chains and impacting food purchasing habits, Canadian households were expected to spend $12,667 on food during 2020.  Following the impact to the supply chain, the pandemic has pushed governments to consider food autonomy as a priority and look more at local…

A Fresh Take on Food Hubs

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-13 Tue 14:00

A food distribution platform managed by Jacob Weiss, N20, was awarded $25,000 in Friedman School’s annual Entrepreneurship Competition

A team of alumni from Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy who are supporting small farmers in Sacramento Valley, California, took home the top prize in Friedman School’s Food and Nutrition Entrepreneurship Competition.

How An Indoor Farm Is Redefining Local

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-12 Mon 12:17

Washington D.C. sits at the intersection of some of the best farming areas in the country. According to the 2017 United States Census of Agriculture, there are over 53,000 farms in Pennsylvania plus another 40,000+ farms in Virginia. Yet, for all of the area’s agrarian prowess, you may not have seen a farm quite like this.

Standing in front of Bowery Farming’s newest farm, located just outside of Baltimore in Nottingham, you could easily mistake it for a shipping warehouse. But, like most good things, it’s what’s on the inside that counts.

Bowery is an indoor, vertical farming company. Walking into its Nottingham Farm feels a bit like stepping into the greenest library you could imagine. Rows and rows of fresh lettuces and herbs stretch towards the ceiling, where they’re nourished under LEDs and a constant, carefully controlled amount of filtered water and essential nutrients. 

Publix is helping people connect with their food through hydroponics

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-09 Fri 13:28

The following information is derived from an interview Agritecture conducted with Curt Epperson, Business Development Director of Produce and Floral at Publix Super Markets.  Publix Super Markets, headquartered in Florida, is the largest employee-owned grocery chain in the United States. Since opening in 1930,…

@agritecture: Check out our library of 40+ videos ranging across different topics on urban and local agriculture

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Oct-03 Sat 23:15

Check out our library of 40+ videos ranging across different topics on urban and local agriculture! Subscribe to #YouTube for more videos from #Agritecture! agritecture.com/digital-confer…

 

Police seek tips after fish hooks, trip wires and nails left in Vancouver community garden

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-30 Wed 09:28

Vancouver police say they've run out of leads in their investigation into who set traps in a community garden in Mount Pleasant last week. The traps included trip wires, a board with nails sticking up and fish hooks hung at eye level.

Bringing year-round local supply to Canada by lighting up greenhouses

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-29 Tue 09:41

Red Sun Farms, a North American greenhouse grower with locations in Canada, USA, and Mexico, are embracing technology by lighting up a high-tech greenhouse to bring a year-round supply from Canada. There are three distinct projects underway in support of year-round Ontario grown produce: First, a new state of…

Growing a sufficient supply of local food is one of the biggest and most important discussions in the ag space today

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-23 Wed 13:21

Growing a sufficient supply of local food is one of the biggest and most important discussions in the ag space today. But getting fresher, better tasting food on the tables of families from coast to coast, in every country, requires a #FarmTech revolution. bit.ly/2DIp3FJ pic.twitter.com/drnwmqFl9O

 

In a World This Hungry, Agriculture Needs to Catch Up

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-21 Mon 09:39

If you’re reading this with a full stomach and well-stocked pantry, consider yourself fortunate. Nearly 800 million of our fellow human beings go to bed hungry every night, and the global Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic has put another 130 million at risk for food insecurity. Hunger is becoming even more serious as the planet warms, arable land is degraded and the population grows.

To meet this existential challenge, intensified by pandemic-related supply chain interruptions, the world desperately needs new, better ways of growing fruit and vegetables closer to where they’ll be consumed. And, these methods need to be put into practice now.

How We Can Rethink Agriculture so It's More Local

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-21 Mon 00:37

Climate Week is a reminder of how susceptible global agriculture systems are to climate change risks. More than 800 million people went to bed hungry every night even before COVID-19 disrupted the global food supply chain, which put an additional 130 million at risk of food insecurity.

This unprecedented crisis comes as industrial agriculture already struggles to feed a growing global population under threats of declining resources and an increasingly inhospitable environment.

While we can still produce enough food to feed the world today, we are running out of time. Many experts believe that conventional farming techniques are becoming unsustainable because of the vast amounts of land, water and energy required, as well as additional crop failures that will occur with the warming climate. To achieve sustainable food security, we must fundamentally disrupt the traditional forms of agriculture. We must pivot towards more cost-effective food production that is closer to home, more sustainable than factory farming and less land intensive.

Model study shows that some US metro areas could feed themselves

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Sep-16 Wed 08:58

A modeling study by Tufts University, published in Environmental Science & Technology, found that some but not all US metro areas could grow all the food they need within 155 miles. The study considered 378 metropolitan areas across the country, and found that metro centers in the Northwest and interior…

'Consumers want to know more about the food they eat, now more than ever'

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-11 Tue 09:51

The emergence of COVID-19 has accelerated the need for reliable end-to-end traceability in the fresh produce industry, according to a leading Australian blockchain traceability and assurance system. Co-Founder of FreshChain Systems Greg Calvert says there has been growing awareness of food safety and…

Is indoor farming critical to the local food economy?

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Aug-10 Mon 06:36

Over the last few years, we have witnessed a steady rise in demand for locally sourced food. Markets are carrying more local options, restaurants are growing their own food, even cocktails have “craft, local ingredients” stirred in them. What’s driving this trend? It seems that our palates have been changing, together…

'Consumers and politicians want regional, CO2-neutral vegetables - but they don't want greenhouses on the edge of town'

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Submitted by Elsewhere on 2020-Jul-24 Fri 09:41

"It's a paradox - everyone wants organically, regional and CO2 neutral vegetables, but the vegetable farms needed for this should not be near their own village," laments Peter Höfler junior, partner of Höfler Gemüse. It is a problem that is prevalent not only for vegetable greenhouses, but for other…