- Author: Penny Leff
Do county fairs make you think of deep-fried Twinkies and Ferris wheels, and maybe some prize-winning pigs? Can you imagine a local food marketplace next to the quilt show, a demonstration farm by the pony rides, fresh fruit for sale in the midway, a community dinner honoring local farmers, and housing available for hundreds of farm-workers the week after the fair closes?
These all thrive at some of California's county and district fairs, and may be part of the future at many others soon. The University of California small farm program and the California Department of Food and Agriculture (CDFA) Division of Fairs and Expositions are teaming up to...
- Author: Julian M Alston
The Center for Public Health Advocacy released a report this month on the obesity rates of children in 250 cities in California. According to the report, 38 percent of children statewide are overweight.
America’s rising obesity rates are exacting a high cost on society. In looking for solutions, many people blame federal farm subsidies for the current obesity problems. The Farm Bill is up for reauthorization this year. As Congress considers changes, I think it is important to understand that the Farm Bill is not to blame for America’s increasing weight gain.
It may seem obvious that subsidies make certain foods cheaper,...
- Author: Suanne Klahorst
What we know about eating, not eating and overeating has been investigated by research universities and university-trained scientists since the 1920s. The Journal of Nutrition began publishing in 1928. Now 2.5 million inquiries each month probe a massive body of knowledge about the nature of our evolving physical and cultural relationship with food, with at least 30 more food and nutrition journals collecting and dispersing this science globally.
The result: Americans spend more time debating what to eat than at any other time in history. The firmly held beliefs of most adults about what should be eaten or avoided have origins in the history of...
- Author: Mary E. Reed
The brief season of apricot harvest is upon us, and many fruit enthusiasts will soon bite into one of these small, delicate, yellowish-orange fruits. I grew up in a San Jose subdivision that was built on an apricot orchard. Each house had 2 or 3 apricot trees left on the lot, and so I have great memories of enjoying them fresh from the tree, still warm from the sun and tartly sweet . But, I have to admit that my favorite form of apricot then and now, are home-dried apricots. They sure were a great treat to find nestled in my trusty red-plaid metal lunchbox in the middle of winter.
Apricots have been grown in the fertile crescent of Persia for thousands of years. The colonists brought the apricot to North America, but...
- Author: Kathy Keatley Garvey
Did you catch the buzz?
It's still a troubling scene for our nation's honey bees, but it appears that the total losses for the 2011-2012 winter aren't as bad as they could be.
In other words, managed honey bee colonies appear to be holding their own. Overall, they didn't take a sharp dive last winter.
The annual survey, conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Bee Informed Partnership, and the Apiary Inspectors of America shows that the honey bee colony losses averaged 30 percent for the winter of 2011-2012.
Compare that to 34 percent for the 2009-2010 winter, 29 percent for 2008-2009 winter; 36 percent for 2007-2008, and 32 percent for 2006-2007.
Kim Kaplan of the...