Sustainable Ag + Food News: Seedstock’s Weekly Roundup
December 5, 2014 | Nina Ignaczak
EXCERPT: The Alliance for Sustainable Agriculture today announced goals that its member companies — including General Mills, Kellogg’s, Unilever, Procter & Gamble, Coca-Cola, PepsiCo and Cargill — have committed to in an effort to advance sustainable agriculture in the US.
Source: Environmental Leader
EXCERPT: At first blush, one would think that defining sustainabilityand efficiency shouldn’t take more than few moments. Sustainability, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is defined as “harvesting or using a resource so that the resource is not depleted or permanently damaged.” USDA has already produced a legal definition of sustainable agriculture.
Source: Beef Magazine
EXCERPT: A new scientific text, Convergence of Food Security, Energy Security and Sustainable Agriculture is now available through Springer Science+Business Media. The book explores the concept of “convergence,” as the foundation of a stable global agricultural platform.
Source: The Prairie Star Ag Weekly
EXCERPT: The jury is still out on solar thermal, which is certainly efficient but has its critics because of its costs, both financial and ecological. The International Energy Association (IEA) is still bullish about its future, and projects such as the Solana Generating Station in Arizona show potential. Large projects such as Masdar’s Shams 1 and California’s Ivanpah have scored plenty of attention, but the rapidly decreasing price of solar panels has made PV more attractive for large projects. But solar thermal technology could have promise for agriculture. At a time when many are pondering how we are going to feed nine billion people by 2050, new projects underway are leveraging solar thermal desalination technology to cleanse water and grow crops in water-stressed regions.
Source: Clean Technica
EXCERPT: To start December, Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack has announced more than $5 million in grants for 82 projects covering 42 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The grants support USDA’s efforts to connect school cafeterias with local farmers and ranchers through its Farm to School Program.
Source: Farm Futures
EXCERPT: More cities want to take eating local food from just a hip trend to an economic generator, but as in many grassroots movements, there can be some growing pains along the way. Northern Colorado advocates are trying a new model to spur growth and they’re borrowing ideas from the tech sector. It’s called a food cluster and it’s based in Fort Collins, Colo.
Source: Mid-Missouri Public Radio
Obama Administration Selects Communities to Develop Local Food Projects, Encourage Economic Expansion
EXCERPT: Today, on behalf of the White House Rural Council, six federal agencies joined to announce 26 communities selected to participate in Local Foods, Local Places, a federal initiative providing technical support to integrate local food systems into community economic action plans. Under this effort, a team of agricultural, transportation, environmental, public health and regional economic experts will work directly with the communities to develop specifically identified local food projects. Project proposals include repurposing vacant land into local food production, developing year-round retail markets for local food products, and establishing food hubs to increase local food supply chains.