local/regional food systems

Family Farmers

Our mission is to create a farmer-controlled and consumer-oriented food and fiber system, based upon democratically controlled institutions that empower farmers to speak for and respect themselves in their quest for social and economic justice.

On Farms, Health and EBT

Most people living below the poverty line do not have a community farm in their backyards. Many live in "food deserts" - areas where access to grocery stores is limited and fast food chains abound. I am lucky to live in a neighborhood with numerous grocery stores and healthy food outlets, but walk 10 blocks south and I would be hard-pressed to find a decent grocery store.

New York Moves to Grow Markets in Food Deserts

Last year New York spent $6.1 billion on obesity related health problems, the second highest expenditure in the nation. Diabetes rates in the United States have doubled in the last 10 years. While a small percentage of obesity is caused by genetics or health problems such as thyroid or hormonal disorders, most results from unhealthy dietary habits. Particularly in urban areas, unhealthy diets can result from or be exacerbated by 'food deserts.'

All is Fair (Trade) in Love and Chocolate

In which the GRACE team tastes and rates 11 brands of Fair Trade, Organic and Rainforest Certified chocolates. Buying Fair Trade and Rainforest Alliance Certified chocolates is an easy way to ensure that your purchasing power supports chocolate growers with sound human rights policies.

Our Hero: Brian Gotreaux of Gotreaux Family Farms in Scott, Louisiana

Brian Gotreaux never made the conscious decision to become an organic farmer-- it was simply a matter of getting healthy. After years of hard work, Brian and his wife Dawn successfully run an organic farm, a CSA and a farmer's market all while educating their community about the benefits of organic farming.

Our Hero: Jack Algiere of Stone Barns

Come spring, Jack Algiere won't have much time to talk; he'll be too busy teaching apprentices and Farm Campers, and overseeing the hundreds of varieties of crops growing at Stone Barns. Good thing we caught him before the thaw.

Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food, Know Your Food Hub

Secretary Vilsack has been known to speak metaphorically about two forms of agriculture - small scale and industrial as two sons, both of whom he loves equally, often to the outrage of proponents of both models. And if the USDA's recent history seems evidence that he loves his industrial son more, the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food program introduced in 2009 speaks to what the Secretary rarely admits in person: that his small-scale son needs his love, too.

Our CSA!

CSA season is upon us! Here at GRACE, two coworkers and I are splitting a share from the 14th Street Y CSA. The vegetables are delicious - and quite photogenic - so we decided to document the weekly bounty in a series of slideshows.

Sustainabrew: This 4th, Free Your Beer

After a long day in the sweltering sun (or windowless cubicle, depending on your situation), few beverages are quite as enjoyable as a nice cold beer. Fortunately, craft brewers have preserved tradition and thirst-quenching deliciousness by rejecting the industrial beer model.

Our Hero: Sean Dimin of Sea to Table

Sea to Table, a family business cofounded by Sean Dimin and his father Michael, connects fishermen from small-scale, sustainable fisheries with chefs all around the country.

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