In 2015, over 37 million Americans picked up their food from food banks. That number included 14 million children and 3 million seniors. And 72% of food banks adjusted the amount of food distributed and still did not meet the needs of their communities. There are about 15,083 food pantries nationwide. How nutritious is food from America’s food banks? Can they offer fresh food and continue to feed more people?
Speed learning. Have you ever heard of it? Faster learning is promoted as a valued asset in the testing world. But as we learn new information quickly, there’s also a downside. An article recognized two problems with speed learning: 1) you also forget faster and 2) you don’t develop an expertise. As technology continues to invade our lives, do we really need to speed learn? How useful is it? Is speed learning a myth? Why do we need to speed learn? What’s the relationship between speed understanding and speed learning?
Growing Power was a nonprofit that changed the face of urban agriculture. Growing food in the city was the heart of the organization. Volunteers, students, and funders flocked to support its mission to rebuild urban food systems. Founder Will Allen started Growing Power (GP) in 1993 in Milwaukee. In time, GP expanded to Chicago and was a model for urban farming worldwide. Allen won the $500,000 MacArthur “genius” grant in 2008. He was named the “Godfather of urban farming.” But in December 2017, Growing Power was dissolved. What happened? Did GP grow too fast? Was it understaffed or mismanaged? Were GP’s funding sources and partnerships out of line with its mission?
Water is the life forces that sustains the planet. The Earth’s water cycle connects to the ocean, land and the atmosphere. This cycle creates weather and the Earth’s climate. The quality of life depends on changes in the water cycles. But in the U.S., we consume about 2,000 gallons of water daily, a morning shower takes 17 gallons of water and it takes more than 34 gallons of water to grow coffee beans for your cup of java. Even your desktop computer takes 7,300 gallons of water to make. How can we conserve water for the future? What solutions can reverse the global water crisis?
March is National Women’s History month. This blog is in celebration of women farmers. We’ve been growing food and farming the land for centuries in America and around the world. But even today, it’s still hard to know the number of women farmers worldwide. One source explained that most small-scale farmers are women in developing countries. In the agricultural sector, women are 60% to 80% of the farmers in non-industrialized countries. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN (FAO) estimates that women make up 43% to 70% of the agricultural labor in developing countries. What’s the real story about women farmers today? Are the numbers dynamic or static? What does the future of women in farming look like?
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” Mahatma Gandhi’s powerful quote reminds me that most people want the world to be a better place. Change only happens inside each of us. The change I wish to see is less harm to Mother Nature. I want to see better ways to feed ourselves. One way is to stop food waste. How can we stop food waste and food loss? How important are they to the future of food?
If you’re like most people, writing does not come easy. One thing I know about writing is that revisions are my best friend. But that’s only one part of the problem of writing. The other part is to engage the reader. Whatever form of writing you’re doing, you need to grab your audience quickly. You want them to care about your topic. Think about it: Why should the reader spend time reading this? What’s my argument? So what? Who Cares?