Robert Egger is the Founder and President of L.A. Kitchen, a culinary arts job training program for people coming out of foster care and incarceration. He also launched D.C. Central Kitchen, a similar effort, in 1989. L.A. Kitchen is currently in pilot phase and will launch in a new space in 2015. Read more about L.A. Kitchen in Seedstock here.
At the Seedstock Reintegrating Agriculture conference in November, Egger delivered a keynote in which he talked about waste, both in terms of food and human potential, and opportunity, in existing community resources and in the impending wave of older people who will be hungry in coming years.
Human trafficking, justice, the environment and sustainability all have one thing in common, says community visionary Lillian Lake of East Wilton, Maine: food.
“Everything comes back to food,” says Lake, who writes, consults and engages in policy development toward a goal of affordable and just sustainability. Realizing that people, industries, institutions and ideas are all interrelated, she works hard at making connections that will help the world be a better place for all.
The food industry, she says, has a tremendous impact on the local, national and international economy, but this impact is not always a good one.
For example, why are Americans able to buy shrimp for $9.99 per pound? Because one of the world’s largest shrimp producing nations, Thailand, uses forced labor on its shrimp boats, Lake says. And around the world, migrant farm workers are forced to provide labor whether they want to or not. This is a direct result of human trafficking.
That sweet corn at your nearest supermarket chain probably was not grown locally. In all likelihood, neither were the green beans, lettuce or apples.
Husk is trying to change that. With headquarters in Greenfield, Indiana the startup is aiming to make sure locally-produced food at supermarkets and not just farmers’ markets.
Founded in 2013 by Nick Carter, Adam Moody and Chris Baggott, Husk is is creating a local foods system, complete with farming partners, a processing and distribution facility, and store. Only local farmers grow produce for Husk, and Husk products only sell at local and regional markets.
Since children are the future, it is important to teach them about issues that matter, and sustainable food is at the top of that list. The sustainable food movement has gained a lot of momentum in recent years, but despite its growth there are still more than six million children in the U.S. living in communities that lack access to healthy, sustainable food. Often, these children (and other children across the country) know very little about where food comes from, which foods are healthy, and which foods are good for the environment.
Grow Well Missouri has taken a simple concept – distributing seeds to people who visit a local food pantry – and started a mini-fresh food revolution.
The program originated at the Interdisciplinary Center for Food Security at the University of Missouri. The program had its “soft opening” after a research group surveyed food pantry clients and discovered some interesting data.