Food Loss Study Reveals Opportunity for Increased Use of Locally Grown Food

About 14.3 million pounds of wholesome vegetables and berries grown in the state go uneaten every year, according to a new study.

The first empirical study of food loss on Vermont farms was conducted by Salvation Farms and Isgood Community Research. Salvation Farms began the study last year in order to understand the scope of food loss, which is defined as edible, quality crops that are neither sold nor donated. The Morrisville-based nonprofit has worked with farmers for more than a decade to capture and distribute un-marketed crops.

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Photos by Salvation Farms
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On-the-Farm Dinners Draw Food Lovers to Valley Dream Farm in Cambridge

Anne Tisbert is a farmer, entrepreneur, tour guide, and mother.

At Valley Dream Farm, which she purchased with her husband, Joe, in 1992, she rises early each day to tend to organic produce—red beets, sugar snap peas, rhubarb, and tomatoes—that grow in the shadow of Mount Mansfield in Cambridge.

As any farmer knows, survival is a challenge. The family first ran Valley Dream as a dairy farm and later shifted gears to become a certified organic produce farm. Not long after making the switch, the family was supplying vegetables to local restaurants, running a CSA and farm stand, and offering a pick-your-own flower field.

Four years ago, Anne saw another opportunity to raise the farm’s visibility and diversify. She started “On-the-Farm” weekly dinners on the barn’s rustic front porch. The dinners, which feature local chefs from the area, are open to the public Tuesday nights between June and October.  At a recent dinner, Topnotch Resort chef Cortney Quinn prepared a seven-course meal to about 40 guests using produce from Valley Dream Farm and other local products.

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UVM Alumna Creates Inspiration at the Google Food Lab

Eva Antczak ’07 is program manager of the Google Food Lab, a platform for people in food policy, farming, corporate food service, healthcare, technology, corporate food companies, and academia to use their knowledge to solve pressing food system issues.

We talked to Eva about her senior thesis on Vermont cheesemakers, managing the Google Food Lab, and why technology and innovation are critical to a sustainable food system.

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UN Report: Farming and Forestry Can Deliver Food Security

Better cooperation between nations’ farming and forestry sectors will help reduce deforestation and improve food security, according to a new United Nations report.

The report shows that the greatest net loss of forests and net gain in agricultural land between 2000-2010 occurred in low income countries, where rural populations were growing.

The findings have been published in the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s (FAO) State of the World’s Forests (Sofo), a biennial report that provides data to help inform policymakers and decision-makers.

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Photo: Flickr

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Food Truck Helps Organization Drive Up Participation in Summer Meals for Children

By Shane Rogers

Good news: Vermont ranks third in the country for serving free summer meals to children. The bad news: Vermont is still only reaching 33.3 percent of the children who qualify for free or reduced lunch during the school year.

School lunches and summer meals provide in-need children with a source of important nutrition that helps them learn and stay healthy. Both are funded through the U.S. Department of Agriculture. However, despite the well-known benefits of summer meals—helping parents stretch their food budgets, providing a safe place for children during the summer, and mitigating summer learning loss—participation in USDA’s Summer Food Service Program is jarringly low across the country.

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