Friday, August 12, 2011

Follow Fridays: #Activism

This week's Follow Friday (#FF) post is all about my favorite food activists. Thankfully, Twitter has become an important platform for educating the public and creating discussion about the plethora of issues tied to the food we eat. Be it what the latest recall is (all that ground turkey), to how to learn more about the Farm Bill to where young farmers are starting to grow food and provide for this nation-- these are Twitter accounts that will keep you up-to-date on all the moving and shaking in the world of food politics and culinary activism.

@slowfoodusa @slowfoodnyc - Slow Food is a movement that started in Italy and has been going strong in the US since 1986. Their national Twitter account gives relevant information about the latest issues and progress in food politics. They also tweet about ways people are supporting local food and events that are happening. If you love to eat and you believe in the future of local grown, locally sourced food, following @slowfoodusa is a must. I include the @slowfoodnyc account because it is the Twitter handle for my local chapter. 

@marionnestle -The grand dame of Food Politics herself, Marion Nestle is always up to date with what is happening on the political side of food. Her opinion is sought out for most topics about food- from recalls to regulations to information about the farm bill. She is a great resource and anyone who eats should know who she is. If you don't follow her blog, Food Politics, you should be following her on Twitter as she tweets links when she has new posts as well as links to other pertinent news stories. 

@alicewaters - Because I usually run out of space in my #Activism #FF Tweet, I usually end up filing Alice Waters under #Favorites. Having joined Twitter only within the past year, Alice Waters has not disappointed. Tweeting mostly about @chezpanisse related things, especially now as they prepare to celebrate their 40th Anniversary on August 27, she also has her constant food activist focused. Responsible for bring Slow Food (the organization) to America. Today she is largely focused on her Edible Schoolyard projects that establish, maintain and educate school gardens countrywide. Accounts for the original project and the upcoming New York City project can be found here: @edibleschoolyrd @ESYNYC. So, while Alice is one of the top accounts for #Activism, you will usually see her in my #Favorites, because she equally belongs there. 

@foodbank4nyc - New York City, being the culinary mecca that it is, should have an excellent food bank to balance out that title-- luckily they do. The Food Bank For New York City is an excellent, well-supported organization running the food banks of the city. @FoodBank4NYC tweets information about their programs, progress and volunteer/donation needs, but also about relevant food news and organizations or restaurants that support the Food Bank. They even sometimes do giveaways! A great one to follow if you are a New Yorker or involved in your local food bank. 

@michaelpollan - Author of The Omnivore's Dilemma, Michael Pollan is one of the top activists for food. His tweets are links to interesting stories or posts. Recently he  held a contest for new food rules to add to his slim, but extremely smart volume Food Rules. Also I want to give a nod to @JoelSalatin (a prominent voice in The Omnivore's Dilemma) who recently joined Twitter and has been dishing out great tweets, like this one from yesterday: "You, as a food buyer, have the distinct privilege of proactively participating in shaping the world your children will inherit."

@foodcorps - Via a tweet from Mark Bittman, I learned about Food Corps in its budding stages. An AmeriCorps outpost, focused on food, primarily in school gardens, the program has gotten fully underway. Their first volunteers start training this coming week and will soon head out for the first year of service. Expect to hear a lot about the progress of the volunteers and projects they are working for in over the next year.

@farmiemarket - Farmie Market is this genius business set up by the daughter of a farming family. Farmie, Farm + Foodie, Market is a place to buy local produce, meat, eggs, dairy and other products online that are then delivered right to your door. This is happening in the Albany, NY area and I was a raving lunatic, telling everyone I could, the day I found out about it because it is so genius. It's FreshDirect meets the Farmer's Market. Support Farmie Market by following on Twitter, signing up for the newsletter, and if you live in the Albany area by placing orders! The business (and business model) can only expand and get even more amazing. 

@civileats -Civil Eats was one of the sponsors of the American Wasteland event I wrote about attending in @wastedfood's paragraph in last week's Follow Friday post. I met their editor, Paula Crossfield@civileater, at the event and have been following them both ever since. The Civil Eats site is a stupendous resource for everything that's current in food, the politics around it and overall information about good food. 

@grownyc - GrowNYC may be my favorite organization in all of New York because they are the wonderful people in charge of making the amazing Greenmarkets of NYC happen! How lucky am I to have such amazing producer-only markets to shop year round, seven days a week? From their office also comes the @UnSqGreenmarket and @NYCGreenmarkets accounts. 

@justfood - When I was Christmas shopping during my first December in the city I went to the Gifted Brooklyn Flea that pops-up in lower Manhattan for the holidays. Here I bought a clever shirt for a friend from Black Sheep Heap. The t-shirt said "Yes We Can" with a picture of canned green beans- a riff on Obama's campaign slogan. The proceeds from this t-shirt, I learned were going to Just Food, an organization in the city that helps connect people to local food especially by teaching about CSA. This winter I volunteered at their annual CSA Conference and was able to attend a few volunteer sessions afterwards. They're doing really great work to educate the general public about local food systems, CSA and have wonderful programs that they tweet about. If you are are passionate about local food, CSA and want to know more about how they work- check them out. 

@greenhorns - At that Just Food CSA conference I had the pleasure of learning about Greenhorns, an organization bringing together young farmers and helping them find resources, learn from each other and get the word about what they're doing. This past Sunday I went to see the Greenhorns documentary and found it eye-opening and inspiring. Young farmers are a big part of the future of food in this country and keeping up with Greenhorns is as great way to follow the movement or become a part of it yourself.

@awaapproved - Animal Welfare Approved was mentioned in the Greenhorns panel at the CSA conference and they were exhibiting at the information fair at the end of the day. My jaw practically dropped to hear that there are people whose job it is to ensure that farms are meeting truly ethical standards in raising, harvesting and selling meat, eggs and dairy. When I visited their booth at the fair I received a nice tote bag with their logo on it and use it proudly every week when I go to the market. Their seal is now a sign of comfort to me. If you are someone who cares about what sort of life their dinner had, you will be into @AWAapproved.

@cityharvest - City Harvest works magic rescuing food city-wide to serve to NYC's hungry. Everyday City Harvest saves food from local restaurants, corporate companies, caterers, production companies and even hotels and schools. Day and night volunteers are working to get good food to hungry bellies. A great NYC organization with a great model for saving nutrients that might otherwise be lost.

Honorary: @wastedfood - As I mentioned in last week's Follow Friday post, Jonathan Bloom's Twitter account serves as great reading and mighty Activism. He belongs here for his work in teaching about how to stop wasting food as much as he does in #Reading.

Next Week: #FF #FoodJobs
Not following me on Twitter yet?: @culinarylibrari

Week 1: Introduction and #Reading

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